Pot Odds Examples.


Pot Odds > The Rule of 4 and 2 : Pot Odds Examples

Pot Odds Examples

For a lot of players (including myself), the best way to learn about something is through a bunch of examples. So, carrying on from the basics outlined in my first article on pot odds, here are a bunch of examples for you to get your teeth in to.

I will be incorporating a little of the concepts of implied odds and reverse implied odds for good measure. Don’t worry though; it’s all really straightforward and logical when you get down to it.

The examples.

The answers to the examples have been placed in a show/hide box at the bottom of each example. Try your best to work out whether you should call or fold and why before revealing the answer.

Furthermore, the stakes used in each example are not a reflection of the ability of the players at the table, so don't read too much in to that. These situations just take in to account very general pot odds/implied odds/reverse implied odds strategy. Strategy "in a vacuum" if you will.

Example 1.

Hand: Kc Tc
Board: Ac 3h 8c
Pot: $2

Player A ($10): Bets $1.5
Hero ($10): ?

Final Pot: $3.5
To Call: $1.5

Click to reveal answer.

Action: Fold
Reason: Pot odds are not good enough. We ideally need pot odds of 4:1 or better to hit our flush but we’re only getting odds of 2.3:1. The excuse that implied odds will make up the difference isn’t going to wash either I’m afraid.

I thought I’d give you an easy one to start off with. Don’t worry though, they’ll get more interesting.

Example 2.

Hand: Ah 5h
Board: Jh Ts 7h
Pot: $20

Player A ($100): Bets $20
Player B ($100): Calls $20
Hero ($100): ?

Final Pot: $60
To Call: $20

Notes: We are last to act with the nut flush draw.

Click to reveal answer.

Action: Call
Reason: Great implied odds. Even though our pot odds are 3:1 when we ideally would need at least 4:1 to continue, the fact that we have the nut flush draw with two other full stacks in the pot makes this an easy call.

Both of these players could easily have decent made hands or chasing straights or weaker flush draws. If we hit our flush, we expect to be able to get a decent amount of money in on the turn or the river and win a tasty pot. We only need to get another $20 from the pot when we hit to make this a break even play, which should not be a problem at all against two players on this flop.

Example 3.

Hand: 9s 8h
Board: Jh Td Ac
Pot: $10

Player A ($50): Bets $3
Hero ($50): ?

Final Pot: $13
To Call: $3

Notes: Player A raised from late position preflop. We called on the button and everyone else folded.

Click to reveal answer.

Action: Fold
Reason: Reverse implied odds. The odds are fairly close to carry on with a straight draw (4.3:1 when we need 5:1), but if you look at the flop texture there is nothing that makes me want to carry on with the hand.

We have no implied odds (a straight would be super obvious) and our reverse implied odds are horrific. Any hand that completes our straight could easily be dominated by a higher straight, so we should be thinking in terms of what we could possibly expect to lose when we hit rather than what we could expect to win.

So regardless of the fact that we don’t have the pot odds to call anyway, the fact that it could easily get worse for us makes this a comfortable fold. Don’t get sucked in by the $3 bet that looks like such an innocent and tempting amount of money to call. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Example 4.

Hand: Js Ts
Board: As 2d 9s
Pot: $15

Player A ($100): Bets $8
Player B ($100): Calls $8
Player C ($100): Raises to $20
Hero ($100): ?

Final Pot: $51
To Call: $20

Notes: There are 4 players in the pot (one of those is you). A bets, B calls and C raises. It’s up to you to act and both players A and B will also have to act after you in response to C’s raise.

Click to reveal answer.

Action: Fold
Reason: The pot odds are bad and we’re not closing the action. The pot odds are 2.5:1 and we ideally would like 4:1 to continue. Reverse implied odds also make a call less promising as there are 4 players in the pot and we’re drawing to the 3rd best flush.

Another reason a little related to pot odds is the fact that there will be two players to act after us. If we call the $20, the last thing we want is for either player A or B re-raising once again, forcing us to fold due to terrible odds.

You could argue that if A and B just call then we will have ended up being priced in to make the call for our draw. However, that’s just not a risk I would be willing to take, especially with the K and Q high flush out there for us to worry about too.

Example 5.

Hand: Ad Qd
Board: Tc 2h 4s
Pot: $20

Player A ($100): Bets $5 All-In.
Hero ($100): ?

Final Pot: $25
To Call: $5

Notes: Player A has moved in for $5 on the flop. Don’t worry about the fact that we probably should have just got it all in preflop, just take it as it is.

Click to reveal answer.

Action: Call
Reason: Even though we haven’t connected with the flop, the small all-in gives us good enough pot odds of 5:1 to call and hope for the best on the turn and river.

In this instance it’s far easier to work out our odds using percentages and the rule of 4 and 2. Seeing as our opponent is all in, we can multiply our outs by 4 (for once) to find the percentage chance of us winning because we’re not going to face another bet on the turn. Let’s say we have 6 outs — 3 Aces and 3 Queens.

  • 5:1 = 16.6% pot odds (try and learn this odds conversion off by heart)
  • 6 x 4 = 24% card odds.

So because we only have to call 16.6% of the pot with a 24% chance of winning, it makes sense to call and hope for the best. It may seem like a bit of a wild call, but mathematically it’s more profitable over the long run.

A couple of quick pot odds pointers.

1) Learn the common odds off by heart. You will land yourself in so many flush and straight draw situations that there’s no need to try and work out the ratio each and every time. It’s nice to know the process, but 99% of the time you just need to recall the odds of hitting for the most common draws.

  • Flush draw: 4:1 (19%)
  • Straight draw: 5:1 (17%)

2) You can actually call a little more than pot odds alone will allow on the flop more often than not. Very generally speaking, if you’re on the flop with a draw there is a very good chance that more money will be going in to the pot on the turn and river, even when you hit some of the most obvious draws. Therefore, this extra money makes up for the lack of pot odds over the long run.

Just as long as you’re careful not to use this as an excuse to call with ridiculously bad odds, you should be fine calling for a flush draw when you are getting pot odds of 3.5:1 when your odds of hitting are 4:1. You can work out how much money you need to extract from your opponent when calling without the right pot odds using the formula in the implied odds article.

Pot odds examples evaluation.

Practice makes perfect. Keep practicing.

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