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Calculating Pot Odds in Poker
Success at poker doesn’t come without understanding the mathematical value behind the game. Poker in essence is more or less simple mathematical calculations. One should know whether or not to stay in a hand; therefore, a player needs to calculate the odds to justify staying in a hand.

By using a bit of math, one can now calculate and play by the law of averages rather than luck. The easiest way to understand the calculation of pot odds is to actually work through a simple example.

In your hand, you’re given a J-K off suit. The table is flopped a Q-10-7.

We now need to calculate the number of outs that we have.

  1. In this hand, the player is shooting for a simple straight.

  2. To complete the straight, there needs to be either an Ace or a Nine.

  3. There are 4 aces and 4 nines – So there are a total of 8 outs (out is a card that will give you the hand that you are shooting for).

  4. Simple Calculation (to hit the out on the next card)

    1. 8 * 2 + 2 = 18% chance of hitting the card on the next card

  5. A decent player would only call IF the bet was less than 18% of what is currently in the pot; otherwise, the player should fold.

    The pot has $30 in it. The person has the above odds. To call the person has to give up $10.

      1. The law of averages suggests that the person fold because it is not feasible to call based on our odds.

      2. To call, the person would need at least $55 approximately in the pot

Note: this is a quick calculation; therefore, shortcuts were taken and the level of precision is reduced by each shortcut. This is meant to guide a person on making a decision not to totally dominate a person’s decision.

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