Poker is one of the leading casino games, and one that is especially relevant due to the importance of its skill component. If you want to go a step further and start developing advanced poker strategies, poker odds calculation, as well as its automation and mastery, will be essential.
First of all… what are the Odds in poker? Translated from English, the Odds refer to the probability that an event will occur. Specifically in poker, it refers to the options that our project or our hand is supposedly winning.
A concrete example for calculating the Odds in a more typical Hold’Em poker would be that of the open straight. If we have 4-5 in hand and the flop is A-6-7, then we are probably behind, but if the straight is completed at the poker table, either with a 3 or an 8, it is very possible. that we win What does that mean? That we are worth 8 cards, that is, we have 8 outs. At that time, there will be 47 cards to see, of which 8 are useful to us. Our odds of completing the project would be 5 to 1.
In case of having a flush option, in addition to a straight, the calculation of the Odds would vary greatly. With 15 total outs, the odds would be 2 to 1, giving you a much better chance of winning… but with some nuance!
Fake Odds and Implied Odds
In the above example we can find a perfect example of falsified odds in poker. Because? In the case of the flush, it is quite likely that an opponent has the draw (especially if there are three hearts in the community cards, for example) with a higher card than ours. In this case, the correct thing would be to lower the Odds, always taking into account the hand reading.
And… What are Implied Odds in poker? When we take these probabilities into account it is important to see what value we can get out of the hand. It is not the same against good rivals who will see that we have been successful with the project and they will get out of hand, or types of players who will go all out. We can also find rivals who have hit something slightly less than our play, but who are confident, players with more or less chips… Everything must be taken into account!
Decision Making: The Usefulness of Odds in Poker
Mathematics in poker is a basic element for decision making, which can even lead us to take counterintuitive steps, even if they are good decisions in the long run. In the case of the Odds, they will serve to contrast in which situations we should go, depending on what we have to pay.
Let’s go with a very simple case. With an open straight draw and a higher flush, with odds on the Turn-River of 2:1. Let’s say for example that the pot is 100 and we are forced to bet 20. That’s 5 to 1 odds on the pot, higher than 2:1. If the potential pot (without taking implied odds into account) is already higher than our odds of winning we should call. Does it mean we will win that hand? Maybe not, but playing 80 hands would be a profitable play.
What if we had to bet 40? The pot would still be profitable, although less, 2.5 to 1. With a raise of 200 it would no longer be, for example, since it would be pot odds of 0.5 to 1, for odds of 2:1. If, for example, the draw was only flush, with 4 to 1, it would only be profitable in the first case, that of paying 20.
Odds table in poker
In calculating the Odds it is also important to see the cards that are yet to come out. With 15 outs, for example, with two cards to see, there would be a probability greater than 50%, with Odds of 0.85 to 1. On the other hand, with only one card to see, they would be 2.07 to 1.
The Odds in your poker strategy
To a large extent, the Odds in poker are designed defensively, how much we can pay for a certain pot. It is for this reason that we should never rely only on that number, since the ideal in many cases will be to take the initiative. What should we take into account to play with the Odds?
Apply hand reading: In many cases, we will be able to win against players without having to show the hand, or even knowing what an opponent has can guide us with the implicit Odds. On the other hand… what good is a couple project if an opponent can have a color?
Use continuation/lock bets: Knowing this concept of probability can help us refine, for example, lock bets. From the other point of view, if a rival develops a project, we will have to bet so that it doesn’t work out for him… anticipate!
Take into account the position for the following bets and the type of players in front of you. As we have already said, it is important to know the Odds, since poker is played with cards and information, but you do not always have to win the combination of cards to win a pot.
However, it is important to be realistic and see what kind of tables and tournaments we should play, based on our knowledge and above all bankroll. Luck is involved in poker, but skill will make the difference in the long run and will matter most.