Texas Hold'Em Odds and Probabilities
Having a thorough understanding of how to calculate Texas Hold'Em odds is one of the most important factors in being a consistent player and winner. Statistical knowledge of probabilities helps players make intelligent betting decisions by eliminating the random factors of the game. In Texas Hold'Em, there is no way to predict what the next card will be. There are, however, ways to factor the odds to make logical, and hopefully profitable, assumptions about the way a hand will play out.
And pay attention to this: although if you are playing some online Texas Holdem you might think that this is not an advice for you but it should be followed by people playing on a live table – you are seriously wrong. The fact you got your money to play using some poker deposit bonus is still not a good reason to waste it by playing your hands without being careful to you odds, especially as this would only contribute to build a very bad image of your skills even at your online table.
If this sounds entirely foreign to you, consider the fact that your mind already generalizes odds while you're playing. Picture this scenario: It's just after the Turn and you are looking for one card to be drawn in the River. What are the odds of drawing the one card that you need? In addition, you're asked to bet $15 to win a $40 pot. Those are high stakes. Is it worth investing so much money into such a small pot for the chance that this one card out of the 46 remaining cards will actually be drawn? The answer is probably not. Congratulations, you've just done a risk assessment. You've already got the instinct-now imagine how sharpening this skill will make all of your estimations that much more accurate.
First, get ready to brush up on your basic math skills -calculating Texas Hold'Em odds relies heavily on simple division. In Texas Hold'Em, there are two odds that you will constantly need to factor before making bets. The first is the chance that a card that you need will be drawn. This is called factoring your outs. The second is if taking a bet and investing in the pot is a sound financial decision. This is called pot odds.
"Outs" is poker terminology for all of the cards you need that are still in the deck. For example, if you are going for a flush and you already have four cards of the same suit, your "outs" number nine cards. That is, there are nine remaining cards in the deck that you can use to complete your hand. How did we get this number? Each suit has thirteen cards. 13 - 4 = 9 Outs.
When you factor your outs, you use simple division to make a ratio. Use the outs as a numerator and the number of remaining cards as the denominator. If you have 9 outs and there are 50 unknown cards, your chance of receiving one of the outs cards you need is 9/50. As you progress through Texas Hold'Em, and more cards are revealed, your outs denominator becomes smaller, changing your outs ratio. Pre-Flop there are 50 unknown cards;pre-Turn, after three more cards are dealt, there are 47;pre-River there are 46. This means that your chance of receiving an outs card improves after every card is revealed.
Pot Odds compares the amount you must bet to the current amount of the pot. If the pot is $100 and you only have to bet $5 to continue, then you have good pot odds. That is to say, you don't have to invest a lot to win a lot. If the pot is $100 and you have to bet $50 to continue, then you have bad pot odds.
Now, before you place chips on this bet, you have to consider these two ratios. Compare the outs ratio to the pot odds ratio to determine which odds are higher. If your outs ratio is 9/50, and your pot odds ratio is 1/20, your outs ratio is higher. This means that you should probably bet on this hand because the chance you have of receiving a card you need is worth betting the small amount it takes to win the whole pot.
These two Texas Hold'Em odds are the easiest to calculate and the most used. When you first master this skill, you will also have to take into consideration other factors. For example, the chances that other players may raise the bet, or how much you will likely have to invest in future rounds, may also affect how you choose to bet at this point of the game.