Calculating Texas Hold’em Poker Hand Odds For Newbies

For many poker players, particularly those first starting out, the confusion surrounding poker odds may seem overwhelming. But if you want to get serious about the game, a basic knowledge of them is essential. So, buckle up for a short drive through the land of poker odds. We will start with a back-to-basics view of poker hand odds for Texas Hold’em.

Odds – The Longshot

If you’re the long shot, it simply means that the odds are particularly huge against your winning. That said, however, it also means that if you win, you’re in the money! Someone offering you odds of 100:1 means that they are relatively doubtless you will lose. As an example, let’s say that you made a bet with the odds of 7:1. You will get paid seven dollars for every one dollar that you bet if you win – with 7:1 odds on a $10 bet.

Poker Odds, Calculating The ‘Outs’

What does it mean to calculate the ‘outs’ in a Poker game? What that simply means is, what cards will assist you in improving your hand? What will make your hand better than those you are playing against? Keep in mind that with these calculations, what your opponent may be holding is ignored. If you hold two hearts, and the dealer lays out two hearts and two spades, and your opponent has (let’s just say) the ace of diamonds and the ace of spades, you know that you will only need one heart to win with a Flush (all hearts). Here’s how that goes:

13 minus 4 equals 9 outs

Cards in any suit – hearts on the table (yours and what the dealer laid out) = hearts available to you

Let’s take a look at a larger equation, which would apply to a full deck. It goes as follows:

52 minus 2 minus 4 equals 46 unknowns

Cards in the deck – cards in your hand – cards dealt (flop and turn) = unseen cards

How to Use the Odds and Outs

Using the above scenario (specific cards dealt and equations), and referring to the use of a full deck (52 cards), there are nine cards available that will assure you of a win, or flush. Unfortunately, there are also 37 cards that will assure you of a probable loss, with no Flush. Your odds are 37:9 which can be reduced to approximately 4:1.

Whether or not to call your opponent’s bet depends on a couple of things: how much money is in the pot and what the ratio is of how much money you might win compared to how much money your opponent is betting. If your odds are 4:1, as we have already decided for this scenario, and your opponent bets $10, he has in effect supplied you with 10:1 odds. But we have already determined that your odds of winning are actually 4:1. So should you take that bet? Absolutely. Particularly if there is a substantial amount of money in the pot – let’s just say $90.

Some Random Odds and Factoids

Here are a few random odds that you may find handy the next time you hop online to play Texas Hold ‘em at your preferred casino with poker games:

→ Pocket aces – The odds of being dealt these are once in every 220 hands
→ Flopping a flush (with two suited cards in your possession) – The odds of this are approximately once in every 118 times, however, flopping a flush draw occurs roughly one time in every 10.
→ Flopping a set (with a pocket pair in your possession) – This will happen approximately 1 in every nine times

And just in case you’re wondering, in the game of Texas Hold ‘em, the number of possible different hands there are… the answer is as follows: differentiating between suits – 1326 possible two card combinations. If you do not differentiate – the game of Texas Hold ‘em has 169 various starting hands.

If you you want to deepen your knowledge of this topic, visit our section – statistics in poker.


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