The most common and basic concept for winning at poker is to play conservatively (tight) and to play according to odds. In this article we will discuss:

What are hand odds and how to calculate them?

What are pot odds and how to calculate them?

What are hand odds and how to calculate them?

Hand odds are the probability of making a hand. To calculate hand odds, you need to know how many outs your hand has. Outs are the number of cards in the deck that will improve your hand.

Example: If you hold two hearts and there are two hearts on the flop, then you have 9 outs to complete your flush as there are 9 hearts remaining in the deck.

To get your hand odds, multiply the number of outs you have by 4 to get the percentage of hitting that hand for the flop. Multiply by 2 to get the percentage of hitting the hand from the turn. To calculate hand odds use the following equation:

Hand odds = (100/Percentage) – 1

To demonstrate, let’s look at the following example:

Example: If you have two hearts and there are two hearts on the flop, then you have 9 outs to complete your flush and:

Percentage of making the flush = 4*9 = 36%

In other words, there is a 36% probability that you could complete your flush, or your hand odds are approximately 2:1

Hand odds: 100/36 – 1 = 1.8

Stated differently, if you play similar hands repeatedly, you will make the draw once every 3 hands. Note that, hand odds indicate odds for making the hand, not odds of winning. That requires an understanding of the poker odds.

What are poker odds and how to calculate them?

Pot odds are simply the ratio of how much money is in the pot to the amount that you need to call. Pot odds are important as they show how many times one should win to break even under the same conditions. Here is an example:

Example: If $100 is in the pot and you need $20 to call, your pot odds are 100:20 or 5:1, i.e. you need to win once every 6 hands to break even under identical conditions. You may look at it like this: if you play 6 hands, it will cost you 6*$20=$120, if you win once, you’ll win $120 (= $100 + $20 your call).

Here is how we can use pot odds and hand odds:

If your pot odds > hands odds, then you are making money

Example: Suppose you have a flush draw that has 2:1 hand odds. If there is $20 in the pot and you need to call $5, then your pot odds are 4:1. Since pot odds are greater than your hand odds, you should call – you will make a nice profit.

Try to remember your outs and odds. Knowing your pot odds and hand odds can keep you out of trouble.

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