If you want to master Texas Holdem poker playing, understand this: not all poker hand odds are equal. Sounds simple, right? Sure, you already knew that. Okay, so do you know how to accurately determine if the odds are in your favor or not? That's not as simple, now is it? One technique that you can make use of to help you with figuring this out is the 4/2 rule.
Now, poker hand odds - or, that is, the odds of you winning the pot given the hand you currently have, and then given the hand you have and the cards that are typically laid on the table by the dealer - are very important for you to determine accurately. It's more than just thrilling yourself with how much you can potentially win. It's vital to know if you should Texas hold'em or Texas fold'em. Are you going to take the risk of staying in the game longer, or are you going to cut your losses, realizing that the odds are just too slim-to-none that you'll be playing the winning hand in the end? Poker players who have problems with knowing the odds have problems losing money and decimating their bankroll.
The 4/2 rule in poker has been figured out so that players can quickly calculate accurate odds of their winning the jackpot. Not all bets are equal in poker. Depending on circumstances, you may need to bet an amount that is fairly large - maybe half the pot or more - while other times you only need to have a small small amount, perhaps like 10% of the pot. Is this a good value for you? Given the cards, it too risky or should you take a chance on winning your money back - along with everyone else's? The 4/2 rule can be your poker spirit guide in this matter and help you determine whether or not a winning hand is more or less probably in the cards.
First, you need to have in mind the hand you are going for after the flop is disclosed. Some hands are stronger than others, but some hands are also easier to go for because they have more "outs". To remind you, an "out" is a card that is potentially still out there to be deal that you can use to make your hand. Let's say that you have a 7 and a Jack in your hole, and the flop reveals 2-8-10. This gives you the potential for an straight, and in this case you would be going for an inside straight - because what you need is the 9, and that that is on the "inside" of the 8 and Jack. What are the odds that on the turn you'll get that 9?
The 4/2 rule says that first you figure out how many outs are potentially out there for you - in this case, then number is four (there are four 9s in the deck, none are as yet seen or known to be held) . Now take that four and multiply it by four (the 4 in 4/2). You get 16. Now turn that into a percentage. Your chance of getting that card on the turn is 16% - which is not too bad (you want to be around 20% if not higher). So you stay in.
Alas, the turn reveals a 5 card. Not at all what you need. Now, what are the odds you'll get that 9 on the river? The 4/2 rule says that now, you multiply your outs by two instead of four (the 2 in the 4/2 rule). Thus, you get eight. Now your odds are just 8% of getting that straight. Sure, you still might get another potential winning hand, like a pair of Jacks, but it's not as strong as the straight and 8% odds are not too good. Are other players acting like they could beat a pair of Jacks? Do you want to risk it? Do you want to go for the straight still?
Whether or not you stay in or fold at this point is up to you, but with the 4/2 rule at least you have accurately determined your poker hand odds of winning this round.
For those who play online poker I recommend you download and use an "poker hand odds calculator" when you play. Calculators will AUTOMATICA
LLY show you the odds of every situation you're in ... no effort or manual work required.