Playing Poker - Valentine Match Maker Games
Basic poker strategy
If you’re learning to play Texas Hold’em there’s no escaping the fact that the game is odds-based. Each choice you make, each hand you play or bet you make, is subject to odds and needless to say the laws of probability and statistics which go with that. But there’s no need to panic – or need to be a maths genius to enjoy playing poker. In essence, poker is a simple enough game once you’ve grasped the basics. The simple nature of it leads to simple mathematics which most people will handle easily enough as they learn to play.
How to calculate pot odds
What are pot odds? When you Play Poker these odds represent how much money is in the current pot in relation to the money you have to bet to continue with your hand. How does it work exactly? For example, if you plan to flop heads-up and the pot has £10 and another player bets £5, then the pot is now £15, and the cost to you to continue playing is £5. This works out as odds of 3-1. If you’re unsure of how to calculate the above, it’s easy. If the ratio is 15:5 then convert this so the right-hand side of the equation is equal to 1, and then divide the left-hand side by the same value. So 5/5 would be equal to 1, and then 15/5 would be equal to 3. This gives you the odds of 3-1 (three to one), which are the pot odds, in this case.
What’s your equity?
Once you’ve worked out the pot odds, you need to calculate your equity; this is the chance of you winning the pot as opposed to the other player winning it. You work out your equity by taking your total of outs and then multiply this by either 4 (for a flop) or 2 (for a turn) and you’ll work out the percentage chance of winning the pot. For example, you’re holding a flush draw, 9 outs in the flop, and so you can calculate 9 multiplied by 4 which is equal to a 36 per cent chance of getting the optimal hand. You’ve already got the pot odds as a ratio, so ideally you want to your equity in the same format; so if the maximum percentage is 100, the equity ratio becomes 64-36, in other words 64 times you make the hand and 36 times you don’t. Applying the same method as for the pot odds; make the right-hand side equal to 1 by dividing by 36, then do the same for the other side, 64 divided by 36, which is 1.7. So now you have your equity odds of 1.7-1; meaning that for each time you do make the optimal hand, there are 1.7 times that you won’t make it.
How do you know whether to call or not?
A simple comparison of the left-hand sides of the pot odds and equity odds will let you make this decision. If the value of the pot odds is greater than that of the equity ratio – then the call should be good.
If the math is still giving you a headache – you can always take a break and simply enjoy playing poker Valentine Match Maker online for some fun.
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