When the odds are particularly large against you winning, you’ll often be referred to as the “long shot”, which generally means it will be a cold day in Hell before you succeed.
Before we can get into a discussion of poker odds while playing poker online, you need to know how to calculate your “outs.” Outs are simply the cards that will help you improve your hand and make it better than what you think your opponent is holding.
To Calculate Odds You First Need The Number Of Winning Cards, Or “Outs”
We have already determined that you have nine “outs”. Now there are 52 cards in a deck and two of those are in your hand, leaving 50. In addition, there are four cards exposed from the flop and turn, leaving 46 cards. Although your opponent is holding two others we ignore those. Our calculations in Internet Texas Hold’em poker are only based on the cards you can see and what could be left in the deck.
With nine outs and 46 cards unknown, there are nine cards that will let you win the hand and 37 cards (46 unseen cards – 9 winning cards) that will cause you to lose. Thus the odds of you getting one of the cards you need on the river are 37 to 9. This simplifies down to just about 4:1. In other words, you are four times more likely to lose this pot than you are to win it.
First Calculate How Many Cards From The Deck You Can’t See:
The Unseen Cards Are Then Split Into Winners And Losers:
So we have odds of around 4:1 to win this hand. To decide whether or not we should call our opponent’s bet depends on how much money is in the pot. No, we don’t mean that if there’s a whole bunch of cash you should just go for it. What you should be looking for is the ratio of money you could win compared to the size of your opponent’s bet.
OK, we’ll continue our example. Let’s say there was $90 in the pot and your opponent bets $10. That makes a total of $100 in the middle of the table just waiting to be won. You need to match your opponent’s bet of $10 to see the river card, so it’s going to cost you $10 to see if that last card is going to be one of the nine you need to win.
Step 1: Work Out How Much You’d Normally Win From Your Actual Poker Odds:
Step 2: Calculate How Much Money You Could Win And The Odds You’re Getting:
Step 3: Decide Whether To Call The Bet
In this example by betting $10 your opponent has effectively given you odds of 10:1, when your actual chance of winning is 4:1.
This is like a bookmaker giving you 10:1 odds on a horse that has a 4:1 chance of winning. So should you call that bet? Yes and you should do it faster than an eye can blink because the odds are offering you the chance to enjoy a great pay day.
Even if you make that call, you might still lose. It happens. Remember, your calculated odds were 4:1, meaning the poker gods say you will lose four times for every time you win. That’s why it is important you are being offered at least the chance to win four times as much as your bet, because in the long run you’ll break even. More importantly, if you are being offered the chance to win more than four times your bet, you’ll eventually make money.
To Summarize Everything We Have Calculated So Far:
So If This Exact Same Situation Came Up 5 Times During Your Game:
Here’s a Handy Shortcut – The Rule of 4 and 2
Now that you have worked through the math and seen the theory, it is time to introduce a handy shortcut. This will help you calculate your chances of winning a hand within the short period of time that Internet poker allows you to make a decision.
While this method is not super precise, it provides a clear enough guide when calculating odds in online poker. Of course, the purists out there will still want to do mental gymnastics to get the exact percentage figure, but for the rest of us mere poker mortals the rule of 4 and 2 is more than enough to give reasonable percentages.