Limit Poker Pot Odds - Fixed Limit Poker Strategy
The Importance Of Pot-Odds In Fixed Limit Texas Holdem Poker
Pot-Odds are a key concept in becoming a long-term winner in any poker game, in Fixed Limit Texas Holdem Poker Games this concept is critical. Understanding the interaction between odds, outs and expectation can make the difference between winning and losing over time. This article outlines the key information on pot-odds that every player of fixed limit Texas Holdem poker games should know.
We start with an explanation of how to calculate your pot-odds and how future bets affect these. Next we look at an example of comparing your pot-odds with your winning chances based on the number of ‘outs' your hand has. Finally we look at situations where you can use pot-odds to decide whether to call a bet on the river.
In the simplest terms pot-odds describe the 'price' you are getting to call a bet, based on the size of the bet and size of the current pot. For example if an opponent bets $10 into a $40 pot then you would need to call $10 for the chance to win $50 - your ‘pot-odds' would be 5-to-1 in this example.
Of course, the current bet and pot size might be during the early part of a hand, meaning that you would need to call further bets before knowing whether you win or not. For example, if the bet above were on the turn and you expected a further bet on the river then your real odds would be $20 to $60 or 3-to-1, that is to say you would need to call $20 to win a total of $60.
The most common use of pot-odds is to determine whether a call with a drawing hand such as 4 cards to a straight or flush will show a profit over time. For example if you hold 4 to a flush with one card to come in Fixed Limit Texas Holdem then there are 9 unseen cards which help your hand out of a total of 47 cards. This means that your odds of improving are a little over 4-to-1. By comparing the pot-odds with your chances of improving you can determine whether the call would be profitable. If the pot-odds were offering you 6-to-1 then this call would show a profit over time, if the pot-odds were offering you only 3-to-1 then you would show a loss over time with this call - regardless of the outcome of any individual hand.
Players can sometimes take into account extra bets they hope to win on future betting rounds when calculating pot-odds based decisions. For example if you expected to win one more big-bet on the river after making a straight then this can be included in the initial calculation - this concept is known as implied-odds.
A second common use of pot-odds occurs on the river when facing a bet when you expect that you are beaten. In fixed Limit Texas Holdem the pot is usually large in relation to the final bet - meaning it is important to consider your winning chances in relation to the pot-odds being offered. For example you have a small pair and think that there is a 80% chance that your opponent has caught a better hand by the river. He bets $10 into a $110 pot offering your odds of 12-to-1. Even though you are beaten 4 out of every 5 times when you call this bet it will clearly show a healthy profit over time, since the pot-odds offered are much better than this.
To summarize, pot-odds are a key factor in making good poker decisions in Fixed Limit Texas Holdem Poker Games. The basic idea is to compare your winning chances with the ‘price' being offered by the pot, where you have a positive expectation over time you call, where your expectation over time is negative you can fold. Future bets, both those you must call and those you hope to win can also be factored into your pot-odds decisions in play.
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