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Pot odds? What are pot odds?

January 12, 2008

This is not an instructional blog so I’m not going to explain pot odds. Rather, I had a bit of an epiphany the other day while working on the previous entry.

Players get ingrained with the concept of pot odds fairly early on, and it becomes part and parcel of how you view any given situation. But I doubt that half of the players at the level that I’m currently working on have a grip on basic pot odds.

The ramifications of this is what is interesting. That goes towards explaining

    • why they chase gut shots,
    • why they chase flush draws,
    • why they call with Ace-rag hands,
    • why they keep calling when the rag catches bottom pair,
    • why they min-raise,
    • why they min-reraise,
    • why they bet small amounts at decent sized pots.

      Their only point of reference is 1) the BB size, and 2) relative dollar amounts. What’s an A7s hand worth? What’s it worth on a T72 flop? To a decent player it depends on position preflop and player reads, and post flop it depends on position, number of players in the hand, who was the preflop raiser, size of the existing pot, ect.

      To a beginner, it probably has close to an absolute value.

      Raise preflop means click the raise button. Have a good flop, bet something. How much? Make a guess. Got a flush draw after a $1 bet, call. What difference does the pot size matter, it’s a flush draw and if I hit I’ll probably win. If you’ve got no mathematical basis for calculating amounts or odds then just guess.

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