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I Thought I Understood Pot Odds

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 08:39 PM

So anyways, I thought I understood basic pot odds. If the pot contains $20, and it costs you $10 to call, then you are getting 2 to 1 on your money. Simple as could be. Or so I thought.So tonight I am reading a book by a University of Toronto probability expert, called "Struck by Lighting" (a great read so far by the way, as this guy makes probability very understandable for the layman).Anyways, in one of his sections, he is talking about pot odds, but the way he describes it, in the above scenario, once you threw in your $10 into the pot, the pot would now contain $30, so in effect you would be getting 3 to 1 on your money, not 2 to 1.So I went and rechecked my Harrington on Holdem books again (waiting for your book DN as these make me play way too tight!), and of course his definition of pot odds would be that I was getting 2 to 1, not the 3 to 1 mentioned above.So anyways, everyone always says that once you have money in the pot, it is gone and you forget about it. So would that concept not apply as well to the money you are about to put into the pot? (as opposed to the money already in there). In other words, if I make the call the pot now contains $30, and that is the amount I will win for my $10 bet, not the $20 that was in the pot prior to my call.Or have I been missing something all along and 3 to 1 would be the odds I am getting if I call $10 into a $20 pot.The example he gave was when you had a 4 flush after the flop. The odds of making your flush by the river are 35%, so the EV is 35% * $30, of approximately $10.50. Since you are only calling $10, it is a no brainer. Relative newbie (2 years) to the game and this has been puzzling me.Thanks for your adviceSCYukonDoh - it appears I may have posted this on the wrong part of the site. Sorry about that. will move it!
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#2 pokerroomace


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Posted 11 October 2006 - 02:22 AM

It's the way Harrington explains it. 20 in the pot and 10 to play is 2to1.If there's 20 in the pot and your opponent bets 10 then you are getting 3to1.(30 in the pot and you need to call 10).If you're getting 2 to 1 it means you need a 1 in 3 chance of winning to make it a fair bet. Maybe that's what he meant?

#3 _Great_Dane_



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Posted 11 October 2006 - 07:58 PM


#4 LongLiveYorke


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Posted 15 October 2006 - 11:57 AM

A concept of Pot odds is only as relevant as how we use it to interpret what odds we need to call a bet. If we go with the 10 to call a 20 pot as being 2-1, then we must recognize that we must win the pot 1/3 times to break even.In other words, getting n to 1 on our money, we must win 1/(n+1) times.If we call it 3 to 1, then we simply alter our formula:Getting n to 1 on our money, we must win 1/n times to break even.In other words, it all washes out when you reinterpret to what percentage you need to call. This is the only concrete thing that must be correct.

#5 Zach6668


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Posted 15 October 2006 - 08:26 PM

View PostSCYUKON, on Wednesday, October 11th, 2006, 12:39 AM, said:

The example he gave was when you had a 4 flush after the flop. The odds of making your flush by the river are 35%, so the EV is 35% * $30, of approximately $10.50. Since you are only calling $10, it is a no brainer.
While this does not answer your first question, I'd just like to point out a mistake here.If you are calling a bet on the flop, you are only seeing one card, not both, so you cannot utilize the 35%, you have to use the 9 flush cards out of the 47 unseen cards, or 19%, when using pot odds. UNLESS, he is going to be all in and will not force you to pay more to see the river.You can use the 35% when calculating your equity on the flop, but be careful not to mix it up with the odds of hitting on the turn.- Zach
QUOTE (serge @ Tuesday, May 12th, 2009, 7:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Acid_Knight @ Monday, March 10th, 2008, 4:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Zach is right about pretty much everything.

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