How to calculate Poker odds?

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If you are to win money in poker on a regular basis, it is incredibly important to know how to calculate odds, either using a poker odds chart or mentally. Do not forget that poker is a game of skill and variance and you the biggest skillset you can have in this is to know how to calculate poker odds.

To master the mathematical part of playing poker, here is a comprehensive guide on how to calculate poker odds and how to be one step ahead of your opponent.

What are poker odds?

Poker odds, to put it very simply, can be explained as the probability of you winning or losing at the end of the game of poker. The “Price on Offer” – one can refer to the odds like this as well. Depending on this, you will get an idea of whether to call, raise, bet or fold in the game. Your mind should constantly be thinking about the Flop odds, Turn odds and River odds to come up with the right move. Only when you master this, can you actually start winning on a regular basis.

What is the importance of knowing how to calculate odds?

Poker is a game of odds and the biggest skill one can have is to identify the odds as accurately as possible and formulate a suitable gameplan. You just cannot expect to win by making random moves in poker. You should be able to anticipate the moves of your opponents, the possibility of a certain card being dealt and calculate the best move in a particular situation. Now, even though this may sound like a daunting task, especially if you do not have a poker odds chart with you but it is quite simple with the right amount of practice. Once you get a hang of how to calculate odds, you should be able to make the right move easily.

How to calculate odds?

Here is a step-by-step guide about how to calculate poker odds and create a winning hand using it.

Step 1: An overview on what odds are

Before learning how to calculate odds, you first need to understand what odds are with an example. If the odds are stacked as 8:1, then this means that you have the chance of winning one game for every 8 games you play. Another thing to note here is that this also means that you will win eight times the money you play initially.

Therefore, a safer bet or odds for you would be 4:1, rather than 40:1, even though you will earn a lot more money in the latter situation. This is where you need to be good at weighing in the risks involved, and make the moves accordingly. To make better moves, a lot of players carry a poker odds chart with them so that they can make better predictions, but with right practice, you will be able to do it on your own.

Step 2: Calculating the odds of winning cards for your hand

It is important to make sure that you know how to calculate poker odds of the cards that will be dealt, in order to make your hand a winning one. To do this, you need to know the number of cards that have the potential to win you the game, which are currently present in the unseen.

Let us take a simple scenario to help you understand how a poker odds chart or the odds would work. Say, your Hole cards are four and seven of spade. As a result, if you do end up getting three more cards of the same kind (spade), you will be able to make a hand of Flush. The three Community cards right now are an Ace of heart, King of spade and 6 of club.

With such a scenario, you clearly know that there are 3 cards of spade in the open. As a result, there will 13 - 3 = 10 spade cards in the unseen, which could help you make a Flush. What this means is that you have 10 winning cards or ‘outs’, as known in the world of poker.

Step 3: Calculate the total number of unseen cards

This is a simple calculation that will help you understand how to calculate odds in poker. This is very easy to calculate. For example, once the Flop has been played, you now have seen 5 cards from the deck, which includes two Hole cards that you possess and three Community cards, laid out on the table. This naturally makes it 52 - 5 = 47 cards that are left to be seen by you.

Step 4: Texas Hold’em odds calculator

Once you are well-versed with the above calculations, the process of how to calculate odds becomes quite easy. Now, that you know that you have 47 unseen cards and 10 winning cards, it is very easy to calculate the losing cards at this point in the game. 47 -10 = 37. There are 37 losing cards in the deck. With this, you can calculate the odds of your hand to be 37/10, which is 3.7/10. Now, this is a pretty good hand at the moment, enabling you to make a good bet.

As you go deeper into the game, the calculations get a bit more complicated and you might need a poker odds chart to aid you in some cases. Amateurs can use such a poker odds chart to understand how to calculate odds easily.

How to know when to call a bet?

The very essence of learning how to calculate poker odds is to know when to call a bet and when not to.  During a game of poker, more often than not, you will have a hand that is not worth the showdown but does have the potential to become a good or even the best hand eventually. This is where you need to intelligently call or raise. This is called drawing, and the straight draws and the flush draws occur more often than not. Simply making a call with a draw would not do any good, and that is why you should know how to calculate odds.

As mentioned above, you need to find the frequency of you hitting the desired draw. At the point of Flop in Texas Hold’em, the odds of you making a Flush is 3.7/1, if we consider the above example. Therefore, if you do not get similar pot odds or better, you should not call the bet. Now, this is the case when you only consider the pot odds.

However, if you consider implied odds, then the game changes. You may very well make a bet if you believe that you will have a better hand at the end of the second round. Since implied odds consider the scenarios that can happen during the rest of the game, the calculations are slightly more advanced. Again, you can use a poker odds chart to get a better hang of this, but this might not be of much help for beginners.

Is there any shortcut on how to calculate odds quickly in your head?

Now, once you start playing more and more online poker games, you will understand how difficult it can become to calculate the right odds all the time. It does take time and you might as well need to use the poker odds chart, but not always. So, how to calculate poker odds quickly, in the short span of time, allowed by the online game? There is a shortcut method on how to calculate odds, that does not require you to perform several math problems mentally. This is called the rule of 4 and 2.

In this shortcut method, you just need to know the outs/winning cards and multiply it by 4 and 2 after the Flop and Turn are played, respectively. If we again take the same example as used above, then you have 10 outs at the end of the Flop. When you multiply 10 by 4, you get the percentage of having a winning hand at the end of the game, which is 40%. Similarly, once the fourth card is dealt after Turn, you need to multiply the outs with 2 to get the odds of having a winning hand at the end, which now stands at 20%.

Now, one thing to keep in mind is that it does not give you the accurate percentages and hence some purists might say that it is not the best way to learn how to calculate odds. Nonetheless, it does the job pretty efficiently, for beginners and even mid-level players. Thanks to this, you do not even need a poker odds chart to identify the odds.

Now that you know how to calculate odds while playing poker and the importance of knowing it, you should be well-equipped to start your online poker gaming journey. With the shortcut method, you will not require the use of a poker odds chart but you can have one with you to feel a little more confident. Download GetMega Poker App now to play the best online poker games out there and win big money.

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