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Texas Holdem: Odds Chart


By Greg Mallon

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The Purpose of the Odds Chart in Texas Holdem

The following Odds Chart will mostly be used to assist you in making decisions on whether to FOLD or CALL. We already talked about so-called "Starting Hands" for the beginning player and there are a number of betting stages in the game of Texas Holdem. Two of the most critical stages are the post-FLOP (after the flop of course) and post-TURN. In order to make mathematically correct decisions on whether to continue with your hand you should be familiar with some fundamental odds, especially for "common draws". While you can certainly win a hand by making a "mathematically incorrect" call, your goal should be to maximize your profit over time (over the long haul in your career as a poker player). Some of these concepts can get a little complex, and we won't be getting into alot of the exceptions and subtleties here. We will be focusing on some of the basic fundamentals of Outs, Odds and Pot Odds. I would recommend mastering these fundamentals before trying to think about concepts such as "Implied Pot Odds" and "Reverse Pot Odds".

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Believe it or not it is worthwhile to actually memorize this chart. And I will be honest, I have only memorized keys parts of it, and then I use that to infer or extrapolate to a situation that is borderline or "in between" the numbers that I have committed to memory. For newer players, or those who have not really committed to thinking about odds and pot odds yet, I would recommend looking at the "Typical Draws" I have listed below (such as a Flush Draw, Straight Draw, etc). Don't worry about the percentages right now, but focus on the "Post Flop Odds" and "Post Turn Odds" that are indicated for these typical draws. The idea is that you will be comparing the "odds" of "making your hand" (that is, making the flush, straight, or whatever), with the AMOUNT it will COST you to make the bet. This is a most KEY and CRITICAL concept and it is what poker players refer to when they speak of so-called "Pot Odds".

An Example (Determine your OUTS to Calculate your ODDS)

Consider this one example where you are on a FLUSH DRAW.

Your Hole Cards:
          The FLOP...
            

You have what is referred to as "four to a flush" (four out of the five cards you need). Without looking at the chart below, let's think about what we know. We know that there are 52 cards in the deck and that there are 13 HEARTS. We know that WE have 4 of the 13 Hearts already, and thus there are 9 remaining hearts - somewhere. [ They may be in our opponents hands and they may be in the deck - but that is inconsequential since we only use information we KNOW ]. So again, there are 9 remaining hearts and we want one of them, since if we get it, we will have a "Nut Flush" (since we have the highest heart, the Ace of Hearts). We know 5 cards have been exposed to us: our 2 hole cards and the 3 on the flop. Therefore, with simple math, there are 52-5 cards remaining UNKNOWN, which equals 47 UNKNOWN cards. So we know that 9 of the remaining 47 are HEARTS (or cards that will HELP US) - and, this is KEY, that 38 WILL NOT help us. The 9 that will help us are known as "OUTS" (see chart below). For those interested in following the math part of it, 38/9 about 4.2-to-1.

As you look at the chart - specifically if you look at the Post-Flop odds, you will see the Post-Flop Odds for the FLUSH DRAW is 1.86-to-1 (which is nothing like 4.2-to-1, right?). Well that is because this chart factors in the idea that there are "TWO CARDS to COME" at the flop. So it assumes you will get TWO chances to get that heart, hence the odds are better. If you look at the post-turn odds for the SAME DRAW, you will see it listed as 4.11-to-1. Knowing that there are 9 remaining hearts and NOW 37 cards that DO NOT help (we assume the turn card was shown and did not help us), that gives us now 37/9, or exactly 4.11-to-1 (and our confidence in looking at this chart is hopefully restored, along with out sanity).

No Limit Texas Holdem Odds Chart

OUTS Post Flop % Post Flop Odds Post Turn % Post Turn Odds Typical Draws
  0 Outs  0.0  Dead Hand  0.0  Dead Hand  
  1 Outs  4.3  22.26-to-1  2.2  45.00-to-1  
  2 Outs  8.4  10.90-to-1  4.3  22.00-to-1  SET Draw (You have a PAIR and Drawing to 3-of-a-kind)
  3 Outs  12.5  7.00-to-1  6.5  14.33-to-1  
  4 Outs  16.5  5.06-to-1  8.7  10.50-to-1  "Gut-Shot" Straight Draw, or 2-Pair with Draw to Full-House
  5 Outs  20.3  3.93-to-1  10.9  8.20-to-1  
  6 Outs  24.1  3.15-to-1  13.0  6.67-to-1  Two Over-Cards (Draw)
  7 Outs  27.8  2.60-to-1  15.2  5.57-to-1  
  8 Outs  31.5  2.17-to-1  17.4  4.75-to-1  Open-Ended Straight Draw
  9 Outs  35.0  1.86-to-1  19.6  4.11-to-1  Flush Draw
 10 Outs  38.4  1.60-to-1  21.7  3.60-to-1  
 11 Outs  41.7  1.40-to-1  23.9  3.18-to-1  
 12 Outs  45.0  1.22-to-1  26.1  2.83-to-1  Flush Draw PLUS Gutshot Straight Draw
 13 Outs  48.1  1.08-to-1  28.3  2.54-to-1  
 14 Outs  51.2  0.95-to-1  30.4  2.29-to-1  
 15 Outs  54.1  0.85-to-1  32.6  2.07-to-1  Straight-Flush Draw
 16 Outs  57.0  0.75-to-1  34.8  1.88-to-1  
 17 Outs  59.8  0.67-to-1  37.0  1.71-to-1  
 18 Outs  62.4  0.60-to-1  39.1  1.56-to-1  
 19 Outs  65.0  0.54-to-1  41.3  1.42-to-1  
 20 Outs  67.5  0.48-to-1  43.5  1.30-to-1  

Pot Odds (The Amount in the POT compared to the Amount required to CALL)

Now what makes "memorizing" portions of the chart useful (and all of it for that matter), is that once you determine the number of OUTS, your can lookup (quickly in your head) the odds of getting that heart you need Post-Flop (with TWO cards to come), or Post-Turn (with ONE card to come). Assuming you knew you had a Heart Flush Draw, you would know the odds of getting that heart "post flop" were almost 2-to-1 (specifically 1.86-to-1). Now here is the important part... Say the pot is $2 and your opponent bets 25 cents. You are being asked to bet .25 to make $2. So in "poker lingo", the "pot is offering you" 8-to-1 odds. (that is the pot has 8 times more than what you are being asked to bet). The idea is that if the POT ODDS (8-to-1) are greater than the odds of making your hand (at any betting stage), then this is a bet you should make. In our case, this becomes an easy call. The other thing to note here, is that your opponent has made a poor play, especially if he had TOP PAIR (a pair of nines for example). Instead of shutting you down and making it INCORRECT for you to call, he has actually encouraged a call, by betting so little.

Summary

To summarize, when the players on television are sitting there thinking about whether to make a call, ONE of the things that the consider is the comparison of the ODDS of completing the Draw (if on a draw) and what it COSTS to call the bet in relation to the pot size (the so-called POT ODDS). Yes, they are thinking about much more than this, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. I recommend adding these skills to your game in layers. First, try and understand the odds of completing common draws. Then mentally track the amount of money that is going into the pot and keep an estimate (this will ultimately help you if you play in a live game) and compare the pot-size to the current amount you are required to bet. Then you can do the comparison yourself and determine whether it has a "positive expectation" for you or not and you will know whether it is an EASY CALL, borderline, or an EASY FOLD. It becomes automatic as you practice it, and it is a fundamental part of solid play.   
 
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