Saturday, October 01, 2005

Pot Odds Explained Simply

Before I share the simple illustration, let me say that previously I had asked a few poker players how to calculate odds. And to my surprise, I was not alone in not having a clear understanding of just how to do the math. Scott and Sir came pretty close to helping me understand. In the end, it was the section below from Winning Low Limit Hold'em by Lee Jones that finally enabled me to grasp a clear understanding:

Suppose you have flopped a heart flush draw. That is, you have two hearts in your hand, and two more come on the flop. What are the odds of making your flush on the next card (the turn)? There are a total of 13 hearts in the deck; you have seen four of them, leaving nine more. You have seen a total of five cards (your two plus three in the flop). That leaves 47 unseen cards, of which nine are the hears you want to see. There are 38 cards that do not make your flush and nine that do; the odds are 38:9 "against." You are a 38:9 (slightly worse than 4:1) underdog to make your flush on the turn.

Pot odds are the odds being offered to you by the pot compared to the amount of money you must invest in it. For instance, suppose after the river card is turned up, there is $30 in the pot. Your opponent bets $6. The pot now has $36 in it, and you have to call $6 to see his hand. You are getting pot odds of 6:1. You will also hear the expression "the pot is laying you 6:1" Now your choice is (relatively) easy: if you are no worse than a 6:1 underdog to win the pot, you call the $6; otherwise you fold.

In case that is too much work, you can use the chart below:

And I am one step closer to being ready to tackle limit hold'em again.

As for my poker play yesterday, it was pretty uneventful. I came in 3rd on a $10 sng and lost some money on NL cash, and was 4 out of the $$ on a multi table SnG (stupidly I busted with pocket 4s). The best part of the evening was coming close to scoring in a Party freeroll - 500k qual - I came in 32nd out of 904 (needed to finish in the top 7).

Tonight I get to see Neil Diamond in concert!!!! So, I may actually take a day off from

Good luck to all..and see ya at the tables......


Veneno said...


Are you comparing ME to a monkey?

kipper said...

Nice post.

Now if I can only condition myself to apply that small piece of knowledge. That would be the hard part.