Open an Account

The Importance of Pot Odds

Texas holdem poker is definitely an aggressive game, especially on the Internet where players will play virtually any two cards.

Since we know that many players are going to play a loose brand of poker, pot odds are even more important. While pot odds in Texas holdem poker are important, the exact odds are not something you have to know.  It is just a good idea to know if your expected return is going to be good enough to stay in the hand.

You don't have to know precisely what the pot odds are.  For example, how many times have you seen a player that was too tight and ended up folding on a draw in the face of a small bet with a huge pot available?  The tight player was not looking at the big picture in terms of pot odds and ignored what could have been a huge payoff.

While it is true that most of the time he won't hit his draw, the times that he does will more than make up for it with a big pot. The other side of the pot odds equation is knowing when to fold hands. There are going to be times when drawing on marginal poker hands isn't worth the trouble.

Pot odds strategy really means that you should not be putting chips at risk unless you have a payoff that is going to be worth it. If the pot is small then you only can be risking a small amount of chips. If the pot is big you can take more chances for a big payoff. The size of the pot is the big key here.

It can determine how you play and how your opponents play. It is all about pot odds. You can go chasing some draws if the pot is big enough but you can't do it if the pot is small. See what we saaid about pot odds earlier? You don't have to know the specifics of 3-1, 5-1 and all of the specific math.

All you need to know is whether or not you can make money by the amount of chips you put at risk. If the pot is $500 and you are risking $50 then you odds are 10-1. You will have to have a draw that offers you better than 10-1 odds that you will hit it. That is how simple pot odds are.

Everyone seems to make them so complicated but you only need to know your expected win potential versus the amount of money you are risking. It is as simple as that.

Don't get caught up in the exact math, just have an idea of what you are risking in terms of what is in the pot and the general odds of making your hand. That is the simple way of making pot odds work for you.