Pot Odds
Pot Odds refer to how much you must call in comparison to the current size of the pot. This is usually written in a ratio such as 3:1 or 2:1. They can also be defined in terms of percentages and equity.
Pot odds are used in combination with the odds of making your hand by the river. This can determine if you should call or fold with drawing hands, an important part of Texas Holdem strategy.
Calculating Pot Odds
Once a bet has been made we can calculate how much we are contributing to the pot. Adding the pot plus the bet and dividing by the amount you have to call will show your pot odds.
Once we have the pot odds we can turn those into a percentage by dividing 1 into the pot odds adding the odds together (i.e. 3:1 you would divide 1 into 4).
Pot Odds Example
The pot is currently $400 and the bet is $100.
We need to call $100 to win $500, we are getting 5:1 pot odds. Dividing 1 into 6 we need to call 16.67% of the current pot.
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The Rule of 4 and 2: Pot Odds Explained
When calculating a draw on the flop the simplest way to find out your odds of making your hand is to multiply your outs by four.
For example, if you have eight outs (a straight draw) you will make your hand by the river about 32% of the time. While these are not exact calculations you will see the difference is minimal.
Pot Odds On The Flop
Outs | Multiplied by 4 | Exact Odds |
1 | 4% | 4.40% |
2 | 8% | 8.40% |
3 | 12% | 12.50% |
4 | 16% | 16.50% |
5 | 20% | 20.30% |
6 | 24% | 24.10% |
7 | 28% | 27.80% |
8 | 32% | 31.50% |
9 | 36% | 35% |
10 | 40% | 38.40% |
11 | 44% | 41.70% |
12 | 48% | 45% |
13 | 52% | 48.10% |
14 | 56% | 51.20% |
15 | 60% | 54.10% |
When calculating a draw on the turn you can determine your chance of winning by multiplying your outs by two. Again the differences between the rough guess and the true odds are close enough for any situation.
Pot Odds On The Turn
Outs | Multiplied by 2 | Exact Odds |
1 | 2% | 2.20% |
2 | 4% | 4.30% |
3 | 6% | 6.50% |
4 | 8% | 8.70% |
5 | 10% | 10.90% |
6 | 12% | 13.00% |
7 | 14% | 15.20% |
8 | 16% | 17.40% |
9 | 18% | 19.60% |
10 | 20% | 21.70% |
11 | 22% | 23.90% |
12 | 24% | 26.10% |
13 | 26% | 28.30% |
14 | 28% | 30.40% |
15 | 30% | 32.60% |
Flopping a draw
You have been dealt the 8♠ 9♠ and the flop comes J♠ Q♦ 2♠.
Here we have 12 outs that will make our hand a straight or a flush:
3♠ 4♠ 5♠ 6♠ 7♠ Q♠ K♠ A♠ T♠ T♦ T♣ T♥
It's important not to count the T♠ twice!
Odds for making hands by the river:
- Drawing to an open ended straight flush you will make a straight or better 51.4% of the time by the river
- Drawing to an inside straight draw and a flush you will make a straight or better 45% of the time
- Drawing to a flush you will make it 35% of the time
- Drawing to an open ended straight you will make it 31.5% of the time
- When holding two overcards and missing the flop, you will make a pair or better 24.1% of the time
- Drawing to an inside straight draw you will make it 16.5% of the time
- When holding a pair and not making your set on the flop, you will hit your set about 8.4% of the time
Pot Odds Calculation Examples
Example 1
You have 8♠ 9♠ and the flop is J♠ Q♦ 2♠ giving you 12 outs. Someone has bet $100 into a $400 pot.
We have 10 outs, multiplied by four, we know we have about a 40% chance of making out hand.
We need to call $100 to win $500. Calculating our pot odds we have to make our hand 16.67% of the time for this call to be profitable. We should call.
Example 2
You have 8♠ 9♠ and the flop is J♠ Q♦ 2♠ giving you 12 outs. Someone bets $1,000 into a $400 pot.
We have 10 outs, multiplied by four, we know we have about a 40% chance of making out hand.
We need to call $1,000 to win $1,400. We have to make our hand 41.67% of the time. We should fold.
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