Formula for winning calls in poker (part 1)

Fold or call? How many times have you cursed, pounded the table with your fist, or thrown your mouse at the wall because of a wrong answer to this question? 
Formula for winning calls in poker (part 1)

"I knew I should have folded, why did I call !?" - oh, how many times players have been knocked out of a tournament with these words, which could have changed their lives, or lost all their profit in a cash session.

I'll give you a formula that will help you make the right calls in poker not only with made hands, but also with drawing hands.

To make a plus call you need to know 3 numbers: 

  1. Pot odds (odds). 
  2. % of your hand's winnings (equity). 
  3. Estimated pot odds (implied odds).

Your opponent bets $7.50 into a $10 pot on the turn. Pot odds indicate how often you must win for a call to be profitable in the long run. You need to win less than 50% of the time, because by calling you will win not only your opponent’s bet - $7.5, but also the entire pot up to his bet - $10.

Pot odds don't need to calculated every time, you need to remember them:

1/3 pot bet - 20% pot odds

1/2 pot bet - 25%

2/3 pot bet - 27%

3/4 pot bet - 30%

Pot bet - 33%

x2 overbet - 40%

In our example, the opponent bets $7.5 into $10 - i.e. 3/4 pot bet, which means the pot odds for a call are 30%

Next, we determine how often our hand will win in reality - the equity of the hand in %. The equity of unmade drawing hands must be learned, and the equity of made hands must be calculated manually or in an equity calculator. If you have an unmade hand on the turn, and you are considering whether to call your opponent's bet or not, then remember these numbers:

traight draw (OESD) with 8 outs – 18% equity

Flush draw (FD) with 9 outs – 20% equity

Flush draw + gutshot with 13 outs – 25% equity

Flush draw + straight draw with 17 outs – 33% equity

You have a naked flush draw on the turn with no additional outs for a gutshot or overcard, which means your hand equity = 20%. Let's compare the equity of our flush draw on the turn = 20% and the pot odds required for a positive call with a bet of 3/4 of the pot = 30%.

If the equity of your hand is less than the pot odds, the call is negative and you should fold, no matter how good the hand looks.

But why do many poker pros call not only a straight draw on the turn with 8 outs, but also a gutshot with 4 outs that can be drawn not according to the pot odds? Because there is a third number - the estimated pot odds (implied odds or implied odds). Implied odds should be counted when your opponent has money left in his stack and we can win it on the next street

For example, an opponent goes all-in on the turn with a bet of $7.5 to $10 - we don’t have any implied odds, because on the river we can no longer win anything additional money. But if an opponent bets $7.50 into a $10 pot, and after the bet he still has $43 left in his stack, then we can win extra money if we “finish” with our unmade hand.

How do you calculate implied odds? How much money do you need to win on the next street to make a call "not according to pot odds" profitable? How can you quickly estimate the profitability of a call during the game? We will cover these questions in the next posts!

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