Texas Holdem strategy – calculating your odds

As Texas Holdem is all about math and numbers, probability is what you need to look for. Probability will tell you how much chance there is of you getting the cards you need, and this is where you derive your odds of winning. This is how good poker players know how to stay, fold, bet, or call. They do not operate on hunches, gut feelings, or unreliable luck, they count on logical thinking, mathematical odds, and probability.

When you start playing with your feelings instead of your head, you can run into trouble. This is why most people who go to the casino with little or no experience often get burnt, while experienced players who play by the odds often can come out alright, even really good!

There are several probabilities that you should pay attention to when playing poker, and here are a few to look into.

Outs – this is the number of cards that are left in the deck that could improve your hand.
Pot outs – this is the odd you get when analyzing the current size of the pot vs. your next call.
Bet odds – these are the odds you get when you evaluate the number of callers to a raise.
Implied odds – these are the odds you get after you assume the result of betting for the remainder of the hand.

Anyone who wants to play poker successfully needs to learn and study the specifics of these probabilities, because they all play a part in how you come out.  For example, if there is only one card left in the deck that will win the hand for you, you don’t have very good odds in your favor. If, however, there are like 7 cards left that could win it for you, than your odds are much better!