Working out your Poker odds

Working out your Poker odds can be easy or complicated. I always use the easy method.

When playing poker, some people like to work out their odds of getting the cards they need and others just follow their instinct and hope for the best. Sometimes luck will prevail and the poker gods will give you the cards you want; other times luck will prevail and the river card will go against you. It is this reason I think that poker is classed as gambling and not a game of skill. I say, if it is a game of luck, then why do the same people win on a regular basis.

Working out your odds of hitting the card need to make that flush or straight can help you decide if it is worth calling of folding the hand. You do also need to consider that if you get your hand, will it still beat the other player, but that is something you learn as you go.

The Calculation

There are a number of ways to calculate, but I always use the following way.
First of all, you only every take in to account the cards you can see, so assume that none of the other players have the card you want or need. Say you are holding AK Hearts; you have the same chance of making a hand or pair as someone holing 57. If the flop comes down 3h,8h,9c. You will need one more card to make your flush. There are 13 cards of each suit in the deck, less the 4 you can see, will leave you with 9 outs. You then multiply your number of out by 4, to get the rough estimate of your % chance of hitting the card. This will give you the % chance of 27%. Now if the next card comes down and it is a club, then you still have another card to give you your flush. But as there is only one more card due out then you will reduce your % chance by half; or multiply your outs by 2; thus giving you the chance of hitting your card down to 18%.

Now you also need to consider the chance of hitting a pair, which will increase your chance % chance of getting a hand. You have AK, so you also have the chance of hitting a pair with these cards. There are 3 A’s left and 3 K’s left. So you have 9 + 3 + 3 = 15 outs after the flop. Multiply by 4 will give you 60% chance of hitting a hand after the flop and 30% after the turn.

Tips and Round Up

When working out your outs is to make sure you never count the same card twice as an out.

You also need to consider if it is worth making a call or a raise if you hit a pair. This is where the skill element comes in. You need to read your player and try to figure out if they are trying to bluff you off the pot, or if they do really have a hand. This is where making a note of your opponents playing style will come in handy. If they are a tight player, then they are more than likely to have a good hand. If they seem to call everything down to the river or rise on a regular basis then they could be a lose player and be trying to bluff you off the pot.

So what of the odd of hitting hands:

Hand Odds

Royal Flush 650,000 / 1
Straight Flush 72,200 / 1
Four of a Kind 4,200 / 1
Full House 700 / 1
Flush 510 / 1
Straight 250 / 1
3 of a kind 48 / 1
2 pair 21 / 1
Pair 2.4 / 1

High Card Evens

Probability of being dealt a pocket pair – 5.9% or 16/1
Probability of making 3 of a kind on the flop – 11.8% or 7.5/1
Probability of being dealt pocket aces – 0.45% or 220/1
Probability of making a pair with your hole cards – 32.4% or 2.1/1
Probability of making 2 pair on the flop – 2% or 49/1
Probability of filling an open ended straight – 31.5% or 2.2/1
Probability of filling a straight on the turn or river – 16.5% or 5/1
Probability of being dealt suited hole cards – 23.5% or 3.25/1
Probability of the suited cards being 10 or better – 3% or 32/1
Probability of flopping a flush – 0.8% or 124/1
Probability of flopping a flush draw – 10.9% or 8/1
Probability of hitting the flush after the flop – 35% or 2/1
Chances of at least 1 person holding an ace – 14.9% or 5.7/1
Chances of no one else having one when you hold one(table of 6) – 50.4% or 5.7/1
Chances of no one else having one when you hold one(table of 10) – 25.3% or 3/1

Why not try calculating your own odds or search for an odds calculator.

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