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Calculating Our Poker Odds of Staying in the Hand

Is the hand worth fighting for? We have to know if the hand is worth pursuing or playing as soon as possible. If not, then we should fold the hand outright and save ourselves of a lot of money. This is how important calculating our poker odds is.

For instance, we hold a hand A-8 and the flop has K-10-4. Then a player bets $10 and we look at the pot and it has $20 total. What's the best thing to do? We look at our hand and our fighting chance so far is an Ace high. If another Ace shows at the turn then we have a top pair. To see if it's the winning hand for the round we have to be calculating our poker odds.

For starters, we know that there are 3 helpful deck cards one of which we wish would show up in the game so we can make our hand. These are 3 types of Aces. And also, there are 47 cards still unknown to us in the deck - or cards we haven't seen so far. Calculating our poker odds we summarize the following information at hand: We have 3 poker outs (the number of cards we need to make our hand), we have 47 unknown cards, the current wager amount is $10, and the pot size so far is $20.

So how do we size up our situation? We have, so far, 44:3 or 15:1 hand odds against 2:1 pot odds. The question is should we call? No way. What we have is a mere 2:1 pot winnings and we have to work really hard to win this if we're going to pursue. There's a slim chance we'd hit our card. From calculating our poker odds, we find that in 16 times we only have a single chance to hit our card. We'd lose $150 - that's 15 multiplied by $10 - and win only $20. We actually lose $130.

The rule of thumb in calculating our poker odds should be strong odds on our money and equally strong odds on our hand. Then we pursue the hand. This is proper tight hand playing. Remember, when calculating our poker odds, we have to have lots of poker outs to make our hand and more money in the pot.

To see early on whether to pursue a hand or not calculating our poker odds accurately is a must. Then we see whether to play the hand or fold it.

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