If you want to be profitable in Texas Holdem poker, it is important to understand how to calculate the pot odds and probability of making hands as the game unfolds. People who don’t play poker think that you need to be some kind of math wizard to play this game. It is not true. It helps to be good with the numbers, there are some simple Texas Holdem poker rules that you can learn to count your outs quickly and determine your pot odds and probability of winning the hand.
The term ‘out’ in Texas Holdem poker is used to describe a single card that will make or improve your hand. For example, if you have 4 cards to a straight with 4 of clubs, 5 of hearts, 7 of hearts and 6 of spades, it can be considered that 8 of clubs an ‘out’ for you in the deck as this would complete your straight. So keeping that in mind there are 4 suits to each card, your open-ended straight would have a total of 8 outs. Any suit of 3 and any suit of 8.
So whenever you look at your hand just think that which cards in the deck you need to improve your hand and count these as outs. This number of ‘outs’ is important in Texas Holdem poker as you move on.
There is a rule that is used by all the Texas Holdem poker players is rule 4 and 2. This rule states that on the flop you will take your number of outs and multiply it by 4, giving you the chance to improve your hand by the river card. With 8 outs for an open-ended straight, you can multiply 8 by 4 to know you have at least 32 per cent chance of making the straight by the time the river card comes.
After the turn card has come, now you multiply ‘outs’ by 2 to give you the per cent chance of making your hand on the river card. If you missed the open-ended straight on the turn card, now you have 8 outs times 2, giving a chance of 16 per cent of hitting the straight on the river.
On the flop in Texas Holdem poker your outs by 4 because there are 2 cards yet to come and on the turn, you multiply your outs by 2 as there is only 1 card left to come. This is a simple way to give you a rough percentage chance of making your hand. It will help to determine whether you have proper pot odds or not as you move on.
Ignoring Pot Odds
When calculating the pot odds, it is important in Texas Holdem, you need to make your decisions based on what cards are on the table and what you think your opponent might have. You may make your straight on the turn. But if this card completes a possible flush and there are 3 other people in the hand? It is good to ignore the pot odds sometimes when you are sure you can beat.