Today I will write a short blog to answer a question that I received from a player last week on how to figure out the percentages of winning a hand and your pot odds. One of these answers I will make short and simple, the other is a bit more complex and I will address it briefly, but know that there is more to it than the answer I will put forth here.
First, if you want to know what chance you have of winning a hand, all you have to to is spend some time with a poker odds-calculator. There are many available on the internet for free. Here is a link to the one that I commonly use. http://www.cardplayer.com/poker_odds/texas_holdem
This is a handy little site tool that allows you to plug in the number of players and their hole cards. You can then figure out the percentage of the time you will win the hand after the flop, turn, and river. The answers may sometimes surprise you. I like to use this tool after I have played a hand. It is not much use during a hand, you have to act fast, and obviously, you don’t know most of the time what your opponents hole cards are. However, if youafter playing it, you can get a great feel for whether or not you played it correctly. Over time, the percentages will come naturally and you will know roughly where you are at in the hand at any given time based on what you think your opponent has.
Many times I find player THINK they are a bigger favorite in the hand than they really are. Plugging the hand into an odds calculator gives you practice at figuring out whether or not you made a good play. Remember, the result is not important. It is whether or not you had the advantage you thought you had. If you make the right play, the results will come out in the wash over time. You can try to use it or others like it while you are playing a hand, but you will have to get quick at plugging the cards into it and the result is only as good as your skill at “putting” your opponent on certain cards. A better use is probably for post-hand analysis.
Tomorrow I will answer the second part of this question dealing with pot odds. This subject requires a bit more discussion and will take a little more time to talk about. In the mean time, practice working with this odds calculator, it is a free tool that has the potential to really improve your game over the long haul.
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