In this strategy series, CoinPoker’s Chief Community Manager and pro poker player Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier walks you through the basics of the game. Each No Mercy Monday comes with expert advice on how to play, and it all starts with starting hands.
Knowing how to play your starting hands, understanding the notion of position, the art of bluffing, and being aggressive, are four concepts that are part of the most important strategies in No Limit Hold’em Poker.
For the past few weeks, we moved on the essential topic of calculating odds. We started with explaining how you can determine your drawing odds, the importance of observation, and adapting calculations based on those observations. Next up are the most common, we’ll call them classic, drawing odds in poker.
Understanding Classic Drawing Odds
The number of outs and percentages for the classic draws we’ll be covering in this chapter are the following:
- Flush Draw: 9 Outs (36% on the flop / 18% on the turn)
- Open-Ended Straight Draw: 8 Outs (32% on the flop / 16% on the turn)
- Gutshot Straight Draw: 4 Outs (16% on the flop / 8% on the turn)
- Open-Ended + Flush Draw: 15 Outs (60% on the flop / 30% on the turn)
- Two Overcards + Flush Draw: 15 Outs (60% on the flop / 30% on the turn)
You should know these numbers by heart, despite the fact that they are really easy to count on the spot. As we mentioned earlier, these numbers are not 100% precise, but they are accurate enough for you to be able to apply the times 4 / times 2 formula and calculate your drawing odds.
We will now push this concept further by looking at the pot odds It is great to know that you have a 25% or 35% chance of completing your draw, but it is just as crucial to know how to evaluate these percentages in relation to the bets or the raises that you are facing.
Your drawing odds must be higher than your pot odds in order to make the correct play.”
What this means, is that your drawing odds must be higher than your pot odds in order to make the correct play. Inversely, when you have a made hand and you are facing an opponent that is drawing, knowing these odds will allow you to adjust your bet or your raise, forcing them to make an incorrect play (mathematically speaking) by calling you.
Whenever you do that, you are playing successful poker, no matter the outcome of the hand!
Stay tuned next week for some concrete examples and applications of the drawing odds in relation to the pot odds. In the meantime, you can join me weekly in the Hubble Bubble tournaments and Sunday’s Andromeda events to practice your skills and try to win my 10,000 CHP or 25,000 CHP bounties!
– Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier