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:: Pot Odds Theory ::

Basically, pot odds theory states that for a pot to be worth betting into, the ratio of the bet needed for you to stay in the hand to the total amount in the pot, should be greater than your percentage chance to catch one of your outs that would win the hand for you.

For example ... lets say after the flop you're holding an open-ended straight and you're fairly certain that your opponent (or one of your opponents) has a high pair or something, the pot before the flop was $10, your opponent bets $10, so there is a $20 pot and you would have to put $10 into it to continue the hand, that gives you a ratio of 50%. However, your chance of catching one of your outs on the turn or river is only 31.45% which would give you fairly poor pot odds meaning its not worth the $10 to try to catch a card.

If, on the other hand, you believe your opponent has a lower pair and you're holding 9T with an 8J on the board ... you have your open ended straight and also the chance of catching another 9 or T. That comes to a whopping total of 14 outs - 8 to make the straight and 3-9s + 3-Ts. With 14 outs that gives you a 51.16% chance of catching one of your cards making the 50% bet into the pot possibly worthwhile.

Of course, sometimes even when the other person has the better hand you can still push them out of the pot if its a weak hand and they believe you have something better ... so ... maybe pot odds isn't all its cracked up to be? Or maybe it is ...

The easiest way to figure out your pot odds is to visit my Pot Odds Calculator and calculate them. For more you may continue on with my explanation of Playing Your Position.


* Standard Disclaimer: (In case you decide to gamble away your car, house, boat, life savings etc... and then want to blame me) This site is maintained by me and all tips, odds and articles are only my opinion and are not guaranteed to be accurate. Poker is gambling and you make your own desicions as to how to play the game regardless of what you read here or anywhere else and you are responsible for checking your own facts before getting in over your head. Gamble at your own risk ... You have been warned.