Saturday is normally a slow day here on the poker blog, and today will be no different. Nothing too technical. Just a follow up on yesterday's pot odds discussion. Yesterday was pre-flop, so today will be post-flop play. Because lets be honest, real poker players make their most money post flop. Anyone can shove all in pre-flop and pray.
So how do you determine pot odds post-flop? Honestly, exactly the same. How much is in the pot, and how much will it take to call. The difference is in how we determine what your hand odds are so we can see if its a good or bad call.
Example: Three people in the pot for 500 each. So 1500 in the pot. After the flop, player 1 bets out 500. Now there's 2000 in the pot, and it will cost you 500 to call. So you're getting 4 to 1 on your money. Meaning, there needs to be better than a 20% chance that the cards you are holding are either the winner now, or will be with the cards coming on the turn and river. 20% is kind of low, meaning that in most cases that you are in with now, the odds are right to make the call. Otherwise why are you in the hand?
Here's a sample hand that shows it in action. You've made the call with 9-10 of hearts, and the flop comes down 7H-JH-2D, and the other guy bet out 500 chips. For this example, we'll give him K-K, and the third player A-K. So if K-K bets 500 chips, you are getting 4:1 on your money, and you're actually at 44% to win the hand. The K-K is 48%, so you can see that without even a pair, you're in the hunt, and almost even. So of course, you should call.
Notice I gave him K-K. If he had A-K of hearts, your odds drop to 32% to win, but that is still better than the 4:1 he gave you with the bet. You'd STILL make the call, even though you were now drawing for a straight or pair only. (In other words, the other guy made a bad bet, and will cry about you sucking out even though he did it to himself).
So you can see, that the procedures are the same, but you need to know how to calculate odds after the flop. Pre-flop, we can only discuss your hand against A-A, because we have to assume the worst. Post-flop, we can play poker!
That being said, here is a simple formula to get the odds of hitting what you are drawing for.
1. Take the number of "outs" that will give you a winning hand. So if you are 4 to an open ended straight, you have the 4 cards on either side of the straight as your outs, or EIGHT.
2. Double those outs. Do this because you are playing with 52 cards, and you want to get a percentage based on 100%. Sure, 52 doubled is 104, but remember we're quick-calculating....not trying to be absolutely perfect.
3. Multiply that number by the number of cards left to come. After the flop, multiple it by 2. After the turn, by one.
(Easier: Post-flop, multiply the number of outs by 4, post-turn, by 2). Same thing.
So, if you are open ended straight, with 8 outs, post-flop....that's 4 X 8, or 32% chance of hitting your straight. If you don't hit it on the turn, then on the river you are around a 16% chance of hitting. Its that simple.
And for some help, here are some "out" totals for different holdings.
Four to an open ended or belly buster straight: Eight outs.
Four to a flush, 9 outs.
Four to an open ended straight and a flush: 15 outs. (you only count the two flush outs that are also straight outs once. And by the way, 15 outs is around 60% to win, so without anything, you are the favorite to win the hand).
Now, you have trips, and you know the other guy has a flush. How many outs to hit the full house or quads you need?
Every other card on the board is an out for the full house, because if they pair, you have it. So if you have two 3's, and there's 3-5-7 on the board, there are 2 3's, 3 5's and 3 7's, or eight outs. Then on the turn, if you don't hit: you get another three outs! So 11.
(Be careful here: sometimes the suited out is the straight flush for them. Pay attention. Nothing worse than hitting your draw and having it take you out of the game).
OK, not really such a short post, but hopefully pretty simple to understand. Stop reading and go play some poker.