Saturday, August 29, 2009

Online Poker Strategy

No matter how many poker strategy articles you have read, there is one skill which every player must learn, and that is calculating pot odds. Some of the greatest poker players are also the smartest mathematically which some people suggest is the reason for their great success.

Firstly, to calculate your pot odds you must calculate how many ‘outs’ you have. An ‘out’ is a card which will help your hand, or make it stronger. For example, let’s say you were dealt Queen-Jack both of hearts; and a rainbow flop came, King, 7, 10. In this example your outs would be Aces and Eights, so four Aces and four Eights equal eight outs in total (four cards which will help you make a straight). To calculate your pot odds of hitting one of your outs on the turn you must multiply your number of outs by two, and then add on one. So our example would give you a 17% chance of hitting an out on the turn. Chasing draws like this isn’t always recommended and many beginners’ waste chips chasing draws, this is why pot odds are an essential poker strategy to help you make the right decision.

When playing poker, your pot odds should determine whether you call a bet or not. If you have 6 outs and your opponent bets $10 into a $90 pot (making it $100), this is giving you around a 15% chance meaning you should call since you have more than a 10% chance ($10/$100=10). If the bet was $20 however, a fold would have been the correct decision since the pot odds weren’t in your favour.

Take your time and calculate pot odds every hand because it could decide whether you are a winning player or a losing player.