You don’t need to be a maths genius to be good at poker – although it does help – but you do need to be aware of poker odds and percentages in order to make optimal decisions and improve your chance of walking away from the game with a profit.
Poker Odds & Percentages
When calculating a risk in poker you must consider a multitude of factors. However, the two main elements to think about in any given hand are firstly; the percentage chance that you have the best hand and secondly; considering the odds that the pot is giving you to bet or fold.
For instance, if you have two suited cards in your starting hand and two more of the same come down on the flop, then you have approximately a 36% chance of hitting your flush by the river – with 9 more cards of the same suit still unseen in the deck.
In this example of the flush draw, if your opponent was to bet say $100 into a $100 pot you are now being asked to bet $100 into a $200 pot. You are getting odds of 2-1 to see the next card. These are not great odds considering your chance of hitting the flush by the river is less than 50% and if you miss on the turn your percentage goes down even more. If we are basing our decision purely on maths – it is correct to fold in this situation. Of course though, in poker there are a multitude of factors affecting any hand.
Poker Odds – Rookie Mistakes
One of the key mistakes that most new players make in the game surrounds pot poker odds. They don’t seem to take into account the value of the pot when betting. For example, let’s say there is $100 in the pot. On the flop the inexperienced player is first to act and bets $5. The player now to act may have a very poor hand, let’s say only Ace high, but he is getting pot poker odds of 20-1 to call and see another card. He would be wrong to fold. You must be aware of pot poker odds and use them to your advantage to win pots and make more profit. Make your bets larger and discourage your opponents from staying in the hand and possibly making a better hand than you on the turn or the river.
Poker Odds Tables
A great little resource can be found online for those interested in learning starting hand poker odds. Tables exist which show starting strengths and their percentages. For instance, the table will show you what hands come into the top 10% of hand ranges – like AA, KK, QQ, JJ etc – and what hands are in the worst 10% of ranges – like 7/2 or 10/2. If you are new to poker and are slightly intimidated about starting to play online against more experienced players (who may take poker odds in to account amongst other strategies), we would recommend taking a look at Bet365 Poker. When you sign up you have the option to play on beginners tables for the first 90 days. this guarantees that the opponents you face are also new and just as inexperienced as you are. A level playing field guaranteed. For further information and to register simply click the link below. Join today and you can also get $5 completely free to play with.