Every poker pro knows they are about 32% to hit an open-ended straight draw and 34% to hit their flush draw, but where the novice player makes a mistake is believing that they should always go for it since, “I’ll hit it 1/3 of the time.”
The first thing that will help you is to start calculating odds when playing poker instead of using percentages. Percentages are simple to calculate, but I don’t think they are as useful when trying to make the correct poker decision. 33% is 2-1…2 failures for 1 success. By dividing your bet into the size of the pot you get the odds on your bet…for example, $5 call when the pot is $20 is 4-1. 2-1 is better than 4-1…an easy call….getting used to doing it this way will help you immensely.
Let me set up a scenario to be referred to throughout this section:
$1/2 no limit texas holdem. You are first in from middle position with Ac Th and raise to $5. The button calls and the BB calls. Pot is not $16. Flop comes 2h 9h Ad. You are confident that your A’s are good, and the BB checks to you. What do you do?
When you are playing at situs poker online site, the use of the strong hands will offer the benefit. The use of the skills and excellence will offer the best bonuses and deals will offer the desired results. The checking of the bonuses and deals will deliver the best results to the gamblers.
You should definitely bet to protect your hand from a flush draw, but how much? The odds of your opponent hitting a flush draw is 2-1, but only when they are going to see both the river and the turn. What you really need to know for this bet is what are the odds of someone making their hand on the next card. 47 unseen cards, 9 hearts, 38 non-hearts. 38/9 = 4.2. Roughly 4-1 odds against.
What about if you bet $5? The pot would be $21, so anyone behind you could call getting better than 4-1 odds. They would be absolutely correct to call. You just made a mistake that could cost you the hand.
What if you bet $30? The pot would be $46, giving your opponent 1.5-1 odds. Most likely your opponents would fold and you would win the pot….so you would likely win $10 (you invested $35 + $1 rake). Not a terrible outcome.
What if you bet about 1/2 the pot, $8. They would have to call $8 to win $24. That’s 3-1. Would your opponent fold a flush draw for $8? At low limit hold’em, probably not, and they would be WRONG to make this call! They are taking a 4-1 chance of winning 3-1 on their bet. Let’s bet $8 and see what happens.
You bet $8, button calls, BB folds. Pot is $37.
Now let’s assume a non-flush card comes on the turn. You are once again in the same situation. How much should you bet to protect your hand? The odds of them hitting their flush on the river is still about 4-1, so you need to make another bet about 1/2-3/4 the pot. You bet $20. Now you’ve put your opponent in a tough spot. Their (wrong) decision to call on the flop made the pot quite large, but $20 is a big bet. If they fold, great! If they call they are making another wrong decision. If they fold you win over $30. If they call you stand the chance of winning over $50!
Betting in this manner (1/2 – 3/4 pot bets) forces your opponent to either quit the hand or make a mistake. Anytime you can do that you are playing good poker. Of course, you will not win every time you do this, but as you can see, you’re playing the odds and will be a winning poker player in the long run.
Be smart if the flush card does come. Let’s say the turn was a flush card. You check. Your opponent checks (they are trying to disguise their flush). Great. You have not invested any more money and get to see a free card. River comes, check again. They bet, you fold. You lost only $13. You have minimized the losses when they do hit, and maximized the winnings when they miss, which will happen more than 60% of the time.
How about when you’re the one on the draw? Answer, don’t fall into the trap you’ve put your opponent in. In general, drawing hands go way down in value when playing NL, so be very careful. You must also consider the number of player involved. The more players, the better the odds, so drawing hands become more attractive, but be aware if you’re not the last to act. A big re-raise could really kill your hand and force you to fold after you called a bet, not good.