**Top Tips for Pot Odds Strategy**

Let's start by defining
what pot odds are:

By
learning how pot odds work and how to include this calculation in your poker
game, you will be able to make better decisions – ones that win you more pots
and bigger pots.

*Getting Down to the Odds of the Matter*

* *

At the
heart of Pot Odds is the concept of probability. So, we'll start our journey
into the world of pot odds by getting to grips with the mathematical concept.

As we
have already stated, *pot odds are the ratio of the size of a pot in
relation to the amount of a call. *

Let's
address this in a simple heads-up poker scenario for easier understanding:

Size
of pot: $200

Player
A bets: __$400__

Current
pot size: **$600**

** **

In this
situation, Player B would have to call $400 to continue in the hand.

With no
prior contributions to the pot, Player B would stand to collect a total
of $1,000, should they win the hand – and assuming no further betting.

Current
pot size: $600

Player
B calls: __$400__

Final
pot size: **$1,000**

** **

In the
above example, Player B must call $400 to win $1,000. Therefore, their Pot Odds
are 1000 to 400 or 5 to 2, which is also sometimes written as, 5:2.

When
you're calculating Pot Odds, this root ratio is what you need to make
profitable poker decisions. It bridges the amount of money you must call to the
chances or probability of winning a hand.

Getting
the right pot odds to make the proper call is the crux of poker strategy and
something that separates winning poker from losing poker.

*Combining Pot Odds with Hand Odds*

Now that
Player B has calculated their pot odds, how does that help them make decide
whether to make the call, raise the bet or even fold?

Player
B has K♥J♥ on a board of 8♥10♥9♥.

We can
use the Rule of 4 & 2 to quickly calculate just what the odds of making our
draw by the river card. In this instance, Player B has flush and straight
draws.

How
many outs does Player B have to make the flush? 9 cards (outs) for the flush

How
many do they have to make the straight? Another 8 outs for the straight –
making a grand total of 17 outs.

However,
here we must be very careful. With the 7♥ and the Q♥ counting as straight and flush outs, we
can only count them in one category. After all, there are only one of each
these cards in a standard deck! Therefore, the total number of real outs would
be 15 – not 17.

Using
the Rule of 4 and 2, Player B can determine the odds of making either draw by
the river:

15 outs
x 4 (Rule of 4 and 2 turn multiplier) = 60%

By
converting this percentage to a fraction, we'll be able to compare our pot odds
with our hand odds:

60/100
= times we will make our draw

40/100
= times we will miss our draw

Hand
odds = 60 (for): 40 (against)

We can
break down this ratio of 60:40 to its simplest denomination by dividing both
equally until we get down to the lowest whole number on both sides.

In this
case, the lowest format would be 3:2.

*Using Pot Odds to Make the Right Play *

By
comparing our pot odds with our odds of making the draw, we can determine how
to react to Player A's pot-sized bet.

Our pot
odds are 5:2 and our hand/drawing odds are 3:2. So, in this example, the pot odds
exceed the odds of making our draw.

The
general rule state that when pot odds are greater than the hand odds, you will
have Pot Odds to make the call and even raise, on occasion.

In this
situation, Player B does have the right odds to call Player A's bet – and
possibly even raise the bet.

With so
many outs to make our hand, staying in it – at the very least - is a
no-brainer!