View Full Version : I am so confused....holde'm odds questions.

09-12-2002, 02:57 PM
The more I work on this the more confused I become.
I know (been told) that ie. 67s on the button is 5/1 to hit either a straight or a flush. Hence: I am getting good odds to call (even a raise) if there are 5 limpers in front of me. As long as there are $5 for every $1 of mine I should see the flop. Right? My question is what are the odds for (late position)hands like: 67o, 68s, 68o, K9s, K9o. I am trying to figue out how many limpers I need to play suited one and two gap hands, and non-suited one and two gap hands. I want to add a few hands to my late position play. I am not going to call with 68s when early rocks open. But in loose games and late position I think I'm missing some EV. Thanks in adavance for the help!!!

09-13-2002, 10:56 PM
Is this problem so hard that no one knows the answer?
Or....so elementary I should have never asked?
Now I'm even more confused!!!

09-14-2002, 01:08 AM
Is this problem so hard that no one knows the answer?
Or....so elementary I should have never asked?

Actually both. To anyone who knows how to do it, it is too elementary to be interesting while at the same time being too tedious to want to spend time on. I have made recent posts on how to calculate the odds of making both straights and flushes, so you should be able to use these same methods for combined straights and flushes with various numbers of outs. If you run into trouble and have specific questions about how to proceed, I'm sure I and others could answer them. I may do this problem at some point myself, since the answer could be useful.

09-14-2002, 04:07 PM
Anonymous -

First, I would suggest that you read HPFAP, or if you're just starting out, Hold 'em Poker by DS. Answers about preflop play can be found there. However, I do have some observations:

1) Your 76s has more value than just straights or flushes. You can also flop trips or two pair, which may win the pot. So even if it is 5-1 to make a straight or flush, you may not need odds that good. Of course, don't get carried away - you have small cards, and if you find yourself in a flush-over-flush situation, you are going to lose. You will have to learn to recognize those because, while they are rare, they can be costly if you don't figure out what's going on.

2) Don't just consider immediate odds. You also need to consider future bets, both those that you will pay, and those that you will receive. You can play a small pair, for instance, getting less than what the probability of flopping a set would indicate.

3) Getting 5-1 in a multiway, unraised pot is a lot different from getting 10-2 in a multiway raised pot. In the former case, you may be able to draw a turn or river card for free; in the latter, you may have to pay two or more bets on some streets if you flop a draw but not a complete hand.

4) Your question about the odds you need to start playing offsuit gap hands is not the question you should be asking. You may think, "Gee, k9o isn't a great hand; i wonder what kind of big pot I need to play it profitably." The answer is, paradoxically, either very big or very small, and the reason is that hands like k9o play poorly in multiway pots. So you can play hands like that to steal, or maybe if absolutely everyone has come in. But in general if the pot is, say 5 or 6 way, and you flop anything but a monster you are probably not going to like what happens.

In summary, I would say that we can probably answer the exact questions you ask, but the answers probably won't make you a better poker player.

Oh, wait: if there are 5 limpers, or even 4 or 3, play that 76s.

Good Luck


09-14-2002, 06:14 PM
Anonymous - It's difficult to know where to begin in terems of explaining away your confusion. You have actually asked more than one question, and each question you have asked involves a tedious counting procedure. Counting is somewhat of a misnomer, but that's what the necessary tabulating procedure is called.

Consider just one of the questions you have asked. "My question is what are the odds for (late position)hands like: ....68o...... I am trying to figue out how many limpers I need to play........"

To begin with, the odds of making a particular hand do not have anything to do with being in late position. Then you have hand odds, which are the odds of making a particular hand, to compare with pot odds (or better yet implied pot odds). David Sklansky does an excellent job explaining implied pot odds in his The Theory of Poker book. He took a couple dozen pages in this excellent book to explain odds.

Let's deal with the 68o hand.

You make a six high straight if the board at the river is any of the following

22345, 23345, 23445, 23455, 23456, 23458, A2345, 23459, 2345T, 2345J, 2345Q, 2345K.

Let's take one of these hands, 22345.

There are six different ways the board could have a pair of deuces, 2c2d, 2c2h, 2c2s, 2d2h, 2d2s, and 2h2s. Then there are four different ways the board could have a three, 3c, 3d, 3h, and 3s. Similarly there are four different ways for the board to have a four and four different ways for the board to have a five.

There are thus 6*4*4*4 = 384 distinct ways for the board to have 22345. There also would be 384 distinct ways for the board to have 23345, 23445, and 23455. Moving on, did you want to count 23456 a "play the board" hand. If so, there are 4*4*4*4*3 distinct ways for the board to be 23456. Then there are 4*4*4*4*4 distinct ways for the board to be each of the following: 23458, A2345, 23459, 2345T, 2345J, 2345Q, 2345K.

Have I accounted for all the possible six high straights or can I think of another way to make a six high straight? If I missed one, I have an error that may be difficult to find. Did I make a miscalculation somewhere along the line? If so I have an error which will be difficult to find. If I've got them all, then let's move on to seven high straights. Are there any of those possible?Actually, all the boards listed above as making six high straights for you might make seven high straights for an opponent. But we're just interested in seven high straights for you. Are there any? Since you don't have a seven in your hand, there would have to be a seven on the board, and that would seem to make an eight high straight for you. O.K. now we would get to listing all the possible eight high straights, then all the possible nine high straights and so forth.

When we are done, we have a table that may run a full page full or longer. Then we tabulate or
"count" the possibilities. You might like to also include boards that would make you quads or a full house.

Next we figure the number of possibile board layouts. (50*49*48*47*46)/(1*2*3*4*5) is an expression that would give you this value. Sometimes this is written as 50!/(45!)/(5!), or as 50C5 (read as "50 choose 5"). 2118760 is the result I just got on my calculator. Is that correct? I don't know. I'd check it again once or twice to make sure if I was doing the problem.

Finally we'd divide the total of the boards that would make you a straight by the total number of possible boards (2118760, I think) to get the probability of your making a straight with 86o and then convert the probability to odds.

Looking at the above, you can see that what you have asked involves quite a tedious, time consuming procedure. Seems like someone must have already done this for a one gapper like 86o. I'll bet it's already be in a hold 'em odds table somewhere, probably available on the internet. I don't know where, offhand, because I don't play Texas hold 'em much. (Omaha-8 is my game of choice).

Could I answer your questions? Yeah, probably. Would you understand? Well, I'd expect anyone to have a lot of additional questions along the way.

Without knowing your background it's difficult to know what you should be expected to know and what would be "over your head."

I hope this helps straighten out your confusion, but I'm not sure it does. there really is quite a bit involved in answering your questions. I'd advise you to read Hold 'em Poker for Advanced Players by Sklansky and Malmuth. I think you'll get a good idea of what hands to play and how to play them.


09-15-2002, 12:38 AM
Thanks guys. Your responses gave me a lot to think about.
I've got HPFAP and will re-read the section about odds.
I think I was trying to "robo-tize" my play in late position and take some of the gambling out. Rather than an odds question its more of a situation / position problem.
Example: you would play 68o late with several weak players limping in front. They would pay you off beacuse they can't lay down their big cards to a coordinated board like 457,579.

09-16-2002, 03:27 PM
Easy rule- don't play offsuit cards below JTo in LP. There may be small EV advantages to paying offsuits below JTo in LP, but you need to play well post-flop to capitalize on these small edges. I auto-muck off-suit two gaps below QTo all the time- and regularly muck QTo and such in multiway pots.