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Poker Dictionary (106) > Pot Odds

Pot Odds and Using them to Influence Decisions

'Pot Odds' are the odds calculated from a bet size to that of the pot size. A player who bet £10 into a £200 pot would be offering up pot odds of 20-1. On it's own it gives a view of the possible strength of an opponents hand. £10 into a £200 appears very weak (so small it might well be a value bet). Let's assume a player is faced with a bet on the turn, with one card to come. A player would also be looking to calculate their outs in conjunction. If a player had 13 outs and worked out that with 52 cards in the deck, there were two in hand and on the board, leaving 46 cards unaccounted for. Of those 46 cards, 13 are good and 33 are not.

This can be turned into a percentage by this calculation (13/33)*100 = 39%, meaning that they will hit one of their cards nearly 40% of the time. Next we look at the pot odds. If a player bet £20 into a pot of £200, we would have pot odds of 10-1. That means we would need better than 10-1 on odds for hitting a winning card, in order to make the call. In this case we have 40%, closer to 2.5-1, so the call is the right move here. If you think about it, getting 10-1 on your money in which you know that almost every second time you make it you would win, it's a no-brainer.

If the pot odds are bigger than the odds you calculate for hitting one of your outs, the call is the right choice. The only exception might be in tournament play, where you might not want to take the risk on a marginal decision, as when you bust, there is no reloading (excluding the first hour or so in rebuy's).

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