Online Poker

An Explanation of Texas Holdem Odds

There is little doubt that learning how to calculate the odds in Texas Holdem poker greatly increases your chances of winning. If you know how to use the odds to your advantage, you will be able to deduce whether or not to stay in a game and what your probabilities are in making up a specific card combination and potential winning hand.

Consider the following example, which will illustrate how to work out the odds in a game. Let's say that you receive an Ace and Nine of Spades in your game of Texas Holdem. The first flop results in another two spades being dealt as community cards. This means that the odds of you getting another spade by the time the fifth community card or 'River' is dealt is 3:1, or 36 percent.

To calculate this, first add up the number of outs. An 'out' is the total number of cards left in the deck that can help you to produce a winning hand. If you have two spades available after the flop and you also have the Ace and Nine of Spades, there are a further nine spades left in the deck. These are highly useful to you because they can make a flush, which could be the winning hand. The number of outs is therefore calculated as two spades on the table (community cards) plus two spades in your hand minus a total of thirteen spades equals nine spades in the deck.

Once you've calculated the number of outs, working out the odds of finding them is relatively simple. You need to multiply the number of outs by four to get an approximate percentage. In this case, nine spades multiplied by four equals 36 percent.

Another useful calculation to learn is how to deduce the poker pot odds. This involves comparing your number of outs or your chance of winning to the size of the pot. If your chance of winning is higher than the ratio of the pot size to a bet, then the pot odds are in your favor. However, if the ratio is lower, then you are facing less than favorable odds.

An example of calculating the poker pot odds can be seen as follows. You have a Jack and a Ten in your possession and you are playing a $10/$20 limit Texas Hold'em game. You have just the River card waiting to be dealt. On the table, the community cards are two, five, nine and Queen. You need either an eight or a King on the River card to make the straight. Based on this, you can calculate that you have eight 'outs' (four Kings and four eight's left in the deck.) There are 46 cards in the deck. 8/46 gives you a 1:6 chance of making the straight. If you have one other opponent in front of you to bet and he bets $10, the best course of action is to call the bet.

You can use the above calculation methods to determine a wide range of actions in poker. Should you call, fold or raise the stakes? The decision-making process is made more simple when you know what the odds and probabilities are as a result of your actions.

If you want to learn more about poker odds, you can find pot odds calculators online, which will perform the calculations for you. These are useful tools to have access to when you are playing online poker and have not had the chance to familiarize yourself with your opponents' games.