What can we learn from the odds calculator?
Let's look at the hand below: Three players are in the hand. They are holding , and respectively. The equity, win and tie percentages at each round of the betting (i.e. preflop, flop, turn and river) are calculated and shown.
There are many things we can learn by analyzing a hand. Here, we briefly explain a few points from the example above:
- Don't get married to your hand
AK is a drawing hand and when it's suited, it's the best drawing hand you can have. But it's important to know while it's a pretty looking hand, it doesn't even beat a pair of douces without improving. The more players in the pot, the more likely your AK is behind. Often, if no ace or king hits the flop, you'll be forced to dump your hand. As we see in this example, is almost drawing dead on the flop.
- Use Rule of 4 and 2
There is an easy way to calculate your chance of improving a drawing hand. Let's say you are holding the . You have a flush draw as well as a gutshot straigh draw. First, you should count your outs:
There are 13 hearts in the deck. You are holding two of them and there are two hearts on the board. So 9 hearts left in the deck i.e. you have 9 outs. Also, you will hit a straight if you get an eight. There are 4 eights in the deck and you have already counted . Therefore, in total you have 12 outs.
Now, to approximately calculate your chance of improving your hand, you simply multiply your outs by either 4 or 2, depending on if you are still going to see one or two cards (either the turn or river). Using the rule of 4 and 2, has 12*4=48% chance on the flop (waiting for the turn), and 12*2=24% chance on the turn (waiting for the river) to hit a flush or a straight.
Remember that improving your hand doesn't necessarily mean you will have the best hand. For example will give a flush but it will also give a full house to the player holding 6s. Likewise, will give a straight but it will also give a nut flush draw to the player holding AK. It is why here has 48% chance of improving on the flop but 33% chance of winning the pot.
- Protect your hand / Bet for value
When the board offers a range of draws you must protect your strong hands by betting. Betting in situations like these, gives your opponent bad odds to call. As you see was much ahead on the flop and turn but sucked out on the river. It's been a mistake by the player holding pocket sixes, if free cards were given to the opponents.
In this example, had 33.3% chance on the flop and 21.4% chance on the turn, to win. Here, got lucky on the river but remember that 4 out of 5 times, it won't happen!