• August 1, 2021

Flushes And Straights

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Just think of ‘pot odds’ as the method for finding out whether chasing after a draw (like a flush or straight) is going to be profitable. If you’re on your toes, you might have already been able to guess that it is generally better to chase after a draw when the bet is small rather than large. Pot odds will tell you whether or not to call certain sized bets to try and complete your flush or straight draw.
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Why use pot odds?
Because it makes you money, of course.
If you always know whether the best option is to fold or call when you’re stuck with a hand like a flush draw, you are going to be saving (and winning) yourself money in the long run. On top of that, pot odds are pretty simple to work out when you get the hang of it, so it will only take a split second to work out if you should call or fold the next time you’re in a sticky drawing situation. How nice is that?
How to work out whether or not to call with a flush or straight draw.
Essentially, there are two quick and easy parts to working out pot odds. The first is to work out how likely it is that you will make your flush or straight (or whatever the hell you are chasing after), and the second is to compare the size of the bet that you are facing with the size of the pot. Then we use a little bit of mathematical magic to figure out if we should make the call.
 1] Find out how likely it is to complete your draw
All we have to do for this part is work out how many cards we have not seen, and then figure out how many of these unknown cards could make our draw and how many could not.
2] Compare the size of the bet to the size of the pot.
Use your skills from the last step to work out a ratio for the size of the bet in comparison to the size of the pot. Just put the total pot size (our opponent’s bet + the original pot) first in the ratio, and the bet size second.
3] Compare these two ratios.
Now then, we know how likely it is that we are going to complete our draw, and we have worked out our odds from the pot (pot odds, get it? It’s just like magic I know.).
I really tried hard to keep this article as short as possible, but then again I didn’t want to make it vague and hazy so that you had no idea about what was going on. I’m hoping that after your first read-through that you will have a rough idea about how to work out when you should call or fold when on a flush or straight draw, but I am sure that it will take you another look over or two before it really starts to sink in. So I advise that you read over it again at least once.
The best way to get to grips with pot odds is to actually start working them out for yourself and trying them out in an actual game. It is all well and good reading about it and thinking that you know how to use them, but the true knowledge of pot odds comes from getting your hands dirty and putting your mind to work at the poker tables.
It honestly isn’t that tough to use pot odds in your game, as it will take less than a session or two before you can use them comfortably during play. So trust me on this one, it is going to be well worth your while to spend a little time learning how to use pot odds, in return for always knowing whether to call or fold when you are on a draw. It will take a load off your mind and put more money in your pocket.
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Steve Carr

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