Poker Maths — Probability And Odds
Poker is not just a game of skill, but also of probability and odds. How do odds relate to a game of poker?
In a game of poker if a player knows the odds of the cards that he/she is holding that player can be at a great advantage, to even have the basic knowledge of odds that your cards you have in your active hand gives you an edge above the others who don’t play by calculating odds of the cards they hold.
Again, you don’t need to be a math geek to play poker better, but you do need to know maths is essential, it adds to the fun quotient of your gaming experience and all you need are the fundamentals. Ready to hop on…yeah!
The two cards in your hand with those on the table before the turn or the river that can make you your different hands should be your goal to use these calculations. These calculations of drawing odds will tell you if you bet right or wrong, more or less.
For example, while you are playing a game of poker you are dealt cards 7, 8 off suited.
- The Flop 4–9–10.
- Counting your outs — These cards give you a really good chance of getting a straight as you require any of the cards either 6 or Jack to win the round. In a deck there are four 6 and four jacks and there are 47 cards unknown to you (as you have 2 cards with you and 3 open on the table) and from these numbers of cards you need 8 cards to make a straight hand.
- Divide these numbers i.e 47/8 you get the answer which is 17%. This 17% implies to the probability of you making a straight on the next card on the table that is at Turn. In the same way there is a probability of getting a straight at river.
- If on Turn the card that opens up is neither 6 nor a jack then there is a probability of 34.4% of making a straight at river as one more card is out on the table.
This way you can easily calculate the odds of your cards and count your outs that keep changing with each draw, so even if the probability of you getting a straight is as high as 80% at flop may change by the time river hits the table.
The maths is dynamic here as the cards keep reducing from the deck and you have to recalculate with every draw.
There are also outs that are called anti-outs and why so already you say have made a straight, but someone on the table could have also made a flush to beat your straight. Probably you have been in that situation and know what this is all about. Calculating your outs and as well what the table holds out for others that are coming on strong at you also have to be calculated.
Calculating odds help you to make mathematical decisions, these decisions help you win or to save money by giving you pointers that help you fold at the right time. It makes you understand how discipline and alertness helps you win at poker in the long run, gives you a fair idea of your cards for pre-flop betting. You by studying more about this can adjust your strategies and tactics and this would certainly pay you back in terms of money and experience.
Remember poker is a sport that can burn your chips if you lose that crucial alertness or presence of mind
Therefore, it is very important for you to calculate the odds of the cards possessed you and the others that are raising their bets against you in order to be better placed than your opponents.
Originally published at www.starpoker.in.