Poker is a numbers game at the end of the day and a lot of the top Poker players in the world rely on calculating odds in order to make a decision as to what their next move should be. This way, you can actually have some Poker strategies that you can follow by the book, and you will be actually find that it can bring you success pretty consistently. Of course there is a psychological aspect to Poker which is a whole ‘nother topic, but in this article, we will take a look at some basic poker odds with charts that will get you started in the right direction.
At first, you might find it a bit overwhelming to instantly calculate poker odds while you are playing, and this is completely normal. However, as you stick to it, you are inevitably going to get faster and better at calculating odds and giving yourself the mathematically most plausible chance at making the right move. In fact, if you keep at it, you will pick up the ability sooner than you think. However, if you feel like you need a bit of help to start with then you may be interested in online poker calculators!
A top notch poker calculator would be Calculatem which can interact with you in real time as you are playing the game and give you continuous feed about the odds at each point in time.
How to use Poker Charts to your advantage?
If you have watched WSOP or any other poker tournament on the television then you may have noticed on many occasions how a professional poker player folds his hand even though it seems to be a pretty good pair or hand. Why would they do that? They could have taken a chance and called or maybe even raised the pot, but they decide to fold and the next thing you know, it turns out that they would have been beaten had they stayed on in the game.
So how is this possible? Is the player a mind reader? No! It’s just that most of these players understand Poker odds and how to calculate them quickly. They use these numbers to help them make rational, logical and quick decisions which give them the best mathematical chance of making the right call.
How do you find out how good your hand is?
Poker charts can tell you all you need to know about your hand in the most objective way possible. It can even give you some insight into how much you may can call when you are trying to complete a drawing hand. In fact, poker charts are especially useful when you are trying to make a flush or straight flush or even just the odds of getting the card that will complete your hand. Once you know the odds you can make informed decisions about whether it would be in your best interest to call certain raises or bets made by other players.
Poker charts are extensive and there are nearly hundreds of them which cover almost every fathomable scenario for every possible hand. It will give you all the information you need to know for every situation in a game, however, if you are going to be playing a tournament, unless you have a photographic memory, you will not be able to remember much of it. Nor will you be able to refer to the charts themselves while playing. This is why it is best to start of studying some simpler, basic charts. One of the first charts that you should try to familiarize yourself with is probably the all-in hands probability chart.
Contrary to what people generally assume, an all in situation is quite common in poker and you may find yourself being pushed all in on several different occasions, especially as a beginner. If you familiarise yourself with our all in chart then you will have a great idea of your odds of winning pre flop (even before you see any of the community cards).
If you are faced with an all-in situation pre flop, this is the best chart to remember –
|The Matchup||Example of your hand||Your odds of winning||Opponent’s odds of winning||Opponent’s hand example|
|Under pair vs. two overs||T T||57%||43%||A K|
|Overpair vs. underpair||K K||80%||20%||9 9|
|Two high cards vs. two low cards||A Q||63%||37%||5 7|
|Dominant hand||A J||79%||21%||J T|
|Dominant hand||A J||79%||21%||J T|
|Extremely dominant hand||Q Q||89%||11%||Q J|
|Overcard vs. dominated kicker||A 9||29%||71%||9 9|
|Pair vs. one over card||8 8||69%||31%||A 5|
|One overcard vs. two middle cards||J 4||57%||43%||6 8|
Obviously, these odds may change and they may change pretty drastically once the cards hit the felt, however, if you happen to find yourself in an all-in situation prior to the flop, then this chart will be your best bet to make the right decision.
So how did we arrive at these numbers and percentages? How could you possible know pre – flop that if you have a pair of kings that your chances of winning in an all-in situation is 80% without as much as a clue what the other player has?
Well, the math is pretty simple, the only hand better than a pair of kings (pre flop) would be a pair of Aces. Which means that if your opponent does not have that hand, then your odds of winning will be 80%.
We have only scratched the surface on poker odds and charts. As mentioned, there are charts for all hands and situations, too much to be able to remember them all. However, with time, you will be able to derive these odds yourself and this will make you a much better poker player in any situation.