1. Poker Jargon
2. Why Play Poker
3. Key Poker Skills
5. Home to Casino
6. Play Money
1. Starting Hands
2. Pot Odds
1. Keep It Simple
2. Think For Yourself
3. Evaluating Plays
5. Beginner Mistakes
Pot OddsWhen you see a flop, you will generally be in one of three situations.
Situation #1: Your hand totally misses the board.
You have nothing, so you should check and fold. Another possibility is to bluff.
Situation #2: You hit the flop well and hold a strong hand.
In these situations, you should generally bet or raise.
Situation #3: You have a drawing hand
The third possibility is that you currently do not hold a strong hand, but it is possible for you to make a strong hand if the turn or river brings you a good card. This situation is known as "drawing."
In this situation, a spade will make you a flush, and an Ace or King will bring you top pair.
When you are drawing, there are several tools that will help you make your decisions. One important tool is "pot odds." Calculating pot odds is fairly simple. First, you must count the number of outs you have. An out is a card that will improve your hand.
In this example, your outs are 4 aces and 4 nines, or 8 outs total. To calculate your percentage of hitting an out on the next card, you take the number of outs times 2, then add 1. In the above situation with 8 outs, you have roughly a 17% chance of hitting on the turn.
Once you figure out your chance of hitting a draw, you multiply it by the pot+bet to determine the maximum bet you can call.
For example, if the bet is $10 and the pot is $90, the pot+bet is $100.
Now let's say you have 6 outs (6 cards will help you). This means you have about a 13% chance of hitting on the next card. If the pot is $90 and you must call $10, you should call, because you have more than a 10% chance to hit ($10 / $100). However, if the bet to you is $20, you should fold, because that would require a 18.2% chance of hitting ($20 / $110). For more practice with pot odds, check out our Pot Odds Calculator.
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