In poker, players use limited information to make decisions, and math is an essential part of that. While psychology and reads are an integral piece of the puzzle, it is math that can serve as a black and white gauge for making certain plays. For the next few episodes of the Strategy with Kristy podcast, host Kristy Arnett will discuss the math of poker as it pertains to no-limit hold'em. In part one, she covers the most basic concepts of pot odds and how to understand them in both expressions of ratios and percentages.
Here is a snippet from the podcast:
Pot odds are the ratio of the pot size to the cost of the bet facing you. To determine the size of the pot, add the money in the middle, plus the uncalled bet. Divide that by the amount of the bet you need to call.
For example, say your opponent bets $5 into a pot of $10.
Pot size: (Uncalled bet) + (Money already in pot) = 5 + 10 = 15
Pot odds: (Total pot) / (Amount needed to call) = 15 / 5 = 3 / 1
Result: You are getting 3-to-1 pot odds.
Expected odds are the ratio of the expected pot size to the cost of the bet facing you. To determine the size of the expected pot, add the money in the middle, plus all uncalled bets.
For example, say your opponent bets $5 into a pot of $10 and there is a loose-passive player left to act behind you. If you expect that player to almost always call, you can calculate that into the size of the pot to determine your expected odds.
Pot size: (Uncalled bet) + (Money already in pot) + (Expected call amount) = 5 + 10 + 5 = 20
Expected odds: (Total pot) / (Amount needed to call) = 20 / 5 = 4 / 1
Result: You are getting 4-to-1 expected odds.
Tune in every week for new episodes of Strategy with Kristy. Feel free to send in questions, ideas or suggestions for the podcast to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also remember to follow Kristy Arnett and PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.