A Mathematician Player

Posted by Dan in Texas Holdem on October 24, 2008

I received tons of questions on Poker from many poker players all over the world. Some seemed so simple, but others have asked me more on strategies. And there is a bunch of poker players who have always asked me the same question. It’s more on figuring out those complex calculations when it comes to hand percentages and pot odds.

I must say that a lot of Poker players find it hard to work on various formulas presented by mathematicians and poker experts around the world. But you don’t have to worry because I am here today to make it simpler. You can figure out pot odds through simple division and multiplication. This, I’m sure, will prove to be more effective than those that require advanced mathematics. We call this method as 4-2.

To begin with, you have to compute the number of outs you have on Poker hand. As you know, an out is a term for card which you can pick for a winning hand. Let’s make use of the clubs A-10. Can you count the outs you have on hand when the flop turns to Jc-9c-8h? Also, you have to ask yourself what is a winning move for this flop. You should remember that you actually have an open-ended straight draw and a nut flush draw. You can also get the chance of winning the hand when an ace hit the board. In other words, you have all queens, 9 clubs, all seven, and winning aces. Now can you express these in a 4-2 method? It will result to a 9+4+4+3=20. But it’s not yet over as there is problem that I see here. You have counted 2 outs twice.

Please do remember that the 9 outs flush include the 7 of clubs and the queen of clubs. Therefore, we can change your outs to be able to come up with 18 hitting outs, which we can express this way: 9+3+3+3=18.

After you figured out the outs you have on hand, let’s come now to the percentage figures to hit your hand.  This is the best time to see clearly the gist of the 4-2 method. Multiply the total number of outs you have on hand by 4, add 2 to its result. Using this example, it can be expressed in this manner: 18×4=72+2=74. The end result will determine the percentage of hitting your hand through river pot after the flop. Just in case you have to turn, you will then have to multiply the total number of outs you have on hand and multiply by 2, and add 1. We can express it this way: 18×2=36+1=37. Since the end result is 37, therefore, the percentage of hitting your hand is 37% by the pot of river.

A tricky part, however, is when it’s time to learn the pot percentage before you make a call against a bet. Say for instance, a pot has $75 placed in there; a Online Poker opponent placed a $50 bet. Now can you figure out how much percentage is the pot that you need to call?

Before you proceed, determine the amount present in the pot. $75+$50=$125. So $125 is the end result for the original pot size and your opponent’s bet. And to be able to come up with the calculation, you have to include your call into the pot. Then divide 50 from what is the amount in the pot. It will result to 175 when you decide to make a call. We can express this as: 50/175. You will know that its end result is in a decimal percentage form, .285. To get the real percentage form, you have to move the decimal over two spots which results to 28.5%.

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