How to Calculate Poker Odds | Hold'em Poker Odds Calculator

How to Calculate Poker Odds
How to Calculate Poker Odds

For the players who are wondering how to calculate poker odds, here's a quick guide to sharpening your Math related to the game, so that you can make game decisions based on logic and scientific numbers.

Poker odds translate to the probability one has of winning a hand. Here's a step by step guide, using which you will become a human Hold'em Poker odds calculator.

Step 1 - Understanding the Odds

You need to first understand the meaning of odds. If you have the odds of 8:1 of winning a chance-based game, then it means that you will win the game one out of eight times. It also means that if you win the game, you will earn $8 for every $1 you spend.

Therefore, if you get the odds of 4:1, then it is safe to play. If you get the odds of 40: 1, then it's risky to play, but you might win a lot of money.

Step 2 - Outs/winning cards for your hand

In this step, you basically calculate the number of cards there are in the unseen which may help you win the hand.

For example, you are holding 4 and 7 of spades, then it means you will have a flush if you get three more spade cards. There are A of heart, 8 of club and K of spade on the table.

Now you know that you have 2 spades and there is 1 more spade on the table, hence there are (13 - 2 - 1) = 10 more spades in the game. Therefore, you have 10 outs or winning cards in the game.

Step 3 - Total unseen cards

In this step, you simply calculate the number of unseen cards. If the flop has been dealt on the table, then you have seen 2 (your hole cards) + 3 (flop cards) = 5 cards.

Consequently, you have not seen 52 - 5 = 48 cards

Step 4 - Texas Hold'em Poker odds calculator

Calculating poker odds and equity is easy after the above steps. If out of 48 unseen cards, 10 are your Outs or winning cards, then the rest 38 are losing cards.

Therefore, the odds of your hand are:

Losing cards : The Outs/Winning cards = 38:10 = 3.8:1

Step 5 - Poker hand odds calculation (Shortcut)

In shortcut, if you have 10 outs after the flop is dealt, then you have 10 x 4 = 40% probability of getting a winning card at turn or river. 40% translates to 2.5:1 odds.

If after the turn is dealt, you have 10 outs, you have a 10 x 2 = 20% chance of getting a winning card at the river. 20% translates to 5:1 odds.

Step 6 - How much is in the pot and how much needs to be bet

As per the first example, the odds of your hand are 3.8:1.

There are $80 in the pot, and your opponent bets $10, which you need to match to stay in the game. Which means for $10 you bet, you can win $90 in the pot.

Your pot earning odds are 90:10 = 9:1

Step 7 - Shall I bet?

Compare the odds of pot earning to the odds of your hand. In this example, there is a 4:1 chance of you winning a hand, and you will get 9:1 odds on earning, therefore you should bet without hesitation.

Do remember that you might lose the bet, as you only have a one out of four chance of winning. You will win 1 in 4 games, but for every $1 you spend, you will earn $9. So on average, you will earn more than you lose.

It's not a linear calculation, but if it were, it will mean that even if you spend $1 each on 4 games, and win one out of four and get $ 9, you will be up by $5. This logic applies over a number of games and keeps you in profit even if you lose a few hands, therefore, if your hand odds are lower than the money earning odds, then you can choose to bet.

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Edited by Sripad
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