Pot Odds: When To Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Pot odds are just what they claim – odds. It is important to remember that you do not have to be a mathematician to figure out the odds in a pot. You do not have to sit there with a calculator and find ratios 918kiss and probabilities. Finding the pot odds simply means to figure out your money invested + the money in the pot = whether you should call of fold. It is a cost-benefit analysis you must undertake to deduce the result you are looking for. In this sense, there will be situations where you would normally fold, based on the strength of you hand or your read on the other player (s) , but because you have calculated the pot odds you have to call.

Pot odds can help you to win hands you normally would have folded or in the perfect dichotomy fold hands that you are not going to make a sufficient profit. Take for example you are in a hand where you hold medium pair with a fairly strong kicker. Lets say you have Jack Ten and the community is 8 4 10 2 K, you are in the hand with two other people. You have invested 50 dollars and the pot is 175. The final bet on the river made by the first position is 30 dollars and this forces the second opponent to fold. The move is yours do you call or fold? Calculating the odds, as I said before, is not rocket science. You have invested a substantial amount furthermore, the pot is quite large compared to the minuscule bet on the river. Now this is where it gets tricky. As in all poker plays there are a infinite number of variables you must consider before making your decision. I cannot possibly cover all of these variables unless I was there in the hand and had seen the progression. However, some things to keep in mind are; do you know how this player, making the bet, plays? Did he bet out strong at the beginning? Do you believe he is playing a strong hand or trying to steal the pot? Did he check the flop? the turn? As you can see variables exist to help your decision, nevertheless in these circumstances you would more than not have to call whether or not you believe you are the winner – the odds are with you.

Now do not mistake this method with the assumption that any money you invest into a pot justifies your calling until the end. This is not the case. In fact, using this odds system can tell you to fold more than it will tell you when to call. This system will best benefit the amateur player by showing him/her when it is time to let go – based solely on the odds. And please do not confuse “odds” with your odds to win, this is a common misconception. The odds merely state how much money is in the pot + how much you invested. For instance, you hold King Queen and you call a 10 dollar raise pre-flop. There are 3 players in the hand. The flop comes 4 4 J and there is a 20 dollar bet made to you. Two players call the bet and it is up to you to make your decision. This seems like an easy fold but one would be surprised how overrated high face cards are. If you look at the pot odds you have only invested 15 dollars assuming you are playing 5/10. In this situation with very little hope of improving your hand your job would be to fold.


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