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Value of Pot Odds

Many experienced players use pot odds to be able to approximate the profitability of a play in the long run. In its simplest form, think of it as a win-loss ratio to allow one to see if there is any good in pursuing a play over the others. Some may think this is complicated which can be true if you are new to poker and have very little experience to apply the concept to. But like all other strategies and basic information about poker, knowledge of poker odds will bring one higher satisfaction because you will be playing with better direction than without it.

Calculating Pot Odds

To calculate pot odds, you only need to add the size of the pot and the cost of the call you intend to make. Then use the amount to make that call and divide it by the sum that you got earlier. So if you have a pot worth $80 and you want to make a call of $10, pot odds in percentage is 12.5%. This pot odds is used to compare with probability or chance of winning a poker hand with a card that may be forthcoming to estimate the expected value of one’s call.

Suppose you are holding a draw in your hand, which means the hand may be behind now, but you will likely win if a particular card comes up. If the odds of drawing this winning card are higher, you will obviously get a better expectation on the outcome of the play which means you win a pot that is higher than the cost of making that call. On the other hand, if the chances of drawing a non-winning card are higher, that call has negative expectation where you can expect to win less money than the bet you made on the average.

Manipulation of Pot Odds

Some players may try to manipulate pot odds such that they place a bet in order to protect their made hand. This discourages other players from placing a bet to be able to chase their own drawing hand. In no limit Texas Holdem, you will find this used quite often. In one play, a player got one of those made hands while the board may show a good chance that a flush draw may come. For this player to offset this potential hand’s impact on him losing that play, the player may want to bet sufficiently enough to get that effect, assuming that these two players are the ones left on the table and pot is $30. If you bet half of that, $15, it will cost the same amount for your opponent to make a call. The pot odds for the opponent will now 3:1. If your opponent is chasing a flush draw which gives 19% odds against one card that may come, the pot odds does not offer adequate reason for the other player to call unless he thinks he can squeeze a final round of betting from you.

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