CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of Fred Renzey

Gaming Guru

 

Winning a Texas Hold'em Pot: What Are Your Odds?

15 July 2006

Everybody wants to play Texas Hold'em these days. Just playing Hold'em, though, is one thing and winning at it is another.

New Hold'em players who take up the game from seeing it on TV get the impression that you've got to see the flop with almost any two cards. But what you see on TV are usually very shorthanded games. When only 8 or 10 cards have been dealt from the deck, nobody's likely to be holding all that much. At a full Hold'em table, however, it takes a premium quality starting hand to have a decent chance at the pot.

Today's question is, when you do play a good starting hand, what are your chances of winning the pot with it? Following are some odds that certain starting hands will develop into a good hand and probable winner at the river.

Top Pair: The bread and butter hand for a winning Hold'em player is to play two high cards and flop the "top pair". A hand like Ace/King will usually win the pot if an Ace or a King comes on the board. So what are your odds with this hand?

One time out of 3 when you have "Big Slick" (Ace/King), an Ace or King will come right on the flop. If the other two cards are not a cold pair, such as with A-10-10, you've very likely got the best hand. If you miss on the flop and for some reason decide to go the rest of the way, you'll hit an Ace or King 25% of the time somewhere between the turn and the river. That however, will cost you two more bets and is often not worth it.

If you have K/Q, a King or Queen with no Ace will flop 1 time in 4. The more "overcards" that could come above yours, the less likely you'll have the best hand even when to do hit your pair on the flop.

The "Set": Whenever you've been dealt a wired pair in the pocket such as, say, 5/5, you'll have a huge, hidden hand if the flop comes something like K-9-5. That's known as flopping a "set". But what are your chances of making those three of a kind on the flop with your pair in the pocket?

They're not that good. It'll happen only 1 time in 8. And if you miss on the flop, you've only got 1 chance in 24 to make it on the turn. That's why if your pocket pair is small, say lower than 8s, you should think twice about playing the hand at all.

Flush: Let's say you've got an A/8 of spades. It may look pretty, but the fact is you'll make a flush right on the flop only 1 time in 119! If you flopped two spades, though, you'd make a flush one third of those times that you went to the river. Unless your suited hand flopped some other kind of potential, you should muck it on the flop if you don't flop a 4-flush, which will happen for you 1 time in 9. If you flop just one of your flush cards, forget about trying to catch two running spades. That's a 23-to-1 shot.

Straight: Whenever you've got two "connectors" such as 5/6 or 8/9 or 10/J, you'll make a straight right on the flop just 1 time in 76. But if you flop an open-ender (a 9-to-1 shot) such as 4-7-10 to your 5/6, you'll make your straight one third of the times that you go to the river. Where straights are concerned, the best two connectors for that are the 10/J. It has more ways to make a straight than Q/J, K/Q or A/K, yet any straight it makes will be the "nuts" (highest possible straight).

Full House: It's not often that you'll need to make a full house to win a Hold'em pot. But if there are, say, four hearts out there on the turn or something like a 9-10-J-Q, your two pair or trips are probably running behind. Going to the river, you'll fill up two pair just 1 time in 11 – usually not worth a try. Trips however, will fill 1 time in 4.5 and that's any easy call.

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

> More Books By Fred Renzey

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

> More Books By Fred Renzey