Pot Odds

The pot is giving you for calling a bet are called pot odds. If the final bet is $10 and there is $50 in the pot, you get 5-to-1 odds for your call. In order to know the pot odds it is important to consider the expectation. In the above example, if you consider your chances of winning are better than 5-to-1, then it is proper to call. If you figure your chances are worse than 5-to-1, you must fold.

Calling according to the pot odds, when all the cards are out.

When all the cards are out, you should determine whether your hand is worth a call, and that rely upon the odds you get from the pot and what do you think of your chance to have the best hand. It is a conclusive problem more than a math problem because there is no method to estimate your chances of winning accurately. When you beat a bluff, you have to calculate the chances that your rival is bluffing. If you have a proper hand you should calculate the chances that your rival is betting a worse hand than yours. To make these evaluations, is not so easy, especially when you are having an average hand such as two pair in seven-card stud. Such a capability relies on your experience, especially capability to read hands and players. Some of the things can be learned only during the trials by fire at the poker table.

Calling as per the pot odds with more cards to come

What about determining whether to call before the draw in draw poker and in stud games where there is one card to come? Now the math becomes essential. If you improve your hand to win, you will have to decide your chances of improving as compared to your pot odds. With an open-ended straight draw or flush draw- assume that the game is five-card draw poker- when the pot is $50 it would be correct to call a $10 bet as your chance to make a flush or the straight is better than 5-to-1. Particularly, the odds to make the flush are 4.22-to-1 against and the odds to make the straight are 4.88-to-1 against.

Figuring the odds to make a hand is done as per the number of unseen cards and the number between them will make the hand. There are 47 unseen cards in five-card draw - the 52 in the deck deduct the five cards in your hand. If hold four of a suit, nine of the 47 unseen exposed cards will give you a flush and 38 will not. Therefore, the odds against making the flush are 38-to-9 that decreases to 4.22-to-1. If you hold say

then eight of the 47 unseen cards will make the straight - four 8s and four kings - whereas 39 of the cards will not help, which decrease to 4.88-to-1. In public card rooms of California , if a joker or bug is used, you have an additional card to use to make flushes and straight, that improves the chances of making the flush to 3.8-to-1 and to make the straight to 4.33-to-1. Having a joker in your hand, the chance to make a straight advances significantly; instead to have eight or nine un-exposed about poker cards to help your hand, you might have 12 or even 16. Suppose you hold

(Joker)

any 6, 7, jack or queen makes the straight, decreasing the odds to accurately 2-to-1 against. Sixteen cards make the hand and 32 do not.

The smaller the pot odds in comparison with the chance of making your hand, the more reason you will have to fold. Having $30 in the pot instead of $50, calling a $10 bet for a flush draw or a straight draw (assume no joker is in your hand) becomes wrong - that means it becomes a gamble with negative expectation - unless the implied odds are too large, as they might be in a no-limit or pot-limit game.


Because of the pot odds, people say that at least three other players are needed in the pot to make a worth pay to draw to a flush in draw poker. With the antes, the pot odds are 4-to-1 and the bug is used, your chances to make a flush are 3.8-to-1. Note the consequence of the antes. The higher the antes, the better the pot odds, and the simpler it is to call with a flush draw. However, with no ante and three other players in the holdem nolimit you would get just 3-to-1 if you called a bet before the draw, and therefore you have to fold a four - flush.