People consistently get stuck on the concept of understanding pot odds. Irrespective of whether we 'play the player or the cards' there invariably come times in poker where we get put to a tough decision, and will be forced to consider pot odds when making our call ... or fold, as the case may be . So how can we go about calculating pot odds and using those odds to make the right decision ... without being fixated on poker mathematics?
It's actually pretty simple, and at the end of this article I'm going to direct you to the answer, but before we go any further we should clarify something. This technique isn't strictly speaking about calculating poker pot odds.
Pot odds are the ratio of the size of the bet we are required to call to see another card as against the side of the pot. For example, if there was $ 100 in the pot and we were facing a $ 25 bet, the pot odds would be 4: 1 (100/25 = 4: 25/25 = 1).
What this technique really does is it allows us to calculate the odds of hitting our winning hand, which we can then compare to the size of the bet relative to the pot (ie. Pot odds). If the percentage of the bet in relation to the pot (pot odds) is greater than the chances of hitting our hand, don't call.
To use this method, we first need to be able to count the number of 'outs' we have. Outs are cards remaining in the deck which can give us the winning hand.
Let's use an example. Say we hold AK of spades and the flop comes down 83J with two spades.
First let's count our outs. Any spade is likely to give us a winning hand. There are 9 spades left in the deck (13 to begin with, less two in our hand and two on the board).
Now we've figured out the number of outs we have, we can make two very simple calculations using this method to figure out exactly where we stand in the hand, and whether to call or fold. Next comes the interesting part ...