# Understanding odds and pot odds

• Bronze
Joined: 26.09.2009
Im trying to advance in my poker play and I've been struggling with odds and poker odds.

I can understand odds (cards that help / cards that dont help ) and i can calculate pot odds. My problem comes when I have to decide whether its profitable to call a raise. PS and all my books say its profitable when the pot odds are better that the required odds. What means better ? This confuses me greatly as Im terrible in math. Can someone explain to me whe are the pot odds better then required odds ? Thanks

Ill take the example from PS.

http://www.pokerstrategy.com/strategy/bss/1563/3/

Your calculations start on the flop. You have to pay \$0.75 to see the turn. There are \$1.10 + 2 x \$0.75 = \$2.60 in the pot. Your pot odds are \$2.60 : \$0.75 or roughly 3.5 : 1. You’re holding a high flush draw, for which you have a total of 9 outs. Four additional outs come from the gutshot draw for a straight. Since you’ve already calculated the spades-out for the flush draw, you only count 3 outs for the gut shot. A quick glance at the table will tell you that you need pot odds of at least 3:1, in order to be able to see the next community cards with 12 outs. Since the pot odds are better than the required odds, you can go right ahead and call.
• 9 replies
• Bronze
Joined: 02.10.2009
Pot odds tell you how much money you get when you win and how much money you lose, when you lose the hand. Therefore, if these odds are better than hand odds, you win more money if you win with specific hand once, than when you lose.

For instance: if pot odds are 6:1 and odds to win are 1:5 that means:

- if you win with this hand once (1:5), you get 6\$ (6:1)
- however, mathematically speaking, you lose with this hand 5 times (1:5), each time 1\$ (6:1), that means you lose overall 5\$

Therefore, when you win this hand once in 6 times, you are 1\$ in profit (6\$ - 5 × 1\$ = 1\$)

I hope i didn't complicate it too much and please correct me anyone if i made mistakes
• Bronze
Joined: 26.09.2009
Originally posted by SamoB25
Pot odds tell you how much money you get when you win and how much money you lose, when you lose the hand. Therefore, if these odds are better than hand odds, you win more money if you win with specific hand once, than when you lose.

For instance: if pot odds are 6:1 and odds to win are 1:5 that means:

- if you win with this hand once (1:5), you get 6\$ (6:1)
- however, mathematically speaking, you lose with this hand 5 times (1:5), each time 1\$ (6:1), that means you lose overall 5\$

Therefore, when you win this hand once in 6 times, you are 1\$ in profit (6\$ - 5 × 1\$ = 1\$)

I hope i didn't complicate it too much and please correct me anyone if i made mistakes
No, thank you, i do understand that complicated math
Do I have to calculate it like that every time I get in a difficult position ? ( I dont think im able to calculate that form head...)
• Bronze
Joined: 17.10.2008
ok.

lets say it in terms of real money

1 person raises preflop and one calls behind and you decide to call too with K Q and you get
A 7 2

lets say there are \$10 in the pot. you both have \$45 left on you.

you should now now that you will be making your flush once every 3.5 times if you take it to the river.

now assume that the moment a 3rd diamond shows on the board no one will invest any more in the pot.

so, assume that the initial raiser goes all in for \$45 and the other person folds. your read says that he makes this move with top pair top kicker.

you will have to pay \$45 to win \$55. if you play this hand 35 times you will win it 10 times. all the other times you will lose. so you invest \$45 x 35 times = \$1575 and you win
\$55 x 10= \$550. which makes this call massively unprofitable.

why? because the pot odds (\$45 to win \$55) do not reflect your required odds.

BUT if he bets \$7 and the other person calls, then there is an entirely different story. you have to invest \$7 to win \$24. the pot odds are much much better and therefore a call is in order.

this is pretty much the theory behind it.
• Bronze
Joined: 31.01.2009
You either win or you either lose, that makes it 50/50
• Bronze
Joined: 02.10.2009
• Bronze
Joined: 26.09.2009
Question.
Ive just watched this video

AQ offsuit goes all in
9,10 offsuit calls him for 66k

The pot is around 133k.

Now am I right in my calculations here ??? The caller is getting roughly 2:1 pot odds, not really good. (or is it?)

How the heck would u callculate his odds tho ? He needs a ton of cards to help him.

This move doesnt seem too smart to me, anyone care to explain ?
• Bronze
Joined: 02.10.2009
IMO it wasn't a good call
• Bronze
Joined: 23.07.2008
STEP 1

PRINT OUT AN ODDS AND OUTS CHART AND STICK IT NEXT TO YOUR MONITOR

Calulations do not need to be 100%
• Bronze
Joined: 24.04.2009
also having a little trouble with this myself.

i always calculate hands in percentages though. if im correct flush/OESD have a 20-25% chance to win. two overcards +flushdraws is a coinflip if they have a pair.

But when it comes to how much i can exactly call i get confused.

can i call a half potsize bet on the flop with a strong draw? yes

but is it also profitable to call a potsize bet on the flop? with a flush/oesd/top pair.

or is it profitable to call a 2/3 potsize bet on the flop with a flush/oesd ? since most likely you will have to invest even more on the turn. is it then really profitable to play them?

The 3.5 to 1 is just a bit confusing to me, i understand it but i think as i said in percentages. i know how to calculate odds and my chances of winning, but when it comes to the exact bet size that is profitable to call i really don't know much.