View Full Version : I think in Percentages - Should I change my head to odds??

10-04-2004, 07:28 AM

As a child of the metric system, I think in percentages. This is what comes naturally to mee. For example, if I have a nut flush draw, I think 19%, not 9:38. I find it trivial to manipulate percentages in my head, whearas I struggle with odds.

However, I am starting to work through WLLH and SSH. I understand that most poker literature deals with odds. Currently, I mentally (or with the aid of a calculator) convert between the two systems. This is not as time consuming as it may first appear, as you get used to how the two systems relate.

However, would it be beneficial for me at this early stage to get used to odds?

Is it inherently a better system to use when playing poker? Although I would find it difficult to change my way of thinking, would this be worth the investment?

10-04-2004, 09:42 AM
I used to think primarily in percentages, too, but it would be worthwhile to be able to switch back and forth between odds and percentages. When you are thinking about calling a bet, the pot odds are obvious but the percentages aren't (i.e. calling one big bet into a pot of 6 big bets is obviously 6:1). If you know the chance of making your hand as a percentage, you'll have to convert it to odds to see if you're getting favorable odds from the pot (or you'll have to convert the pot odds to a percentage-- in either case, you'll have to convert one to the other). Since its usually pretty easy to see the pot odds as odds (rather than a percentage), I find it was more natural for me to convert my thinking about the chances of making a hand from percentages to odds than to convert the pot odds to a percentage. I suppose you could alternatively get used to converting the pot odds to percentages and keep the drawing odds in your head as a percentage but, for me, that seems much more difficult. Regardless of which you choose, you need to be able to compare the pot/bet size to the chances of your hand being good-- that's the important thing irrespective of method.