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Home arrow The Mathematics of Poker arrow Pot Odds Structured
Pot Odds Structured


When there is only one round of betting left and only one card to come, comparing your chances of improving to the pot odds you are getting is a relatively straightforward proposition. If your chances of making a hand you know will win are, say, 4-to-1 against and you must call a $20 bet for the chance to win a $120 pot, then clearly your hand is worth a call because you're getting 6-to-1 pot odds. Those 6-to-1 odds the pot is offering you (excluding bets on the end) are greater than the 4-to-1 odds against your making your hand. However, when there is more than one card to come, you must be very careful in determining your real pot odds. Many players make a classic mistake: They know their chances of improving, let's say, with three cards to come, and they compare those chances to the pot odds they are getting right now. But such a comparison is completely off the mark since the players are going to have to put more money into the pot in future betting rounds, and they must take that money into account. It's true that the chances of making a hand improve greatly when there are two or three cards to come, but the odds you are getting from the pot worsen.

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