Poker Calculators and When to Know You Need One

Poker Calculators and When to Know You Need One

With the growth of online poker odds calculators, it has become apparent that every player has one. If you play poker you need to know what odds calculator you need to make the correct decision in any given situation. There are multiple reasons why you may need to use a poker calculator, but, importantly, you need one for accurate poker odds calculations.

After all, you can’t determine exactly how much you need to lay or raise without some idea of the pot odds. You also can’t determine how much your hand will perform to win the pot if you hit your hand. Those critical decisions need to be calculated before you lay or raise, or call down the river.

The truth of the matter is that poker odds calculators are not totally accurate. Even the best odds calculators can only output approximations of the odds. They are not the direct percentages of the exact odds. Many poker players who use these type of software need to re-run the odds during the course of a hand to determine the relative strength of their hand against the opponents. If you need to make a decision, the calculator can’t tell you exactly what to do.

While the odds calculator makes a bit of sense in some situations, there are too many variables that cause unreasonable results. Most players will use odds calculators so that they can quickly view their hand odds. The problem is that those odds are purely based on the calculator output and not the cards you are actually holding.

That is why after the flop you should look at your hand without the calculator running. You need to know the position of your hand, the number of your opponents, what cards you need, etc. If your only basis for making decisions is the calculator’s advice, that is a bad idea. You should base your decisions on cards and odds, not thoughts.

The first decision you should always make when facing an opponent is to raise or fold. If you don’t raise you aren’t going to get any action, or so you should figure. Let’s say you have 7s-5s and the flop comes 5h-2h-9s. If you have feeling that you should bet half the pot, there is no reason not to do it. You have just as much of a chance of winning as someone who raises the pot.

However, if you are the weak one, you should fold. Why? If you don’t want to add more money to the pot you probably should fold. Don’t let yourself be bullied by a big hand such as AA or KK into calling a bet just because you have a big stack. If you have AA, why enter a pot with that hand? If you don’t have KK, don’t chase a low pair. If you call a bet on the flop with hands such as QQ, or JJ, you aren’t committed to the hand you are speculating on. There are no guarantees that any of the three may be the best hand.

However, one or two or three on the flop is a different story. When you are first to act and you have a large stack, many players are going to simply muck based on the bet. If you do this, you are going to be an easy target for a big bet on the flop. However, if you call and get action, you might be wrong and discover someone else has a better hand. In that case, you need to calculate pot odds to make the call. Pot odds are only successful if the bet presents a number of benefits for you to call. In other words, if calling seemed to net you more money than the current pot, you’d be foolish to ignore the implied odds.

The implied odds are best understood by looking at your own hand relative to the board cards and/or your opponent’s hand. Let’s say you have a pair of fives. First to act you raise, making it $3. Five players call and the pot is now $9. You now have a total of $14 for your hand. Based on the way you played the hand, you seem to be the winner. But now you have a difficult decision to make. Your relative strength has changed against these calls. Now your strong hand is probably beat. You now need to take your new hand into consideration to decide whether to call or not. Using this method, you should be able to make the decision low risk of calling. If you feel your contender is better, you should call. If you still think your hand is the winner, you should fold. That is how to use implied odds effectively in Limit holdem.

Because the nature of pokerlounge99 allows the other players to bet and raise, your ability to adjust in the middle of the game is very limited.

Naomi