Every serious poker player will need to be familiar with the pot odds, since these odds will have a profound impact on betting strategy and hand play. It is important for every poker player to understand just what pot odds are, and how to play a part in the game of poker. The pot odds are calculated by evaluating the size of the pot, along with the bet which is about to be made.
Let’s look at a quick example for illustration. In our example the current pot is 2,000 KSh and a 500 KSh bet has just been made. You intend to call this bet. In this case, the pot odds will be 20/5, for a pot odds of 4 to 1. If the call would be for 1,000 KSh instead of 500 KSh, the pot odds would drop to 2:1. In general, the pot odds are determined through dividing the size of the pot by the amount of the bet when all the bets are equal.
It is important for all the players to constantly be aware of the size of the pot in order to calculate the pot odds properly. When playing in a limit poker room, the odds will be determined by the number of bets in the pot, not on the actual amount of the pot. Some games of Texas Hold’Em will have double bets when on the river, and these bets will count twice, meaning two small bets for each double bet. If the limit is only on the pot, or if you are playing a game of no limit Texas Hold’Em, the amount of bets will make it a bit harder to calculate the pot odds, but the calculation can still be used as a guideline.
After you have calculated the pot odds, it is time to put them to use. It is important to evaluate the pot odds in connection with the value of the cards in your hand. This means evaluating your own hand and the hands of the other players, and then making a plan based on your own hand, and calculating the odds that you have the best hand in the name.
For instance, let us say you are playing a game of Texas Hold’Em and currently on the flop after having the flush draw. Your opponent most likely has at least a high value pair. You should then concentrate on the outs, the nine cards which can give you a flush after you can see four of the cards which will be used in the flush. The odds to get the card you need at the turn or on the river are about 35%, or 1:2 for you, so to be sure you are making the proper choice your calls on the flop would be made based on 2:1 pot odds.
It is important for poker players to understand the implied odds as well as the actual odds when playing a game of Texas Hold’Em. The implied odds call for a calculation of the pot you would be most likely to win. These implied odds are relative, and they depend upon the evaluation that you provide. These implied odds are the relationship of the actual pot size and the expected final pot size. For our example let us consider that one player bets 500 KSh in a limit game with a pot of 2,000 KSh. If you call, your implied pot odds would rest at 5:1, since you are betting one fifth of the expected pot size. If the other players are planning to call or raise later on in the game, then the implied pot odds could grow to 6:1 or 8:1 according to the predicted future bets, so there will always be a certain element of uncertainty surrounding implied odds.