January 21, 2015
The following is a random hand that I received when I was playing at bodog.eu poker:
Suppose you are playing at a $1/2 table with 10 players in late position.
Your pocket cards are
One player raises immediately from early position and 4 other players call and so do you.
This means that the pot is 6 x $2 = $12
The flop gives
One player goes on betting and 3 players call. Now the pot is $16.
You have to wager $1 for a pot of $16.
Let’s check the odds for the turn card and see what the odds against creating a straight from your present gutshot-straight draw (T-J-Q-A). This hand is very suitable for games with many opponents as it is hard to beat if you hit. The question is: Is it worth trying – are the pot odds correct?
- You have 4 outs (4 unseen Kings)
- There are 47 unseen cards in the deck.
- 43 cards don’t make your hand. (47-4)
…which gives the odds 43:4 (43 against 4) in order to be successful.
43:4 equals 10.71:1
In order for your bet to be correct the pot must contain more than 10.71 times your bet (+ rake) to make this profitable in the long run.
As the pot odds are 16:1 your decision to join the betting round is good. The reason for this is that you will have the strongest hand if the draw is successful. You should however be aware of that these 4-outs-draws generally do not pay off in the long run. Normally the size of the pot is not big enough but in this case it was OK.
But what if you plan to go the whole way – to the river card? According to the earlier ways of thinking:
43/47 on the turn card (43 cards are against the possibility to hit the right card out of 47 unseen cards).
42/46 on the river card (42 cards are against the possibility to hit the right card out of 46 unseen cards).
Change into decimal numbers. Multiply.
0.9149 * 0.9130 = 83.53% against being successful.
This gives the odds 83.53 : 16.47 (16.47% is for being successful).
This equals 5.07: 1
Please note that I have been very accurate with the decimals which of course is not necessary as long as you keep on the right side of the odds.
This means that when it is time for showdown you should have a pot with a size that is at least 5 times your bets after the flop + rake.
Let’s have a look, shall we?
The pot including the flop was $12.
One player made a bet and three players called at the betting at the turn.
Now the pot is $12 + $8.
You assume that at least one player will join until the very end. If you get your wanted hand you will at least get $2 more.
The total pot is then at least $12 + $8 + $2 = $22.
Your own bet without raises will be 2 * 2 = $4
The pot has to be at least four times this amount, that is $16.
As we already have estimated the pot to be $22 you see that it is correct to call.
On top of this we have been playing quite tightfistedly as you might be given the opportunity to raise your opponent if your draw is successful. The profit at a possible win will in this case be somewhat higher.
Short explanation again as you easily will understand this if you understood the text above.
The odds against succeeding with your draw was 10.71 against 1.
Once again let us pretend the pot was just $10. If the player will still call your bets if you hit on the turn it is correct to bet if you are sure you will get the strongest hand.
Remember: Calling with marginal will affect your bankroll and it can take some time before these kind of draws pays. So – if it is a marginal hand, don´t call if your bankroll isn´t big enough to survive fluctuations.