Texas Hold’em Odds and Probabilities

In the online version of Texas Hold’em, knowledge of statistics is extremely important and basically a fundamental requirement. However, amateur players should not be frightened off by the thought of making complicated calculations on the fly – it’s really not that difficult. So don’t worry, even if you don’t know a binomial coefficiency from a hole in the ground, just by taking the time to read this section you’ll be on your way to utilizing the information and becoming a better player.

Starting Hands

It is possible to calculate the odds for each of the various starting hand combinations in Texas Hold’em. Here are some of the more significant combos, along with their odds:

Hand

Odds

AK Suited 331 : 1
AA 220 : 1
AA, KK, or QQ 72.7 : 1
Suited cards, Jacks or better 54.3 : 1
Suited connectors 24.5 : 1

Using Pot Odds

You will often hear this term ‘pot odds’ bandied about by pros and amateurs alike. This is because it’s one of the most crucial aspects in developing a strong poker game. In fact, without a solid understanding of the concept of pot odds, you are really limiting the chances you have of becoming a successful and well-rounded player. Now, a few important terms to learn before we talk about pot odds:

Your outs are the unseen cards that will complete or improve your hand to make it a winner. For example, if, after you’ve seen the flop, you have a pair of nines and little else, you might believe that the only card that may help you on the turn and the river is another nine, which would give you a strong set of trips. So, there are two remaining nines in the deck and therefore 2 outs. By determining the number of outs in relation to your pot odds, you can decide if it is worthwhile to continue.

So, once you have determined how many outs you have, you must now determine your pot odds. To put it as simple as possible, pot odds are the relationship between the size of the pot and the money you must place on your next bet, in order to stay in the hand.

For example, if there is $20 in the pot and your next call is $4, your pot odds are 5:1. More often than not the numbers will not be so easy to calculate, but keep in mind that absolute precision here is not the intention. You just want a rough idea of the amount of your next bet in relation to the size of the pot.

Once you have determined your pot odds ratio, you must compare it to your approximate ratio for getting the card needed to improve your hand (and hopefully win you the hand). This ratio is determined by the number of unseen cards left in the deck and the number of outs you have.

 

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