Every poker player needs to understand how to make pot odds easy. Pot Odds is simply the amount of money already in the pot relative to the bet size that we are facing. All money including what the blinds have been forced to put in the pot should be counted. Our Pot Odds will help to determine what kind of hands we should be playing. Generally, you should not play a hand simply because you are getting good pot odds, but it can be a contributing factor. Ex. You are in the Big blind at a $5/$10 NLHE game and an early position player min raises to $20. Three other opponents and the small blind call(total of 5 opponents counting the pre flop raiser) making the pot 20+20+20+20+20+10(BB)=$110. For just $10 more you can see the flop so your pot odds are 11-1. So why does all of this matter? I want you to think about the concept of Expected Value again. Heads up against the best hand in poker (AA) a hand like 65 suited will only have around a 20% chance of winning by the river. So generally when you are out of position even if you are getting 4-1 to make a call it still won’t make sense. However, if you are getting 11-1 on your money with a hand like 65 suited it is hard to imagine that you will not have the appropriate odds to make a call. The interesting thing about a hand like 65 suited is that it will probably have close to 20% equity even against 4 other hands including AA. The reason this hand plays so well in multi-way pots is because a lot of its equity is realized through straights and flushes. Having the fundamentals in your head will make pot odds easy for you to calculate on the fly.
I try to keep this blog on topic, but this evening I was struck by a video on CNN demonstrating a case of police brutality. The video shows an unarmed man “talking back” to police officers. The five officers respond by tackling the man, successfully subduing him, then proceeding to beat him with a baton, even calling in a K9 unit and releasing the dog to attack his head and neck area. There were five police officers and one unarmed man. Was a baton and attack dog even remotely necessary in subduing this man? The portion of the video where the dog is biting and mauling the defenseless individual’s head is especially disturbing as there was a very real threat to his life made by police officers. You can see the video HERE