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Pot Odds - Pt. 1 of 3... 4 of 9

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Pot Odds, the right way to play poker. 

Pot odds are very easy to understand, but to help explain, and since I said I would, let me tell you what happened in my poker career...

Even though there are poker games all day every day around where I live, there aren't necessarily poker tournaments. There is a $40.00 buy in, 1 re-buy, tournament every day at this one casino. But I played there every Saturday morning because during the week, you would be lucky to find 2 tables mostly full. Plus I had moved an hour away, and those are not the crazy players you want to be trying to feed yourself from. Nearly impossible to win there. Playing at 10 am with drunk people gets "exciting" fast. And re-buys suck lol. So, with fewer good tournaments than I wanted, I decided to play cash games. Which would have been fine, except I didn't know one thing. And that is this:

Pot odds, the first part is knowing how much is in the pot and how much it costs you to call. If there is $500 in the pot and it costs you $100 to call, you are getting 5:1 on your money. But this is only the first part. (I knew ^^ that much, so we are clear)

Heres what happened. I started playing in $4/$8 cash games (this was before spread games were legal here). The blinds are $2 and $4, capped with 3 raises, nothing fancy. What I didnt know, was no matter what, in any cash game, people have odds to call. No matter how many players in the hand, doesn't matter, if you run the math out in your head it looks like, blinds, $6 in the pot, 2 limpers, $4 each, $8 more total, $14 total in the pot, so if I call here, I will get 2.2:1. Thats odds, to call. Add 2 more players, or take the 2 limpers out, the numbers still work. In a tournament, "not odds" to call is like 10,000 in the pot and someone pushes all in for another 25,000, you will only get 2:3 on you money if you call the 25,000. Unless you know you have the best hand or are pretty sure you aren't behind, you can fold with ease in this spot. You don't have odds to call... *Pot odds are always calculated with the assumption you are behind in the hand, or a dog* Since you cannot go all in in cash games, you, and unfortunately everyone, will always get at least 2:1 on your money. More accurately, 1.5:1, or better. And thats odds.

Haha, no one told me. 

2:1 isn't bad, and only really matters when you want someone to fold. It took me until after my professional poker playing career was over to realize I couldn't win consistently because I could not get anyone to fold, and I mean neverever ever. Why? Everyone had odds. And when I kept seeing these crazy draws staying in to the river, I was like are these the worst players in the world or what?!! And they were, but they were still winning. Which only made things more confusing because anyone can get lucky any hand, but I felt I should have been winning more. When they sucked out, they would say I had odds. And they did, they were right. 

Now, you might think, don't bluff so much. No, I don't bluff. Not often. When you are on a draw, in a tournament, you can push all in on the turn, knowing if you make your flush on the river, assuming the board doesn't pair or hasn't already, you will have the best hand. This is called a semi-bluff. There is no semi-bluffing in cash games, there is nothing that resembles a bluff that has ever been pulled off in a cash game I ever sat at. Not knowing this broke me off. I could play and even win, but after several months of $100.00 a day per session, (and I really wish I could say right now I was so disciplined about my money management, but I can't lol) coupled with the Spanish 21 I played after grrring in poker, I lost.  

Next time you play, and you just so happen to find yourself catching a runner runner flush that wins, or some magic set on the river, the 2 outer, 2% chance to win, 24 to 1 dog, any hand you know you should have folded long ago (you will know this for sure because you will not want to turn your cards face up) just smirk, look a little confused, laugh and say, 'huh, good thing I had odds'... And then sit, don't say another word, and know that whoever just lost wants to kill you and is now on tilt. 

My poker strategy ^^^, lol, jk. I have deduced most players don't really even know the first part of pot odds, so even if they are pissed, they will still be trying to figure out how you figured you had odds. Either way, a little tilt and confusion for your opponents, never hurts.

I think we all understand pot odds as how much you will get for how much you have to put in. Easy enough. Part 2 will be the second part of pot odds *smiles big, lol*, Etude, its math time : )



Edited by badger

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Yay badgie! Can't wait to improve my poker knowledge ;)

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@badger you are one poker professional. I don't really know much about that just the basic. Good thread to follow. 

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