Learn Basic Odds - How Not to Suck at Poker Ep. 4

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Published on 9 June 2014 by Pokerlistings 12876

There's no two ways about it: Sucking at poker sucks. We're here to show you how not to suck and our latest episode is an important one: Learning basic poker odds. This video will teach you the basics of pot odds, pot equity and how to compare the two to find out whether you should make a call. Keep watching our 10-part series on How Not to Suck at Poker to stop sucking and start winning today. You don't need to learn any advanced math but you do need to be comfortable calculating things like pot odds, equity, and how common hands match up against each other. If you shy away from learning math, don't worry. You already learned everything you need to know to calculate basic poker odds when you were in elementary school. The whole point of learning poker odds is so you can judge how likely you are to win a hand and how much you should bet or call to get to showdown. Pot Odds The first thing you need to get familiar with is pot odds and it's a really simple concept. Pot odds refer to the amount you have to call compared to the amount you stand to win. Pot odds are important but they're only one piece of the puzzle. Pot Equity refers to your chances of having the best hand at showdown, and by comparing it to your pot odds you can figure out whether or not you should make a call. If your pot odds ratio is bigger than your pot equity ratio you should make the call, if it's smaller, you should fold.

To win at poker you don't need to learn any advanced math, but you do need to be comfortable calculating things like pot odds, equity, and how common hands match up against each other. And if you shy away from learning math, don't worry. You already learned everything you need to know to calculate basic poker odds when you were in elementary school. The whole point of learning poker odds is so you can judge how likely you are to win a hand and how much you should bet or call to get to showdown. The first thing you need to be familiar with is pot odds and it's a really simple concept. Pot odds refers to the amount you have to call compared to the amount you stand to win. Imagine you're on the turn with $100 in the pot. Your opponent bets $50. In this example, you have to call $50 to win $150. Pot odds are always expressed as a ratio of the amount you can win to the amount you have to call. So in this example your pot odds are 150:50, which reduced becomes 3:1. Pot odds are important but they're only one piece of the puzzle. The pot equity refers to your chances of having the best hand at showdown, and by comparing it to your pot odds, you can figure out whether or not you should make a call. Let's go back to our first example. You've got the nut flush draw on the turn and know that if you hit your flush you're going to win the hand. You have nine outs and using the trick we taught you in the last video, you can multiply that number by two to figure out your chances of hitting one of your outs. You have a roughly 18% chance of making your hand. Expressed as a fraction that's about 5.5:1. To figure out whether you're making a profitable call just compare your pot odds and your pot equity. If the pot odds number is bigger than the pot equity number, you should make the call. If the pot odds are lower than your equity, it's a fold. So in our example, you're getting 3:1 pot odds and your pot equity tells you you're roughly 5.5:1 to hit your flush and win the hand. Since the pot odds number ratio is lower than your pot equity ratio, it's a fold. Figuring out pot odds is a pretty exact science, but most of the time you have to estimate your pot equity. Your opponent might be bluffing with a smaller flush draw, or you might have over cards that you could also win with if you hit a pair. Conversely, you could be up against a set or two pair, meaning some of your flush outs might give your opponent a full house. Just remember when you're estimating your pot equity it's always better to be conservative. In the next episode we'll talk about how important it is to pay attention at the poker table, even when you're not in the hand.