

Hello all, I'm fairly new to the math side of poker and I am hoping people will ring in with some contributions.
I'm looking for two things: First, I've been reading and looking at vids and other things on odds, pot odds, probabilities, etc... for Hold'em and I'd like to know what is the best way to practice determining those kinds of things (My math skills suck btw :P ) Secondly, I'm looking to know if there is any good free poker software out there for any particular facet of the game, anything would help. Thanks all! 




There is always alot of confusion on the math side of poker and from my persective, and you can get as simple or as complex as you like but the real key is knowing what to do with the information that you get. So lets start at the top.
Starting hand odds. This is where your hand should begin and on the following chart it will show you the odds to win based on your starting 2 cards. Again there is no cut and dried "I have A/A and that says I will win" however it does give you a place to start your hand from. I would recomend that you save this image and print it out untill you memorize the most common hands that you will play based on your playing style. This is not a comprehensive list but it does list most of the highest percentage starting hands. If you can't get the image to print out well enough, a quick google search should pull one similar up for you. Pot Odds: There are 2 ways to look at pot odds. One is static pot odds, and the other is progressive pot odds. Personally I think progressive pot odds is a made up deal as it is so conveluted you have better chances of getting information from a wigie board. However static pot odds, is a very simple way to determine if your getting a good value on your bet, and is useful for those times where a player before your position puts up a large raise and you left with a quandry as to whether you should call or fold. example: you have A/K os (off suit) all other players have folded but the player to your right has pushed allin. The Pot with the all in bet is $8,000 and it will cost you $2,000 to call. Your pot odds are 4:1 as your 2K call will get you 4X your bet should you win. Depending on your hand, chip stack, and maybe even how your luck has been running, you can use this information to decide if making the call is worth the risk. Using the above example, if your chip stack was say $20K it would be a good call as your only risking 10% of your chips for a possible 50% chip increase. Probabilites: This is one of the most argued topics in poker, is how to determine the probilities of any givin hand. And if your not good at math then you need to use a simple method. Problilites of any hard are usually started after the flop. One of the simplist ways is to determine how many outs you have for a best possible hand, and then times that number by 4 for the turn and by 2 for the river. Example: Lets say you have K/K, the flop comes A/5/8 and is rainbowed. In order to have the best possible hand to win you need one or both of the remining kings. So you have 2 outs, times by 4 for the turn card is 8=8%. You have an 8% chance at getting one of the 2 remaining kings in the deck. The turn card comes and is a 4. You still only have 2 outs, times it by 2 for the river is 4=4%. You now have a 4% chance to get one of the remaining Kings left in the deck. This is an over simplified way to get a read on your probilities of making your hand after the flop, and there are many different views on this process that I am sure others will chime in with. Find the one that is easiest for you to use, and works for you. Free helper software. In a nutshell there are none that your really going to be able to use while playing. Those that will read the board for all the relevent information cost money. I have tried most of them over the years on various sites and find them more of a distraction than I ever found them helpful. As a player, if you want to be good at playing poker, you need to hone your instincts, learn the vibe and the players, and find their weaknesses and determine how to exploit those weaknesses. No software is going to be able to do that for you. You get that from actually playing. 




Thanks for the great advice! I couldn't print out the image (The resolution wasn't the best), but I found something similar online and it should help. I will get to memorizing right away.
The probabilities method you mentioned, I'm familiar with it. I suck at math and this helps a great deal. The odds portion of it still jumbles me up because sometimes (Especially online) the play can go around so fast that I can't calculate the odds quick enough. Say it's a pot of $4,523 and It's a pot sized bet coming my way. It's 3:1 for pot odds, though depending on my hand, I wouldn't know if I need to fold or not. We'll say I had KQ suited. 




Note: You can't compare odds to Probabilites.
Example: Lets say you have K/K, the flop comes A/5/8 and is rainbowed. In order to have the best possible hand to win you need one or both of the remining kings. So you have 2 outs, times by 4 for the turn card is 8=8%. You have an 8% chance at getting one of the 2 remaining kings in the deck. The turn card comes and is a 4. You still only have 2 outs, times it by 2 for the river is 4=4%. You now have a 4% chance to get one of the remaining Kings left in the deck. This is a bit off there is a 4% chance of hiting a 2 outer by the turn / in one card. On the other hand there is a 8% chance of hitting a 2 outer by the river / in 2 cards but if the other player bets the turn then you can't use 4 on the flop because you are paying for both cards. If you always use 4 on the flop then you are loseing money by makeing bad calls. This is what your doing by useing 4 on the flop: http://www.tightpoker.com/poker_odds.html Note: The Implied Value part is for limit this is not how you calculate Implied Value in NL. An important note I have to make is that many players who understand Hold'em odds tend to forget is that much of the theoretical odds calculations from the flop to the river assume there is no betting on the turn. So while it's true that for a flush draw, the odds are 1.9 to 1 that the flush will complete, you can only call a 1.9 to 1 pot on the flop if your opponent will let you see both the turn and river cards for one call. Unfortunately, most of the time, this will not be the case, so you should not calculate pot odds from the flop to the river and instead calculate them one card at a time. To calculate your odds one card at a time, simply use the same odds that you have going from the turn to the river. So for example, your odds of hitting a flush from the turn to river is 4 to 1, which means your odds of hitting a flush from the flop to the turn is 4 to 1 as well. To help illustrate even further, we will use the flush calculation example that shows an oftenused (but incorrect) way of thinking Example of Incorrect Pot Odds Math You Hold: Flush Draw Flop: $10 Pot + $10 Bet You Call: $10 (getting 2 to 1 odds) Turn: $30 Pot + $10 Bet You Call: $10 (getting 4 to 1 odds) LongTerm Results Over 100 Hands Cost to Play = 100 Hands * ($10 Flop Call + $10 Turn Call) = $2,000 Total Won = 100 Hands * 35% Chance to Win * $50 Pot = $1,750 Total Net = $1,750 (Won)  $2,000 (Cost) = $250 Profit = $2.5/Hand Example of Correct Pot Odds Math You Hold: Flush Draw Flop: $30 Pot + $10 Bet You Call: $10 (getting 4 to 1 odds) Turn: $50 Pot + $16 Bet You Call: $16 (getting about 4 to 1 odds) LongTerm Results Over 100 Hands Cost to Play = 100 Hands * ($10 Flop Call + $16 Turn Call) = $2,600 Total Won = 100 Hands * 35% Chance to Win * $82 Pot = $2,870 Total Net = $2,870 (Won)  $2,600 (Cost) = $270 Profit = $2.7/Hand Software http://www.pokerstove.com/ Its free Starting Hand Match Ups http://www.toppoker.org/pokerhands/...doddsdm.html 1) Pair vs. pair 2) Pair vs. two under cards 3) Pair vs. two over cards 4) Pair vs. one over and one under card 5) Two over cards vs. two under cards 6) One over card and one under card vs. two middle cards 7) One over card one middle card vs. two split cards 8) Dominated hands In a pair vs. pair confrontation, the larger pair is a huge favorite to win the showdown. The farther apart the pairs are from one another and the closer to mid value the small pair is, the better its chances are of winning. As a rule of thumb, the larger pair will win about 80% of the time. That makes it a 4 to 1 favorite, and it doesn't get much better than that. Pair vs. Two Under Cards When one player has a pair and is up against two under cards, for instance; AA vs. 76, the under cards are in just a little worse shape than the under pair. The pair can be as great as 88% to win the hand and can't be much less than 76%. As a rule of thumb, the two lower cards are about a 4.5 to 1 dog. Pair vs. Two Over Cards The classic "coin flip" situation occurs when all of the money goes in before the flop with one player holding a pair and the other, two over cards. It's actually not quite a coin toss, usually the pair has a small edge, it's about 53% to win depending on how close it is in value to the two "live cards" (a card is "live" when hitting it on the board will give you a winning hand). It's actually possible for two higher cards to have a very small edge if they are suited connectors and separated by a large gap from the pair. JTs is a very tiny favorite against 22. All in all, just consider these confrontations to be about even money, 1 to 1. Pair vs. One Over and One Under Card Often in the late stages of a tournament, players are willing to push it all in with any hand containing an ace, particularly when they are short stacked. When the match up is one high card and one low card against a medium pair (A2 vs. KK, K5 vs. 66, Q9vs. JJ, etc.) the medium pair will win about 70% of the time. The pair is a bit better than 2 to 1 to win. Two Over Cards vs. Two Under Cards In the case of two high cards against two lower cards the exact percentages will vary, but the two high cards will generally win about 60% of the time. Even a match up like AcKh vs. 7c2h will leave the seven deuce about a 35% chance to win the pot. In general the two high cards are about a 3 to 2 favorite. It might come as a surprise that trash hands like 87 are only a 3 to 2 dog to the coveted "Big Slick", but most of the time whichever player pairs one of there whole cards will win the showdown. One Over Card and One Under Card vs. Two Middle Cards One high card and one low card against two middle cards is another example where the player who pairs the board will usually win the pot. A match up like A3 vs. T9s is essentially in a coin flip with a small edge going to the Ace high hand. The hand with the higher card will usually be between 5260% to win the race. Most of the edge that the high card hand has comes from those times that neither player pairs the board. Most of the confrontations will be 3 to 2 in favor of the high card hand. One Over Card One Middle Card vs. Two Split Cards The next situation requires some explanation. One over card and one under card with two spit cards refer to races such as T4 vs. 82. One hand has a high and a low card and that hands' low card falls in between the other hands' two cards. (A5 vs. K2, T8 vs. 97.) These percentages can vary a bit from situation to situation but, in general, the hand that contains the high card is about a 3 to 2 favorite. The situation is only slightly different than one high and one low card vs. two middle cards. Dominated Hands The last situation is referred to as "domination". When two hands share one card the hand that contains the lower second card is said to be "dominated". Situations like this arise often with two hands that contain an ace, AK vs. AQ, for instance. The hand in the dominating position is nearly a 3 to 1 favorite in most instances; it will win in a show down almost 75% of the time. Knowing starting hand odds is very useful in no limit hold 'em poker, particularly in the final stages of a tournament. When the blinds reach a certain point most pots that are contested go to showdown. During the late stages of a tournament, when most of the betting is done before the flop it is crucial to understand how your hand shows down against other hands that may be out against it. Good "luck"! pot odds are the ratio of the current size of the pot to the cost of a contemplated call http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_odds EX 0.05/0.10 NL A player opens for 0.30 You call everyone elese folds Pot total = 0.30 their bet +0.30 your call +0.15 the blinds = 0.75 On the flop they bet 1/2 pot = 0.75/2=0.375 lets say 0.38 What are your pot odds? Pot total 0.75+0.38 = 1.13 You have to call 0.38 so 1.13/0.38=2.97 2.97:1 Videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chQ2Dso3o7U http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wux3avg1CM Software you should get http://www.pokertracker.com/ or http://www.holdemmanager.com/ Yes they cost money but it is well worth it. Any player that is any good online is running one of these programs. They will get info on how your playing with this software and that gives them an edge on people who are not running a HUD. Hope this helps 




There are 2 ways to look at pot odds. One is static pot odds, and the other is progressive pot odds.
Personally I think progressive pot odds is a made up deal as it is so conveluted you have better chances of getting information from a wigie board. Not sure what your talking about? If your talking about Implied Odds then your wrong about that being made up. 




The sites have really helped. I'm starting to get pot odds a lot more. Things are starting to make sense. Though what about over betted pots? for example, initial pot of 825 and the opponent bets 4125. How do you calculate the odds on over bets? I've been using a site that gives out quizes of the sort and they have odds like 4:3, 7:3 and 6:5. How can you calculate those and how can these apply against hands where you have 4:1 or 3:1 to call.
So for example, you have a hand that's giving you 4:1 odds vs pot odds of 7:3. How do you determine if it's good to fold or not? 




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