Odds For Texas Holdem Poker

One isolated calculator in top of a set of cards

One thing that you have to remember when playing online poker is that most of the players you will play against wouldn’t know pot odds from pot smoke! Just because you understand what odds you need to chase down certain draws, realize that many of the players you will be playing against DO NOT understand, nor do they care to. Isn’t this a good thing, you ask? It sure can be, because it basically means that these players will be long term losers, but as you will see from the following hand, it can take the win out of your sails sometimes as well.

The other night I was playing a Full Tilt Sit-n-Go. It was still fairly early in the tournament, I had added a little to my chip stack and was sitting at about $4,375 in chips when I was dealt K-Q offsuit on the button.

The action folded around to me, so I put in a raise of 3x the Big Blind, or $360. Both the Small Blind and the Big Blind made the call, putting the pot at $1080.

The Flop came Qh-3h-7s. Both Blinds checked to me. Obviously, I have top pair with nearly top kicker, and in a short-handed pot, I am in pretty good shape. The flush draw does concern me, however, so I make a pot sized bet to take down the pot right now. Also, I if either the Small or Big Blind has hearts, by making this bet, they will not have the proper odds to make the call. (by calling they would be getting 2:1 on their money. The odds of hitting the flush on the Turn would be aprox 5:1. Not the pot odds you are looking for in this instance)

The Small Blind folded his hand and the Big Blind promptly went all-in. Since his chips stack was smaller than mine, I am not looking at around $1200 to call. I can figure he has hit a set, but if he had a pocket pair, why didn’t he raise pre-flop? I have to figure that he either has top or middle pair (with an inferior kicker probably) or he is on a flush draw.

I make the call, he flips over Jh-4h. You can probably see this one coming: the Turn is a 5h and the River an Ace of diamonds, giving the Big Blind the flush and seriously crippling my stack.

Did I make the right call? Yes, I would say that I did. If a player wants to go all-in on a flush draw, I am going to win that confrontation more than I will lose it. Really, the point is, he didn’t have proper pot odds to call my bet in the first place. Why did he call, then? Because internet players will play ANY suited cards and they do not understand pot odds at all!

If you are going to play poker online, get used to this fact. It will make you money in the long haul, but you have to be prepared for that player who loves to play ANY suited cards to luck out from time to time. Don’t let it get to you, just move on to the next hand and be comforted by the knowledge that that player will soon be giving those chips away to someone else if he continues to play like that. He may even give them back to you!