No Limit Texas Holdem Poker Strategy: Know Your Odds


Every single day when I play NLH, especially online, some player is yelling at another player in the chat box about what a suck out the other player is, or how that other player is a ‘donkey’, or just in general how bad they are. However, many poker players really don’t take the time to realize what their odds of winning the hand truly are. They may THINK they just lost to the worst online suck-out in the world, but in reality, they were not that big of a favorite to begin with. It pays to know where you are likely to stand in a hand before you push all your chips in and complain about losing to a ‘donkey.’

I was playing last night on GR88 and a player pushed all-in from the Small Blind with A-T. He was then called by the Big Blind you held K-Q. The flop came K-8-2 and when the Turn and River was of no help, the guy with A-T had busted out and proceed to call the BB a ‘donkey suck out moron’ among other things.

However, what I think a lot of players don’t realize is that this was not a really big suck-out. The SB with his A-T was only a 3:2 favorite. Which means, he had a 60% chance of winning the hand and the BB had a 40% chance. This is not the world’s worst suck out to win a hand that you have a 40% shot at. Sure, the SB had the advantage, but if he would have thought about it before pushing all-in, would he really want his chips in with a 40% chance of losing the hand?

The moral of the story here, is that these types of situations come up every day, all the time. If you have not done so, make friends with an odds calculator and find out where you actually stand in these types of hands so that you can make an informed decision when they come up during live play. Did you know that A-4 off suit to A-K, even though totally dominated has a 23% chance of winning  and a nearly 5% chance of tying? Put those together and that lowly A-4 has nearly a 30% chance of escaping from that hand.

So, just because you have the advantage, you may not have the advantage that you think you do. Bad beats and sucks outs happen a lot. But, they may not be as bad as they appear to be.

If you want to try playing online at my favorite site, GR88, click HERE.

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