Elements of a Realistic Pot Odds Calculation

Pot odds calculation is very important to see where we stand in a game as far as winning the pot is concerned. It involves hand play analysis, positioning, and bet strategies. But aside from these we also have to deal with poker outs and pot size.

When we're dealing with complicated poker odds calculation we actually deal with four vital information: Poker outs, unknown cards, pot size, and present bet size. Here are some discussions on the basic meaning of the 4 poker odds calculation elements. The first is the total number of our poker outs.

Our poker outs is actually the number of cards we still need to form or complete our winning hand in a game. If we're aiming for a straight 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and we have a hand 6-10 and the board cards have 7-8-K, we need a 9. And there are four kinds of 9s in the deck (9c, 9h, 9d, and 9s). So we have 9 poker outs. Poker outs are important in poker odds calculation.

Then we need to know our unknown cards that might still be in the deck. They are unknown because we still don't them - whether other players hold them or they're still in the deck. At pre-flop, for instance, there are 50 unknown cards - only the 2 cards we hold as a hand are what we know. At post flop the unknown cards decrease to 47 - the cards known to us are the two we hold plus the 3 board cards. Unknown cards help us see the odds of our poker outs happening.

Then there's the pot size. It's plain and obvious how this figures in our poker odds calculation. Pot size determines the mood at the table, the confidence of other players, the risk we can take, and the reward for our effort at winning. It also sometimes tells how long or short we ought to play the hand. If the pot is small we have to slow play to build it.

Current or present bet amount is the proportionate amount of bet we have to make currently. If we call a bet we have to put in the pot the right amount.

Thus, when doing poker odds calculation we have to have these 4 vital information. Even when playing online and armed with an odds calculator, we still have to know these basic factors to see what things we need from it and aid our final decisions.