What are pot odds??
The term pot odds refers to the ratio of the money
in the pot versus the amount required to make your next call.
Knowing your pot odds will dictate whether it makes sense for you to
continue in some pots where you might not have the strongest hand at
For example, if the current pot contains $50, and the amount required
at the next call is $10, the pots odds would be 50/10, or 5/1.
Many players use pot odds to decide whether to fold, by comparing the
pot odds to the odds of them making their targeted hand. If the odds of
them making their targeted hand are better than the pot odds,
they’ll call the bet.
For example, at the flop, you have two cards in the hole, and three are
showing on the board. That leaves 47 unseen cards (including cards both
in the deck and in the other players’ hands). Some of these
unseen cards will be outs (cards that will make your hand), and some
will be useless to you.
If you have four hearts, there are (theoretically) nine other cards
available that will make your flush. As seen in the chart below, the
odds of having one of those nine hearts eventually turn up on the board
(with the turn and river to come) is 1.86/1.
Those odds are better than the 5/1 pot odds, so a player using this
technique would call the bet.
Of course, using pot odds in this manner assumes that you will win the
pot if you make your targeted hand. Obviously, that’s not
always the case. You could have odds of 1.86/1 to make a flush, make
that flush, and still lose to someone with a full house.
Pot odds are a tool, not a sure-fire way to win at poker, but use pot
odds in combination with other tools to make sound decisions.