Gaming

Probability: Figuring Out the Casino Extra Odds

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The ability to figure out your odds, or the probability, of whether you have the better hand, or what the chances are of hitting the top hand, is a major part of Texas Hold ‘Em and an absolute necessity if you expect to become any type of a decent player.  Professional and amateur players alike use odds to determine what their best course of action is.  Odds are very important because very rarely does a straight or flush actually flop, meaning that figuring the chances of actually drawing these winning hands becomes critical to figure out in order to make the right play.

The chances of Casino Extra finishing a flush or a straight, while the most obvious examples of the need for odds, are not the only ones.  The probability of getting an over card, the percentage of times you’re going to flop a set to match your pocket pair are all important factors in poker.  A detailed knowledge of these percentages is a major key to winning.  This is even more important in online games where you won’t have the physical tells that a table in a casino can present to you.

The three main terms you will hear when dealing with odds are: outs, pot odds, and implied odds.  An out is basically any card that will give you the strongest and/or winning hand.  For example, if only a heart flush will give you the win and you are holding two hearts in your hand, with two on the board, then you have 9 outs (13 in the deck, minus two on the board, minus two in your hand).  An out could be any card that completes a flush, a straight, a set, or even just gives you high pair.  In some situations there may be very few outs.  If you have pocket 7’s and go all in, and someone calls you with pocket 8’s, only another 7 will help you (assuming another 8 doesn’t show up).  That means you have only 2 outs.  Percentage wise, this means that before the flop, you have about a 4% chance of getting another seven to hit the set (52- 4 = 48 cards, with only 2 sevens left).  Other times you could have as much as half the deck helping you out!

The outs should be converted to percentages, or an x to y ratio.  This makes it easier to determine what the best course of action.  If you are holding A-K of hearts and the flop is A spades, Q hearts, 10 hearts, then you have 9 outs from hearts, 3 jacks for a straight (the jack of hearts already counts towards a flush), and 2 aces for the set—not to mention that you already probably have the best hand.  In this case you have 14 outs.  So 14 out of 47 cards will help you.  Even if you face a big bet here, it is Casino Extra definitely the right move to call or even re-raise since 14/47 comes out to a little less than 1/3, and you get two chances to hit it.

Learn to figure out and use these odds and enjoy as your game improves immensely!