Let's say you are playing hold 'em, and after the
flop you have a four-flush that you are sure will
win if you hit it. There are two cards to come, which
improves your odds of making the flush to approximately
13/4-to-1. It is a $10-$20 games with $20 in the pot,
and your single opponent has bet $10. You may say,
"I'm getting 3-to-1 odds and my chances are 13/4-to-1.
So I should call." However, the 13/4-to-1 odds
of making the flush apply only if you intend to see
not just the next card, but the last card as well,
and to see the last card you will probably have to
call not just $10 now but also $20 on the next round
when you decide you're going to see a hand that needs
improvement all the way through to the end, you can't
say you are getting, as in this case, 30-to-10 odds.
You have to say, "Well, if I miss my hand, I
lose $10 on this round of betting and $20 on the next
round. In all, I lose $30. If I make my hand, I will
win the $30 in there now plus $20 on the next round
for a total of $50." All of a sudden, instead
of 30-to-10, you're getting only 50-to-30 odds, which
reduces to 12/3-to-1.
are your effective odds - the real odds you are getting
from the pot when you call a bet with more than one
card to come. Since you are getting only 12/3-to-
1 by calling a $10 bet after the flop, and your chances
of making the flush are 13/4-to-1, you would have
to throw away the hand, because it has turned into
a losing play - that is, a play with negative expectations.
The only time it would be correct to play the hand
in this situation is if you could count on your opponent
to call a bet at the end, after your flush card hits.
Then your potential $50 win increases to $70, giving
you 70-to-30 odds and justifying a call.
called. I think it was a bad call. I thought about
it a long time before I finally did call. It was my
slowplay that put me in a bad situation where I had
to make a tough decision. It was a crying call, I
pretty much thought that I was beat, although I expected
to see a 67 instead of the 23 he showed me when a
3? came on the river. I think I made a mistake by
not raising on the flop, and an even worse mistake
by calling on the turn. Because of the slowplay, he
could have been betting a wider range of hands than
if I had been aggressive throughout. I hadn't shown
any activity that indicated I particularly liked that
By the way, if you think a tight player wouldn't have
seen the flop with a 2? 3? this was a short-handed
game with a lot of action. Matt and I are both action
players. That night two other players who are usually
a little tight by game standards were losing and playing
with their noses open a little.