What is known as odds in poker has to do with one of the aspects most intrinsically linked to this game. We are talking about the odds, the basis of poker and whose mastery is essential to know how to calculate them correctly.

The odds define strategies, ways of playing, profiles of aggressiveness or conservatism and have a lot of weight in each of the phases that make up a poker game, from preflop to river.

If you want to know in depth what are the odds in poker and how they can be calculated, read on because we are going to answer the main questions that arise about the odds.

What are poker odds?

Poker odds are the odds against a project coming to fruition. Taking these odds into account is vital to determine a strategy and to be aware of its viability.

Odds and outs are two concepts that go hand in hand in poker. Odds usually measure the odds against, the percentage of unfeasibility. They are usually calculated simultaneously, since one outcome yields the opposite. For example, if our odds are 3 against 1 of having a straight, we know the chances we have and do not have of forming a straight.

There are several types of poker odds. The most popular are the Implied odds, which allow us to calculate the amount of money we expect to get if we hit the outs. They are usually used in combination with pot odds, a concept used to designate the odds of the pot, which help to know if it is worth to continue playing by calling a bet with a tie.

Pot odds are calculated based on a pot to bet size ratio. For example, if there are 10€ in the pot and a player bets half its value (5€), the total pot size will be 15€ and the player will face a bet of 5€. The odds of the pot will in this case be 15:5. What the player would normally be looking for would be to reduce them to 15:1.

How to calculate poker hand odds and pot odds

Knowing how to calculate poker odds in a game is basic to avoid losing time after time. Pot odds relate the cards that are worth to win a hand with the amount of chips that should be paid to see the next card.

For this it is necessary to handle fractions, percentages and ratios. For example, if we know that we have a 33.3% chance of improving the hand, it means that for every three times we pay to hope to get it, we will manage to materialize that improvement once.

But we have to relate the data we obtain with the pot odds, and this is achieved by converting the fraction into a ratio. If we express with numbers the number of times that we will not manage to improve the hand for those that we will, we would do it with a “2:1”, that is to say, “two to one“. The ratio is the one we mentioned, 33%, but ratios and fractions are used instead of percentages because in poker jargon it is usually simpler.

Calculating the pot odds is very easy: just add the chips in the pot to the chips that have been placed in the pot in the current betting round, and divide by the chips to be paid.

If there are 100 euros in the pot and a bet of another 100 from another opponent, we have a pot of 200 euros. A bet of 100 euros would have to be paid. The pot odds here is a ratio of 200 to 100, i.e., 2:1.

Players with more experience or mental agility often use shortcuts to speed up calculations during the game. For example, they often use the rule of twos and fours to calculate poker hand odds and to know what options there are to improve the hand in a draft. That information, along with the pot odds, allows them to know whether they should really pay the bet or check.

What the rule of two and four says is that if you multiply the number of outs by four when there are only two cards left to go, you will get approximately the percentage of times a hand completes on the river. Something decisive to face a withdrawal in time or to continue playing until the end.

Multiplying the number of outs by two when there is one card left to go, you can know the percentage of times a hand is completed. A quick way to obtain important approximate data that can help you make quick decisions at key moments in the game.

Texas Holde’m poker hand odds tables to keep in mind

122,5:14,26%46:12,13%45:12,17%Four of a kind
210,88:18,42%22,5:14,26%22:14,35%Three of a kind
37,01:112,49%14,67:16,38%14,33:16,52%Two pair
45,07:116,47%10,75:18,51%10,5:18,70%Full House
53,91:120,35%8,4:110,64%8,2:110,87%Two pair
63,14:124,14%6,83:112,77%6,67:113,04%Three of a kind
72,59:127,84%5,71:114,89%5,57:115,22%Three / four of a kind
82,18:131,45%4,88:117,02%4,75:117,39%Straight flush
101,6:138,39%3,7:121,28%3,6:121,74%Straight flush / Pair
111,4:141,72%3,27:123,40%3,18:123,91%Three of a kind / Two pair
121,22:144,96%2,92:125,53%2,83:126,09%Straight flush or Flush
150,85:154,12%2,13:131,91%2,07:132,61%Straight flush and Flush