View Full Version : Pot Odds help

05-02-2003, 04:01 PM
I just have a question about flush draws. If you flop 4 to a flush I know the odds of getting it are 1.86:1 But whats does this mean? If there is $300 in the pot and I flop 4 to the flush and a player bets the pot $300 it's correct for me to call? I am calling 300 to win a pot of 600 thats 2:1 so I am getting correct odds? Doesn't this mean that in limit hold em and pot limit hold em it's ALWAYS correct to call flush draws? Since you can never bet more then the pot?

Also whats are the odds of making a strait if you flop openended?

05-02-2003, 08:08 PM
Ok, the caveat first that I am primarily a limit player.

You are talking about the odds of making it by the river, not on the next card. If the $300.00 puts you or your opponent(s) all in, then yes, you are getting 2 to 1 on a 1.86 to 1 shot (since obviously you cannot put more money in the pot).

However, if you or your opponents are not all in, if you miss the flush card on the turn, now you may face another bet (or a double bet in limit), you should be concerned about the odds of making it on the next card, which is 38/9 = 4.22 to one against. There are also implied odds (how much will you likely make by the river versus what you have to put in to get there), are you likely to get paid off if you hit?

Sklansky explains implied odds, and reverse implied odds in Theory of Poker, which should be read.


05-02-2003, 08:28 PM
Oh, I just saw the straight, that is 4.875 to 1 against on the next card (39/8) and 1-(39/47*38/46)= .3145 probability, or 2.17 to 1 against making it by the river.


05-03-2003, 07:51 PM
I agree with your post in general, but if he's new I think he's better off reading the section on implied odds in THFAPs. Generally I'm a really big fan of S&M's books (I think I own all of their poker books except MM's Poker Essays III), but I find the section on implied odds in TOP nearly incomprehensiable. Now that I've started to get a handle on the concept it makes some sense. But if you didn't understand the concept before you read that section I don't believe you could figure it out from that text. I think it's the hardest section to understand in any of their writing. ( I was a math whiz in high school and college, got a 760 on math SAT and 800 in both the GRE's math and logic sections, have a BSEE from Purdue, MSEE from USC concentrated on communication systems, so lots of advanced math and probability classes, although I never took a statistics class, but I am somewhat rusty). I think this is a really important topic so I hope in a future edition of TOP he greatly expands and clarifies this topic. More examples would help. As I posted a few weeks ago on another of these forums just after reviewing the section the only things I took away from it was the implied odds are much more important in NL and PL and if you understood them as well as Stu Unger you could win the world series /forums/images/icons/cool.gif On the other hand, maybe I'm just stupid.

05-03-2003, 10:07 PM
You may be right, I haven't read it in a long time.

I think you just have to be observant, and practice, always asking yourself: "Against this specific lineup, in this specific game, on this specific day/hour/moment, against these specific players, with this many players that saw the flop, with this type of flop, 'how likely is it to be: raised again on the flop, checked on the turn, raised on the turn, raised how many times on the turn? How many players will pay you off on the river if you hit? How much of it will I have to put in to get to the river? How likely is my hand to hold up if it gets there, or if the board pairs? etc. etc.'"

In a loose passive game, your flush draw implied odds should be worse than 1.86 to 1, but better than 4.22 to one (maybe like 3 to 1, but it depends on the specifics of the game, also, you have to figure how likely it is to win if you do hit, we are assuming nut flush, right? What about if the board pairs? Maybe a little worse than 3 to 1? It depends). However, in a tighter, more aggressive game, you may just have to use the odds of hitting it on one card, and maybe just dump it on the turn if you miss (especially if they do a lot of raising on the turn, and aren't likely to pay you off it you hit).