Understanding Internet Poker Odds
Players who have been looking for ways to improve their poker game skills are probably familiar with the poker strategy of calculating the odds. You may have the poker rules memorized but how do you make the right choices in a game? The ability to calculate odds makes the decision-making process substantially easier in online poker. Players that base their actions on odds rather than luck or gut feeling have a greater chance of winning more consistently over time.
Calculating the odds in internet poker is really about predicting likelihoods. If you are more likely to win a hand than your opponent, wouldn’t you raise the stakes of the game? In contrast, if you have a weak hand and you deduce that you have little or no chance at all of strengthening your hand, doesn’t it make sense to fold and conserve your resources?
The first step in calculating the odds when you play poker is to work out how many outs you have. An “out” is a card that will help you make up a strong hand. For example, if you’re on your way to making a flush, the number of outs you have is exactly the number of cards still in the deck that can assist you in your goal. So if you have the eight and nine of diamonds and there are two diamonds on the board after the flop, you know there are another nine diamonds remaining in the deck. 13 diamonds in a deck minus two on the board and two in your hand means there are nine left.
Remember though that calculating the odds is based on the assumption that your opponents do not hold any of the outs you require. You can only base your decisions on the premise of the outs being theoretically available for you to use.
So how do you get your hands on these outs? You can work out your chances by multiplying the number of outs by four. This will give you a rough guide to your likelihood of finding them. So your chances of making a flush based on finding the outs in our example above is 36 percent. Depending on which stage of the game you’re at, you’ll be wagering that these odds are favorable enough for you to remain in. If they’re not, you should fold.
Another way to decide whether to call, raise or fold in poker gambling is to work out the pot odds. This is based on the comparison of the wager necessary to remain in the game and the current contents of the pot. For example, if you have a strong hand and it requires $10 to call the bet, consider the contents of the pot. Is there $40 or more currently in the pot? If so, raise. If not, fold. Wagering and remaining in a poker online game needs to be worth your while.
To practice calculating the odds, make sure you take advantage of the free download poker software that can be found at many online poker sites. You can also find poker tips on how to calculate odds and probabilities at online poker forums along with odds calculators for more mathetically challenged poker fans.