For a beginning gambler, sitting at a Texas Hold-em table can be an intimidating experience. The strategies, scare tactics, and sunglasses create an overwhelming and discouraging atmosphere, leaving the beginner scrambling to find his or her own playing approach. But there are things you can do to increase your odds. Such as following simple techniques, like knowing how to bluff and knowing how to figure pot odds.
While competing strategies and theories do abound, simple techniques can help you stay grounded and eventually build a more sophisticated poker game. For instance, while it may at first seem risky and frightening to bet before the flop, it is an excellent way to increase your odds of ending with the top poker hand. Betting just enough to knock out squeamish players insures that their seemingly “weak” hands do not turn into great hands after the flop. .
A seven and two is notoriously the worst hand dealt in Texas Hold-em, but if the seven and two appear in abundance later, that worst hand becomes a hand that will beat your high pair. By betting confidently early, you not only eliminate potential competitors, but make a positive statement about your own hand. .
If you end up with a top hand then you’ve established a hefty pot that you can confidently collect. If you end up with a half way decent hand you’ve created the sense that you have a strong hand, allowing you to bluff other players out of the pot. In either scenario, betting confidently early proves to be more effective than limping in after other players’ bets, which only drains your chips and makes no positive statement about your cards.
One of the most neglected issues of Texas Hold-em Poker is pot odds. This is especially true of the beginner and occasional players. Most have never even heard of the term pot odds. Furthermore of those who have heard the term, very few of them know how to put pot odds to good use when playing Texas Hold-em Poker.
However knowing how to calculate and use pot odds is one of the best weapons that any serious Texas Hold-em Poker player can have. Being able calculate pot odds is a great advantage to you in playing poker. Knowing the pot odds will make you a much better poker player and strengthen your odds of going home with some money in your pocket.
Many Texas Hold-em Poker beginners feel overwhelmed at the idea of learning to figure the pot odds. Poker pot odds are often associated with complicated math calculations. However, don’t worry about this. You don’t need to be a math genius; it is really very simple to figure pot odds.
All good poker players have a method of calculating the odds easily and quickly. This is how they are able to know if the odds are in their favor. They are able to do this quickly and accurately during the pressure of the poker game.
Here is a simple way to break down poker pot odds. “If the odds of you getting the card you need to make your hand are less than the pot odds, then you should bet.” There are two sides to this. 1) “Odds of you getting the card you need” 2) pot odds.
First you need to figure the odds of you getting the card you need, this is easy to understand. The best way to explain it is using a straight draw as the example. You’re playing in a Texas Hold-em game and your pocket cards are Q, T, and the flop is 9, J, 3. In order for you to get a straight you need to draw either an 8 or a King on the turn or river so you have eight possible cards that make a straight, four Kings and four eights. These are known as your “out” cards.
You’ve seen five cards out of the deck, your own pocket cards and the three flop cards. That means there’s 47 cards that you haven’t seen. Out of the forty seven remaining cards, eight of them will help you and thirty five won’t, so the odds of you getting the card you need are 35:8.
Now to figure the pot odds you need to know the size of the pot and the amount you need to put into the pot. So if the pot is $100 and you need to bet $10 to call your pot odds are 100:10.
In this example the pot odds 100:10 are bigger than the odds of you getting the card you need 35:8 so you should call the bet.
This is a simplification of Texas Hold-em Poker pot odds and there are other considerations to remember such as; will the players after you in the round of betting add to the pot? This would make your bet even better as it would increase the pot odds but this of course is an unknown factor.
Understanding Texas Hold-em pot odds will help your game and prepare you for playing in the big leagues some day.