How to Calculate Pot Odds - Play Smart with Pot Odds

Beginners too often ignore the importance of pot odds. The good news are that it is easy to learn how to use pot odds to improve your poker games.

How to Calculate Pot Odds

The pot odds are basically the relationship between the amount of the bet that is in the pot and the bet that you are making or calling. Let’s say that you are in a game with a pot of $12 and you want to call a bet of $3. The relationship between $12 and $3 can be expressed as 4:1 and this number is your pot odds. When you calculate the pot odds you also need to keep in mind what our chances of winning the hand are. Simply said you should always have better pot odds than what your chances of winning the hand are.

So how does one know just how big the chance of winning a hand is? This is not as simple to figure as the pot odds are and that is why it takes a lot of experience to truly be able to benefit greatly from using the odds. Once you start getting the hang of the odds you could even start to mess with the pot odds of the other players. If you are playing against a very loose player you could tilt his odds by placing a larger bet. This is of course assuming that he is not too loose to be using pot odds.

Why Use Pot Odds?

Pot odds are great for managing your bankroll in a healthy way. When you understand the relationship between your bets and the pot odds you will be better at judging if you should fold or continue the game. To a beginner player pot odds could seem like a lot of hassle. This is also why so many players skip this valuable tool and they are missing out.

For players with a little more experience it becomes obvious who is not making calculations of the pot odds and this gives them an advantage. By using this easy strategy for knowing your chances better you could be surprised to learn just what hands you should continue with. Pot odds can make the difference between winning or losing a game and in the long run they will make you a more skilled poker player.

Making it simple

Some poker games move fast and you might wonder how you are going to fit the pot odds into it without giving your strategy away to the other players. There is plenty of help available online and they can let you calculate your pot odds very fast. You could use free software which gives you a calculator to couple your games with. Another more hands-on method is to have a pre-printed card by your side with the most common pot odds. When it comes to understanding your chances of winning you will have to play a lot and work on your skills to get to the point where you know this without having to think about it for too long.