Understanding Pot Odds

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Pot odds refer to the difference between the amount of money in the pot and the price you must pay to make a call. Experienced players utilize pot odds as a basis for optimum decision-making compared to winning odds.

Consider pot odds the sum you are likely to win for every dollar you must commit, and the winning odds to be your actual probability of taking down the pot.

Assume you're playing in a $2/$5 NL game, there's $1000 in the pot (including your opponent's bet), and you have to spend $500 to call.

Your pot odds are $1000:$500 or 2:1.

Importance of knowing pot odds

To assess if you presently have the "correct pricing" to make a +EV call.

To assist you in calculating the additional money you would need to win through implied odds on upcoming streets if you don't now have the right price.

You can calculate the percentage of the time you need to call and win to be profitable on the river.

As the bettor, your bet size and the pot odds you offer your opponent will help you figure out the best value to the bluff ratio for cards in your range on the river.

Calculating pot odds

Calculating pot odds, divide the total cash in the pot by the sum of money you need to put into the pot before making the call. 

Assume the pot is $200, and your opponent bets $100, making the entire pot $300. It suggests you receive a call at 300:100, which you can simplify to 3:1.

The next step is to convert your pot odds into a percentage so you can determine precisely how much equity your hand requires to call the bet profitably.

Let's go through the simple three-step procedure for converting your pot odds to percentages.

Determine the ultimate size of the pot if you make a call

First, you must calculate the pot size if you called the bet. In this scenario, the entire pot is $200, and it costs $100 to call. Thus the pot is $300 if you call ($200 total pot + $100 call). It would help if you referred to this figure as the final pot.

Divide the amount of the call by the ultimate pot size.

Therefore in this scenario, it is 0.33 ($100 call amount / $300 final pot size).

Multiply by 100 for the percentage

To change the decimal to a percentage, multiply 0.33 by 100. In this instance, 33% (0.33 * 100).

It indicates that to profit when you call, you must win more often than thirty-three percent of the time.

It is simpler to compare percentages and looks more straightforward when using them.

The next step is to analyze if your particular hand has at least 33% equity vs. your opponent's range.


It would be best to grasp your odds to become better at poker in live games and online. You can always keep track of your outs and ask yourself how your winning chances stack up against your pot odds.