Playing Online Poker for Money – Winning with Pot Odds
Knowledge of pot odds implied odds and reverse implied odds is essential for winning money playing Texas Hold ’em online poker tournaments. If this seems a lot to take on board, a basic understanding of pot odds will be enough to help you start winning straight away.
Calculating hand odds in Texas Hold ’em online poker
Every hand has fixed odds to win, both pre-flop, after the flop, on the turn card, and on the river card. These odds can be expressed either as a ratio (e.g. 3 – 1 or 3:1) or as the corresponding percentage (e.g. 25%). The first thing you must know in order to calculate pot odds is the odds of your hand winning.
To do this, you can use a poker odds calculator. By playing around with one of these, you can get a good idea of the odds pertaining to various types of hand and flop. Generally speaking, you will have good odds to win if you have hit top pair on the flop (70% or more). If after the flop you have four cards to the flush or an up-and-down straight draw, you may have odds of 3:1 or 2:1. A small pair has an 8:1 chance of winning before the flop.
Calculating pot odds in online poker tournaments
Once you know roughly what your odds of winning the hand are, it’s time to take a look at the pot. Look at the size of the pot and what bet you need to make to stay in it. For example, if the pot is 100 chips and the bet is 10 chips, then you stand to make 10:1 on your money.
Now compare your chances of winning the hand. Let’s say the poker odds calculator, or your own knowledge, tells you that you have a 3:1 chance of winning the hand. Pot odds now dictate that you should make the bet, as you will be paid out at 10:1 for a win probability of 3:1.
In other words, you are a 3:1 dog getting odds of 10:1.
Implied odds in Texas Hold ’em poker tournaments online
Implied pot odds go one step further. To use these you must consider not only the bet on the flop but also what the bets on the turn and river are likely to be. And reverse implied odds relate to strong hands that can take down a small pot early to win, but that risk losing heavily if outdrawn by a weaker hand.
In all cases, pot odds calculations should be considered in the context of your stack size, the stage of the tournament and the playing style and stack size of your opponent. Players will often call against the odds with a small stack, or immediately following a bad beat.
Playing online poker for money and winning using pot odds
Many online Texas Hold ’em poker sites offer freerolls and games with very low stakes. Playing these is fun and a great way to learn about poker hand odds and pot odds. Although it may seem a lot of information to take in, you will quickly get a feel for when it is worth your while to bet.