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Calculating Pot Odds

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  • Calculating Pot Odds

    Hey, folks!

    I was re-reading the Cash Game course material, and I came up a doubt on how you calculate pot odds and especially, WHY it's done that way:

    The situation is in the first line of tutorials, the second hand. You KJo, raise from CO to 6, button goes all in for 21 and the tutorial says you are supposed to call BECAUSE YOU ARE PAYING 15 TO WIN 45, SO YOU ONLY NEED TO WIN 33% OF THE TIME.

    Now, blinds are 1 and 2, you raise to 6, get 3-bet to 21, so there are 30 chips in the middle. The only way the pot will be 45 is if you COUNT YOUR CALL! Since the decision you make is prior to investing those 15 dollars, shouldn't the math be: you nave to call 15 to win 30? I mean, you have to bet 15 to win back your 15 plus another 30, it doesn't feel right to me that you calculate pot equity with the total of the pot including your call when you haven't made the call yet and are deciding whether it's worth investing those 15?

    Could anyone explain why?


  • #2
    Hi Max_Kane!

    If we call, the pot will get 15 more from us, so it will be 45. What I have to put into the pot to call always needs to be added and leaving it out is a common mistake that newer players make (know I used to screw it up years ago when I started out too).

    John (JWK24)

    6 Time Bracelet Winner


    • #3
      Can you elaborate as to why that is, John, please?



      • #4
        pot odds = total pot size (including all chips)/ what I have to put in

        or if you want to look at it as pot equity, PE = chips I put in / total pot size

        If I play the hand, what I would win will include what I have to put in, not just what's already in it.

        I basically always use equity.. numbers are easier for me to do in my head when playing.

        John (JWK24)
        Last edited by JWK24; Fri Feb 21, 2014, 01:38 AM.

        6 Time Bracelet Winner


        • #5
          The wording is wrong. As you pointed out you are calling 15 to win 30,not 45. In odds that would be 2:1.

          For equity it should read something like: You must call 15 which makes the pot 45 and gives you 33% equity.

          Odds = pot : call

          Equity = call / total pot * 100

          It takes some getting used to and when you hear it enough you'll know which they mean most of the time.

          For me odds work best when betting and equity when I do drawing calcs using the 2% rule.

          But I am quite comfortable with math, although the arithmetic still bugs me incessantly.

          Good decisions are mathematically correct whether math reasoning is used or not. (Think about it!)


          • #6
            I don't like the idea of adding what you may call, so creating a future pot size to evaluate the then equity. This has nothing to do with direct/immediate pot odds.

            The quoted "SO YOU ONLY NEED TO WIN 33% OF THE TIME" really annoys me. It just confuses the simple mathematical odds and outs ratio method, whether you have a price to call.

            PS. Remember TrumpinJoe and I on this topic >here< a while back.
            Last edited by ForrestFive; Fri Feb 21, 2014, 05:50 AM. Reason: old thread


            • #7
              including the call is useful precisely because it allows you to visualize the "33% of the time" number which is a crucial factor when making a call.


              • #8
                let me add that the 2:1 odds notation is evil



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