From time to time I am asked about Odds Calculators. For those of you unfamiliar with the subject, odds calculators are simply a tool that tells you what odds certain cards have to win, in certain hands, in certain situations.
Most are quite simple to operate, all you do is plug in the number of players in the hand and what their hole cards are. From there you can get the percentages pre-flop, post-flop or after the Turn. Here is a link to an odds calculator that I use: www.cardplayer.com/poker_odds/texas_holdem. It is very self explanatory and easy to use. When you have plugged in the cards, you simply hit “calculate odds” and it will show you what percentage each player has to win the hand.
Why is this important? Obviously you cannot use it much on the fly because you cannot know for sure what cards your opponents are holding. Of course, you can guess and plug in what you think they may have. However, when playing online poker, you will have to become pretty quick in order to have it do you any good while you are playing the actual hand.
The way I prefer to use. After a hand is done you can go back at you leisure and get some exact numbers. This is extremely useful because many times you will be surprised to find out you were not as big a favorite as you thought you were. You can become very adept at knowing when to play cards in certain situations, if you have played similar hands in the past and put them through the odds calculator.
How big a favorite is? The answer may surprise you. It may also surprise you to learn how much your advantage shrinks when you have a larger number of players left in the hand. If you are serious about improving your poker game, you need to make friends with an odds calculator so that you do not continue to repeat past mistakes.
Learning what your odds are will also help you improve in live games in a bricks and mortar casinos as well. You do not have to have a photographic memory, just a general idea of how
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