How to Calculate Texas Holdem Odds

Friday, December 25, 2009 posted by sunnyboy 10:33 pm
Sean Moronse asked:

Poker calculators: don’t knock ’em ’til you’ve tried them.

If you are a novice player, online poker calculators are one of the best tools on how to calculate Texas Holdem odds easily. This is actually a great way of understanding why stakes go very high quickly, and why very often, even the most notorious players fold at the peak of their rounds. Obviously, the pros know more about odds; otherwise, they won’t be sitting at the high stakes table with that huge stash of chips before them. You know with all certainty that you cannot bring poker calculators at the playing table, but you can use these as a way of gauging when you need to fold or go for speculative hands during practice runs.

Your main objective when it comes to knowing how to calculate Texas Holdem odds revolves mainly on speculative hands. I mean, if you have a Royal Flush in your hands, you can certainly jump the gun and go for the pot. The opposite is true if you have a high card, but there are still so many remaining players and so many remaining cards. You need to fold (and fold early) when your chances of winning or even just breaking are low to nil.

Computing the Pot Odds

As you know, speculative hands are quite tricky. A 2 Pair hand in the middle of the round is an example of a speculative hand. You need to know how to calculate Texas Holdem odds with that against the other players at the table. Say you already have a 2 Pair, and the current pot is already at $100. Your next bet is a solid $20, just so you can see the next card; then your odds at this time is 100:20, or 10:2, or 5:1 (choose whatever works for you.)

Computing the Unseen and the Potentials

The next step on how to calculate Texas Holdem odds is to calculate your chances of improving your lot. A 2 Pair is not so bad, but the hand is not exactly great either. A flush is better, and a royal flush is best. So, you need to consider the number of outs that you already have versus the unseen cards still on the deck. Say, that there are already 4 outs plus your 2 hole cards. That’s 6 cards to your name and 46 unseen cards (standard deck contains 52 cards, remember?) Of the remaining 46 cards, only 9 will most likely give you a royal flush. You can improve your chances if your hole cards and outs already have a few cards that show a flush potential.

In any case, this is how to calculate Texas Holdem odds when the board still has 46 unseen cards. You have to minus the 9 potentials from the 46 unseen, which gives you 37. You pair that with the 9 potentials. So you have a 37:9 or 4:1 chances of making a desirable hand.

Comparing the Odds

Now, you need to compare the pot odds versus the unseen / potential odds. If the pot odds is far greater then the unseen / potential odds, then you can make the call and still come out on top during this play. If latter is greater, then it would be best to fold, since this will only lead to major losses. If both odds are almost even, or even to a point, then your chances of winning the pot is actually very low. This too should be an indication of you folding before the game peaks.

So with the example above, your pot odds is 5:1 while your unseen / potential odds is 4:1. Then you can comfortably continue with your game. If the reverse becomes true with the unseen / potential odds becoming greater, then it would be best to fold.

Texas Holdem Strategy

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Category : Poker News

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