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How to Calculate Poker Odds


Quiz Hands
The following three quiz hands will help you get the feel of the thought process involved in using pot odds. See if you can compute the pot odds, and decide whether to call or fold. For simplicity's sake, we will not take blinds into account. (The suggested answers can be found in the next section.)
  1. In a 1/2 Hold'em game, your hole cards are J-T, and the flop is K-Q-6. There are two other players, $3 in the pot before the flop, and one player bets and the other calls. What are the odds the pot is offering you? What are the odds of improving your hand? Should you call or fold?

  2. In a 1/2 Hold'em game, your hole cards are J-T, and the flop is A-K-6. There is one other player, $2 in the pot before the flop, and your opponent bets $1. What are the odds the pot is offering you? What are the odds of improving your hand? Should you call or fold?

    how-to-calculate-poker-odds-2
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.

  3. In a 1/2 Hold'em game, your hole cards are Q-Q, the flop is 2-T-7, and the turn is A. You are the last to act and must call a $2 bet to see the river. There is $34 in the pot. What are the odds the pot is offering you? What are the odds of improving your hand? Should you call or fold?

    how-to-calculate-poker-odds-2
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.

These examples are fairly simple, and hopefully you can see how pot odds can work for you. Once you have a good understanding, use the chart on the last page and practice. Pot odds are the only difference between some winning and losing players -- they are that important. So learn to compute them or memorize the chart, but make the commitment to use pot odds when playing poker. You'll never regret it, and neither will your bankroll.

In the next section we will talk about
expected value and reveal the answers to the questions above.

For more information on poker odds and winning at poker, try the following links:
  • To see all of our articles on poker rules and advice, go to our main article on How To Play Poker.
  • For an introduction to the game, skim over these Poker Basics.
  • So you think you've got the best hand. Maximize your winnings with these Poker Betting Tips.
  • Have you calculated that your hand is a loser, but you think you can fake out the opposition? Be sure you know How to Bluff in Poker.