Ever watched the poker pros on the TV sitting there after someone has raised all in pre-flop? Ever wondered what they are thinking about while they seem to take forever to make the call or fold?
They are doing a few things: firstly looking for any poker tells that will aid their decision and secondly they are trying to put opponents on hands that they would move all in with and then work out the percentage chance of them taking the pot. So here are a few useful ones to get you started…
Some players will get very excited to see AK sitting there looking pretty, however unless their opponent turns over AJ or AX so that the other person is dominated then you are looking at a coin flip situation. Would you want to risk all your chips on a coin flip ?
Any over pair suddenly becomes a huge advantage, meaning that you should win the pot 4 out of every 5 tries. However if you run into AK you are in that coin flip situation again. This is where putting your opponent on a hand becomes very important.
Mr X has raised all in and you are fairly matched in chips, you look down to find JJ, now as you can see from the above if he has any under pair then you are a huge favourite ! However if he happens to have an over pair then you are in real trouble, and as we already mentioned if its AK or AQ then youd better pray to the poker gods that your Jacks hold up! Interesting though that holding connectors such as 8-7 is in as bad a shape as any under pair.
Heres some for when you get down to short-handed play. When you are 5 handed, 50% of the time someone will be dealt an Ace, so if you get one (two normally isnt bad!) then you could be in reasonable shape.
So the lesson here is that if you put them on a real hand such as a pair higher than sevens or you have your Ace dominated, then you shouldnt get involved, however, against other very playable short handed holdings like KQ etc will give you a very slight edge. This is where your reading skills will come into play!
These next few are more for calling a short stacks all in efforts. Some interesting ones here, and a few that if you win, when you show your cards, will leave the odd person stunned and get you loads more action as time goes by.
Here the only thing that you really dont want them to turn over is a pair (especially an over pair, however in the late stages of a tournament with the blinds coming round AJ can suddenly look very attractive to the short stacked.
Hot Tip: The simplest way to work out poker pot odds for your next card is multiply the number of outs by 2 and then add 2. It really is that simple.
You should now know how to work out the number of poker outs you have – this will be used to determine the poker odds of the hand. If the poker odds arent there, then you shouldnt be calling. Players often say that they use their “gut”, fair enough, and you may well get lucky sucking out a straight or flush on the river, however in the long run you will be throwing away money and tournament chips! Let me show you why with a fairly straightforwards example.
You are playing in an online poker tournament. You have Q-J and the board comes 10-9-2 – at the moment any 8 or K will give you a straight
There are four 8s and four Ks so thats a total of eight outs : heres the maths
8(outs) × 2 = 16 .. +2 = 18% – thats pretty much 5/1 not too bad (18% / 100%)
In a UK poker tournament, you have Q-J again and you call the BB which is $50, someone else raises it to $100 but seeing as there are five players all called its another $50 to you to attempt to win $500 (5 players $100 each) – the board again comes 10-9-2 (surely someone needs to shuffle!)
Now heres the odds bit, if someone was to bet $500 into a $500 pot then you are getting only 2/1 (your $500 to try to win $1000) – so here you should laydown.
However lets say that first position bets only $100 into a $500 pot, even if the others fold then you are still getting 6/1 (your $100 to win the $100 just put in by first player and the $500 already in the pot.) this is great !
The reason that poker odds are so important is because looking at the above example, you will only make your straight once in every five attempts, so if you did the above example 5 times you should win one of them. Therefore if it costs you $100 each time then:
Now turn it the other way and say that you called the $500 bet into a $500 pot each time (odds of 2/1!)
The same goes for any outs that you are chasing!
These are literally the odds you are getting on the money bet at the time (rather than already in the pot) – so if there are 5 players before you and they have all bet $10 then you are getting 5/1 betting odds on your money.
These are your bet in relation to how much money is in the pot – if the pot contains $100 and you are betting $10 then you are getting 10/1 on your money.
These, you have to be a bit more imaginative with as these odds havent yet happened !
Let’s say that we are on our open ended straight draw (so we have 8 outs × 2 + 2 = 18% so 5/1 – nice !)
You need 5/1 to call this bet – however lets say that there is $100 in the pot and the first guy bets $50, now its your turn .. at the moment you are only getting 3/1 so thats not enough – but by implying odds, you are thinking that if 2 more players call then you are actually in the long run getting 5/1 or more.
This can get more complex in terms of raising to get implied odds- but we’ll deal with that below.
You know how I said in raising that If you raise rather than just calling, you have a chance to win that pot there and then! Well, this also applies when trying to imply odds.
You are in an online poker tournament. We have a suited connector such as QJs and we are on the button, everyone has folded round to you and so now you raise it three times the big blind to 60. Only the big blind calls and so there are just the two of you in the pot (120).
Now lets say that the flop comes down 10-K-7 rainbow. The BB bets 60 into you, if you just call here you are only getting 3/1 (the right call if there is no more betting but it seems like there’s going to be more on the turn! So you’d like 5/1. Now you raise him back! Six things are good about this play!
All of this for a 120 raise on the flop Clearly you wont make this play all the time but against certain players it can be very powerful.
According to aviation experts: In the event of a crash and a smoke filled cabin when trying to escape:
Nice !!! so if you’re flying Easyjet get there early to get boarding A rather than E – hehe
You should want your opponents to play badly. Yes it sucks when someone hits a 22-1 long shot against you. Over the long haul, however, you should be pocketing his or her desperate money the other twenty-one times!
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