The key to being able to make the right decisions during a game of poker is being able to understand and calculate your pot odds as well as your equity. How these two compare will help guide your play. This is therefore a skill that every good poker player is required to master.
Let’s take a look at how to calculate pot odds and equity.
Understanding pot odds
A pot odd basically refers to the correlation between the pot size and the bet size. In simpler terms, let’s say the pot has $20 and as a player you have to make a call of a $4 bet, this means you have a pot odd of 5-1. A poker player must make sure that they are fully aware about the pot size. In the event you are playing a variation of poker that employs limits, as opposed to counting the amount of money, you are instead required to tally the total sum of bets that are in the pot.
Having a proper understanding of your pot odds puts you in a better position to predict your opponent’s likely hand and be able to estimate the chances you have of making a hand that will be better than that of the opponent.
Understanding your equity
Your equity is essentially the odds you have of winning the pot. In order to be able to effectively calculate your equity, it will be necessary first be able to determine the number of outs you need, to make your hand. This is usually a simple and quick thing as long as you practice and also improve your ability to memorize.
As a piece of professional advice, when you realize that you can’t accurately guestimateyour opponent’s hand in terms of its value, go for caution by working on the assumption that their hand is stronger than yours unless of course you are holding the royal flush.
Your ability to correlate and make use of the pot odds and the equity will give you an edge in your play over your opponents. It’s not rocket science, it just requires basic math and good memorization. The key is practice practice and more practice.
At the end of the day, poker is game that may rely a lot on pure luck however some level of skill is also required. As a player you can neither win a game of poker on luck alone nor on skill alone. You require a balance between the two.