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You’re in a Texas Holdem game and your pocket cards are Q T, flop is J 4 9. In order to make a straight you need to get either a King or 8 on turn or river so you have eight possible cards that can make your hand, four Kings and four 8s. These are known as your “out” cards.
You’ve seen five cards out of deck, your own two pocket cards and three flop cards. That means there’s 47 cards you haven’t seen. So odds of you getting card you need are:
Cards that won’t help you : Cards that will help you
Out of 47 remaining cards, eight of them will help you and 35 won’t, so “odds of you getting card you need” are 35:8 or 4.375:1. Now for pot odds.
The basic formula is:
The size of pot : Amount you need to put into pot.
So if pot is sitting at $100 and you need to bet $20 to call, your pot odds are 100:20 or 5:1.
In this case pot odds (5:1) are bigger than odds of you getting card you need (4.375:1) so you should call bet. This is known as getting "value" for your bet. If you are doing these sums quickly you can think of 35:8 as being about four and a half to one, it’s good enough for a quick calculation.
This is a simplification of pot odds and there are other considerations like – will players after you in round of betting add to pot? This would make your bet an even better proposition as it would increase pot odds but it is of course an unknown factor.
Understand pot odds and you will take your game forward to next stage and prepare yourself for poker big league.
Article by Ian McIntosh of www.Love-Texas-Holdem.com. Check out the site for the latest information on Texas Holdem tournaments and freerolls as well as fresh weekly articles you can use for your site. Please feel free to use this article on your website, newsletter or blog as long as this resource box is left intact and there's a live link to the site.