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How to Calculate Pot Odds in Poker

Learn how to calculate pot odds from poker champion Nick "Nicky Numbers" Brancato in this Howcast video.


Hey, I'm professional poker player Nicky Numbers, and I'm going to talk to you about pot odds today. First of all, it's really important to know what pot odds even are before we can talk about them. Pot odds are a term that is used in poker to reflect the ratio of the size of the pot to the size of someone's wager. The wager that they make could be a bet, it could be a raise, it could be a re-raise. What we're comparing is the call amount to you to the total amount in the pot. So let's say we'er in the middle of a hand and this is the pot. Black chips are 100 and the green chips are 25. So we see there is 400 in black, another 100 in green, and another 100 in green. So there is 600 in this pot right now. If my opponent was to make a wager of 300 chips into this 600-chip pot, any amount that they put out is now part of the pot. So instead of the pot just having 600 in it, it is 600 plus my opponent's bet of 300 for a total of 900.

The amount for me to call is 300. In order to figure out our pot odds, what we're doing is we're taking the call amount to use and seeing how many times that amount can go into the pot. In other words, how many times can 300 go into 900. Well 3 goes into 9 three times, which means that our pot odds are 3:1. The call amount is always the one in the ratio. 3:1 means that we're literally getting 3:1 pot odds, or 3:1 odds on our call. If instead of betting 300 our opponent bet 600, they would have made a pot-size bet. Now their wager plus what was previously in the pot becomes the total pot. So instead of there being 600, there's 1200 in the pot.

The call amount to us is 600. So how many 600s are there in 1200? Two. Remember, the call amount is always the one when you're talking about pot odds. So it's 1200:600, or 2:1. There's a very quick short cut I'm going to show you that immediately know your pot odds.

If you know how much is in the pot, and you know what percentage of the pot your opponent bet, then you can easily know your pot odds. If my opponent makes a pot-sized bet, I'm getting 2:1. If they make a half pot-sized bet, I'm getting 3:1. If they make a quarter pot-sized bet, I'm getting 5:1. If they make a double pot-sized bet, I'm getting 1.5:1; however, you don't even need to worry about any of that because most of the time your opponents are going to bet somewhere between half the pot and the full pot. Half the pot is 2:1, full pot is 3:1. Anything in between is going to be somewhere between 2:1 and 3:1.

In the case of a three-quarters pot-sized bet, that would be the exact midpoint, and that would be 2.5:1. So there are some quick ways to calculate your pot odds.

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