How to Play Poker Math

Whether looking for an edge in online poker, or just want to make a nice pile of money, learning to play poker math is important. Math is very much at the core of the game of poker, whether it is in a live game or online. In fact, there are certain mathematical formulas that are used in the game of poker when dealing with odds, how the players make their bets, what the odds are that a player will receive a flush, a straight or a full house, and much more. By knowing these formulas, as well as the more complicated formula of implied odds, you can make the math easier to explain to others. By the time you do understand the formulas, you will know the odds on a hand to beat a hand, what the pot odds are, and how much money is in the pot vs. what the potential payout will be on a call you are making. The latter last will refer to what you are estimated to win if you make your hand, whether calling, raising or re-raising.

Understanding odds will be transparent to you once you learn how to calculate them. To learn, you will have to do some quick calculations and you will have to concentrate all of the night doing it. Most casinos won't allow you to do these calculations in their card room so you will have to do it on your own behind some closed doors. While you may be able to alter the probability of winning a hand to your advantage, you will not be able to do the same with respect to the amount of money that may or may not be in the pot.

Your odds may need to be computed by hand. You might ask what the best way to do this is. Why compute the odds by hand? The best way to do this is to use addition. Comparing the number of 1's and 0's on the cards you can have and the number of cards remaining in the deck to the number of cards left in the deck will give you your odds. The odds will also be based on the number of cards left in the deck and the number of outs that you have. Finally, the odds of making a hand will also be based on the number of cards left in the deck and the cards that you hold.

Let's look at an example. Say you hold Super Bowl XLIV. The odds are Indianapolis 11. Milwaukee 7. Take a look at the Milwaukee odds. They are 11-7 and if you compare this with Indy's 11-5, you can see that Indy is a better bet. So if you are at a afapoker and have the choice between the two, choose Indy. However, the further you get into the future, the tighter the odds get for certain hands. The better thing to do is to get the odds of making your hand, say a pair, and then compare them to the number of cards left to choose from.

So, suppose you hold two hearts in your hand along with two other hearts. You are the only heart in the deck. If the card on the top of the deck is turned over, you will have to discard one of your hearts to add one of the other hearts to your hand. You can discard three of the four hearts you have to do this. Thus, you have six hearts that can be compared, which means you have 6 outs to get the card on the top of the deck. You see howillions of these outs there are. Determining the odds can be done by dividing the number ofouts by the number of cards left in the deck.

In the deck you have fifty-two cards, you have 52 minus the seven you don't play and minus the ace that won't help you. You have 11 more in the deck than the ace, thus you have a 21% chance of getting the card on the top of the deck or the one you need to complete your hand. You need to add the odds of making your hand minus the outs. That gives you 21 and then you have to deduct the ace from that to come up with your fractional odds. Thus, you have 11 minus 20 = 116 or 11 / 20 = 1.2 saving you 21%. That's your fractional odds.

Lastly, you need to add your outs to the total number of outs you came up with for your hand. If you want to compare your hand to that of an opponent, you have to add the number of outs you believe you have along with the number of outs theirs that they believe they have. If you want to save time you could simply count both your outs and theirs and then divide by the total number of outs you have. However, be careful you don't use this method with the cardino method and compare your hand to someone else's.