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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 the moment.

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.


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