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May 02, 2008, 7:12am

#1

Flop Artist
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Western New York, USA
Posts: 30
Reputation: 10

Counting Outs
I'm still a beginner and my game so far is $0.25/0.50 Limit Hold 'em.
I've been doing some reading and I get the idea of Pot Odds & counting outs to figure your odds. At least I think I get the idea.
In Miller's Small Stakes Hold 'Em book, he gives a chart of the number of outs you count and the "Break Even Pot Odds."
For instance, if I have 5 outs, he says the Break Even Pot Odds are 8.2 to 1.
To me this means I have a claim to 1/8.2 of the pot. If the bet to me is less than:
$ in pot / 8.2, then it's profitable to call. I'm not getting into implied odds and reverse odds now to keep the question simple.
Am I right so far?
Assuming that I am, my question is what if the flop comes and I count, say 4 outs. 4 outs gives me 10.5 to 1 Break Even Pot Odds. BUTT....I can draw on the turn and river. So how should they really be counted? Should I double it to 8 outs, which would give 4.75 to 1 Break Even Pot Odds, since I have two tries (turn & river) to make my draw?
Maybe this is covered later in the book but I haven't read the entire thing yet. What do the Pokertips gurus say?



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May 02, 2008, 7:43am

#2

Brunson
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 155
Reputation: 21

You will have to pay on the turn again (most of the times), so yes, you have better odds to hit your hand, assuming you see both cards. But you will have to pay twice! Since betting on the turn doubles, you will in fact get a worse price for both cards.
So just look at your odds for hitting on the next card unless someone goes allin on the flop and you can be sure to see two cards.



May 02, 2008, 2:30pm

#3

Doyle Lookalike
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 411
Reputation: 10

I'm a little confused by your wording, but rather than trying to divide the pot by your breakeven pot odds and then comparing that to the bet, you should just work out your pot odds and then compare that to the odds you need.
For example, say the pot is $2 and a player bets .50, making the pot $2.50. You're sitting there contemplating whether to call .50 or not. Work out your pot odds first. Simply divide the current pot (before you put any more in) by the amount you have to call. In this case $2.50 divided by .50 gives you pot odds of 5:1. Then compare your pot odds to the odds of hitting. If you have a flush draw with 9 outs and are 4:1 to hit on the next card, you call. If like you said you had 5 outs and were 8:1, you're not getting the odds.
This is a lot easier than thinking I'm 8:1 and then trying to divide $2.50 by 8.
As has been pointed out, you have two tries and therefore the odds of hitting on the turn or river are higher than the odds of just hitting on the turn, however you're only paying to see the next card and will more than likely have to pay again on the turn, so just use the odds to see the next street, and then recalculate to see the river.
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May 02, 2008, 3:15pm

#4

Flop Artist
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Western New York, USA
Posts: 30
Reputation: 10

Quote:
Originally Posted by MmmmBalf
This is a lot easier than thinking I'm 8:1 and then trying to divide $2.50 by 8.

MmmmBalf  thanks for the explanation. You're right; that's a much easier way of doing the math in my head. I'm actively looking for mental shortcuts to do such calculations and will probably post something along those lines in the near future (mental tricks to cut through all the calculations faster). Your post helps a lot. Thanks!



May 03, 2008, 12:32am

#5

Professional
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,753
Reputation: 1740

Quote:
Originally Posted by Such A Card
MmmmBalf  thanks for the explanation. You're right; that's a much easier way of doing the math in my head. I'm actively looking for mental shortcuts to do such calculations and will probably post something along those lines in the near future (mental tricks to cut through all the calculations faster). Your post helps a lot. Thanks!

A mental trick some people use is dealing with %. This is how I taught my friends to do it.
Basically, you take whatever outs you have, times as many cards you have to hit it, then double it.
So.....the flop comes and you have a flush draw. 9 outs times times turn and river is 18, double it is 36% chance. It's actually 35%, but close.
The thing to learn about pot odds, is that they aren't necessarily concrete. They give you a great starting point for figuring out if you should be calling a bet or not. However, when you get better, you will start to judge patterns in your opponents that make you think ok, so I'm not getting odds to call here, but if I raise he'll likely check to me and I can get a free card. So by raising you get odds to call if you can get a reasonable chance at getting a free turn.
Also, there are what is called implied odds. Basically, the odds that if you hit your hand you will be able to get more out. So in general, if you are just short of pot odds you might want to still call against some opponents, because you can plant a turn/river bet if you hit your card that will give you more money than you would have lost if you didn't hit your draw.
Then there are reverse implied odds, which are the odds that if you hit your hand, it won't be the best and you'll stlil lose.
Not to overwhelm you, just giving you a heads up on what you'll be learning next, after you master basic pot odds.



May 03, 2008, 3:11am

#6

Flop Artist
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Western New York, USA
Posts: 30
Reputation: 10

Kmay  Thanks for the tip. I was familiar with the "double the # of outs you have then add 1 to get a percentage." There's a strategy article here on Pokertips that explains that. For instance, if I have 4 outs
4 x 2 + 1 = 9% chance of hitting.
But then I came to the chart in the Miller book which gives a number of outs and the break even pot odds. Let's take a hand with 8 outs.
8 x 2 + 1 = 17% chance of hitting my draw.
But the Miller book says the odds are 4.75 to 1.
1 / 4.75 = 21%
Quite a difference. So I'm a bit skeptical of the "double your number of outs" methodology. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding something.



May 03, 2008, 5:46am

#7

Professional
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,753
Reputation: 1740

Quote:
Originally Posted by Such A Card
Kmay  Thanks for the tip. I was familiar with the "double the # of outs you have then add 1 to get a percentage." There's a strategy article here on Pokertips that explains that. For instance, if I have 4 outs
4 x 2 + 1 = 9% chance of hitting.
But then I came to the chart in the Miller book which gives a number of outs and the break even pot odds. Let's take a hand with 8 outs.
8 x 2 + 1 = 17% chance of hitting my draw.
But the Miller book says the odds are 4.75 to 1.
1 / 4.75 = 21%
Quite a difference. So I'm a bit skeptical of the "double your number of outs" methodology. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding something.

I've never read the book, but if you have 8 outs (as is likely the case for an OESD) then you have 8 cards out of 47 (2 for your hand, 3 for the flop, out of 52) that make your hand. That is a 17.02% chance.
The problem is your math. You can't divide the odds like that to get the number, because the way the odds work is 4.75 to 1, not in 1. So....2 to 1 odds is a 33.3% chance. However, 1/2 = 50%. What you do, is divide the first number by the total number. So....you'd do 1/5.75 = about 17%.
Make sense?
If someone says to 1, then it means the ratio, so 2 to 1 is 33.3% chance. If someone says 1 in 2 it means %, so 50%.



May 03, 2008, 6:55am

#8

Flop Artist
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Western New York, USA
Posts: 30
Reputation: 10

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmay06
I've never read the book, but if you have 8 outs (as is likely the case for an OESD) then you have 8 cards out of 47 (2 for your hand, 3 for the flop, out of 52) that make your hand. That is a 17.02% chance.
The problem is your math. You can't divide the odds like that to get the number, because the way the odds work is 4.75 to 1, not in 1. So....2 to 1 odds is a 33.3% chance. However, 1/2 = 50%. What you do, is divide the first number by the total number. So....you'd do 1/5.75 = about 17%.
Make sense?
If someone says to 1, then it means the ratio, so 2 to 1 is 33.3% chance. If someone says 1 in 2 it means %, so 50%.

Yes that explains and reconciles everything nicely. Using your method, which is "double it and add 1" for 8 outs:
8 x 2 + 1 = 17%
The Miller book has 8 outs at 4.75 to 1 odds.
1 / (4.75 + 1) = 17.4%
Looks about the same to me. Thanks for the quick lesson!



May 04, 2008, 12:03am

#9

The Dark Knight
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Norway
Posts: 3,568
Reputation: 42

The fastest way to deal with odds that I know of is a special way of using percentage. Here is how I do it:
1) Make a list of 47/1, 47/2, 47/3 etc. up to 47/47.
1.....47
2.....24
3.....16
etc.
This is a long step, but you only have to do it once and then never again.
2) Figure out your number of outs, find the corresponding figure in the list and multiply it with the amount you have to pay to stay in the pot.
3) If the figure you reach in step 2 is smaller than the pot will be if you call; call.
This method includes only the very basics of doing pot odds, but it can be extended to include other stuff, like the chance the bettor won´t bet on the turn.



May 04, 2008, 3:34am

#10

Professional
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,753
Reputation: 1740

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Mushroom
The fastest way to deal with odds that I know of is a special way of using percentage. Here is how I do it:
1) Make a list of 47/1, 47/2, 47/3 etc. up to 47/47.
1.....47
2.....24
3.....16
etc.
This is a long step, but you only have to do it once and then never again.
2) Figure out your number of outs, find the corresponding figure in the list and multiply it with the amount you have to pay to stay in the pot.
3) If the figure you reach in step 2 is smaller than the pot will be if you call; call.
This method includes only the very basics of doing pot odds, but it can be extended to include other stuff, like the chance the bettor won´t bet on the turn.

The thing is, this is hard to do in live play. You can't easily carry around a chart with you to determine whether or not to call....



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