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Poker Pot OddsPro Poker Guide's Pot Odds

What are Pot Odds?
You'll hear the term "Pot Odds" a lot when reading about poker. Pot odds are used to help you determine if you should call or fold a hand. To calculate pot odds, just take how much is in the pot with how much the bet is. If there are $25 in the pot, and you would need to call $5 to stay in the hand, the pot odds are 25 to 5, or 5 to 1.

Why would you need to know pot odds?
Pot odds is useful when you want to know if you should call or fold a hand. Here's an example. You're one card away from a flush, and a player bets $5. Chances of you hitting that last card is 5 to 1. For you to call his bet, the pot should be at least 5 times ($25) the bet to make it worth calling. If there was $50 in the pot, that would give you a pot odd of 10 to 1, which makes calling the right decision to make. The card you need might not come out, but in the long run, you will end up winning more by using pot odds.

Another instance of using pot odds is after the river, when the final bet comes to you. If the pot holds $20, and the bet in front of you is $2, you can use pot odds to decide what to do. The pot is giving you 10 to 1 odds. ($20 against your $2 bet). Even though you feel your opponent may have the better hand, do you think he is ten times more likely to have a better hand? If so, fold. If not, call the bet and see his cards.

There are plenty of times at the poker table when you will be asking yourself, "Is it worth staying in this hand?". Being able to use pot odds will help you answer that question with more ease.

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