Probability is a huge factor in
texas hold 'em. Players use
odds to determine their
actions. The chances of
finishing a flush or a straight,
the probablity of getting an
overcard, the percentage of
times you're going to flop a set
to match your pocket pair are
all important factors in poker.
Knowledge of these statistics
is key to winning
Poker Tips and Lessons
Texas Holdem Poker - An Approximation of Texas Holdem Odds
Learning how to properly count your outs and calculate poker odds is a
fundamental requirement of Texas Hold'em Poker.
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Lesson: 2
A Way To Approximate The Odds

It is very difficult to calculate the exact odds of hitting a drawing hand when
you're sitting at the poker table. Unless you're a genius with a gift for
mathematics like Chris Ferguson, you will not be able to do it. That leaves
two options for the rest of us: The first option is to sit at home with a
calculator, figure out the odds for every possible combination of draws, and
then memorize them. That way, no matter what situation comes up, you
always know the odds. But for those of us without a perfect memory, there's
an easier way. Here is a simple trick for estimating those odds.

The first thing you need to do is to figure out how many "outs" you have. An
"out" is any card that gives you a made hand. To do this, simply count the
number of cards available that give the hand you are drawing to. For
example: suppose you hold Ac 8c and the flop comes Qh 9c 4c. You have a
flush draw. There are thirteen clubs in the deck and you are looking at four of
them -- the two in your hand, and the two on the board. That leaves nine
clubs left in the deck, and two chances to hit one.

The trick to figuring out the approximate percentage chance of hitting the
flush is to multiply your outs times the number of chances to hit it. In this
case that would be nine outs multiplied by two chances, or eighteen. Then
take that number, multiply times two, and add a percentage sign. The
approximate percentage of the time you will make the flush is 36%. (The
exact percentage is 34.97%.) Now let's say that on that same flop you hold
the Jd Th. In this case you would have an open ended straight draw with
eight outs to hit the straight (four kings and four eights). Eight outs with two
cards to come gives you sixteen outs. Multiply times two and you will hit the
straight approximately 32% (31.46% exactly) of the time.

One important thing to keep in mind is that the percentage stated is merely
the percentage of the time that you will hit the hand you are drawing to, NOT
the percentage of time that you will win the pot. You may hit your hand and
still lose. In the first example, the Qc will pair the board and may give
somearticle a full house. In the second example both the Kc and the 8c will
put a possible flush on the board, giving you the straight, but not necessarily
the winning hand. Still, knowing the approximate likelihood of making your
hand is a good beginning step on the road to better poker.

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Poker Lessons

Lesson#1 through Lesson #24
Lesson#25 through Lesson #55
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