How to Calculate Poker Odds Made Easy Č Probability and odds are huge factors in Texas hold ’em. They are an integral part of determining how we will play each hand and whether or not to call raises or not. They are an indicator of whether we should call a raise or not and whether our hand is worth betting or raising.
Pre-flop this trio of stats can be used to help uskees make the decision about whether to call a raise or not. In particular, if we have a pocket pair, the probability we will hit the flop is relatively high, around 6 %, so we should call if someone raises. Or, if we have a high pair, say pocket 9’s, and someone bets, our decision to call is fairly simple – there are not many opponents behind us, we have a good chance of hitting our set.
In limit hold ’em, the situation is a little bit more complex. One of the nice things about limit is that your opponent can’t hold on to an advantage feeling that you hold a strong hand. Because of the blinds, they have to take a free card in any position at any time. Ts tactic is then used less frequently. And if you do call your opponent you will be in a nasty surprise when they hit their hand.
In no-limit hold ’em, the odds of acting first are fairly low in comparison to other forms of poker. It is possible to raise in position with hands as weak as 9-7 or 10-8 (on a 10-7-3 table), and a raise with a hand like a K-Q or an A-5 to be honest.
If we go back to the example of the Pocket Queens – the probability of having pocket queens is pretty high in comparison to almost any other hand. And if we’re lucky enough to flop a Queens, we have a nearly 50/50 chance of winning the hand placed in front of us. There are two other suited cards of a lower rank that also have a 50/50 chance – J-10 and K-Q.
In limit hold ’em, you’ll be surprised to find that a pair is better than any other hand – even more than a two pair. If we hold a set lower than trips, the percentage of winning the hand is around 25% at the most. The exception to this rule would be if we hold a set in the last two positions before the flop. If you’re lucky enough to flop trips, those trips can be high pairs which have a more than 65% chance of winning the hand.
In no-limit hold ’em, a big raise can scare people into folding even the best hands. Think about it. If you have 2 cards to a flush, and you have 5 people in the pot, the odds you’ll get the money in the pot are better than the odds you’ll get 2 of the same cards from the same people. You can’t afford to give away free cards in no-limit.
If you have a high pair and are in late position, you should raise. You may be in a position to scare people off. If you have a set, it’s unlikely someone behind you has a better hand, and if you scare people off, they may call a raise or re-raise you. If you don’t drive out your opponents with a high pair, someone with a better hand will end up paying you off.
If you have a lot of callers, you will need to make a difficult decision. You’ll need to pace your game very carefully because you don’t want to raise someone out of position with a mediocre hand. You can consider situations like when you or other players are in a blind position and everyone before you folds to when you or other players are in the blind and they don’t see any cards for quite a while.
If you pace your game properly, you’re very unlikely to be called when you raise and the raise will often be applied with more people in the pot. When you have a high pair and no one before you has shown strength, you can make a big raise and win the blinds as people will often drop in. When you have a pair and more players remain in the game after the flop, you can always draw for a straight or a flush.
Make sure you don’t show your cards though when you fold. Players can learn a lot about a player’s hand by observing when he folds. If you’re showing cards, especially in early position, you’re giving away information. You should consider keeping your bets small enough to avoid too much bluffing, but large enough to make people pay to see what you have.
When you make a hand, gamble! Sometimes a hand is just not a hand. You can’t force a hand; you have to see the flop and you have to pay to play hands.