For most people, there are only two real reasons to play poker: fun and profit, which are sometimes interrelated (more profit means more fun).
But in order to make money by playing poker online, you should always be gathering information about your opponents and, why not, about yourself. Asides that, another vital thing is the ability to determine, use and understand pot odds, which is one of the most underrated concepts for beginning online poker players. Pot odds are calculations used during a game of poker that put the concept of risk and reward into numbers. In this article, we provide you with an explanation of pot odds in order to help you start using them in your game.
Whenever you are in a hand and need to decide whether or not to call a bet, count how many cards that are still unseen that can come on the turn and/or river that can help you. Then check the number on the chart below to get the pot odds. For example, you have A5s with two more of your suit on the flop. Therefore you have 9 outs to make the nut flush. Your odds of hitting it on the turn are 4.2 to 1 and to hit it on the turn or river 1.9 to 1. If you are only concerned about hitting it on the turn, the pot must have at least 4.2 times the amount you must place in the pot to make this a profitable call. If you are playing no-limit holdem and a player has moved all-in, if there is at least 1.9 times the amount you have to call in the pot it is a correct call and will be profitable in the long run. Pot odds are just a quick way of seeing if a bet will be profitable if you are in the same situation thousands of times.
A thing that’s often confusing to beginning online poker players is that they think that the money in the pot somehow goes into the computation of the pot odds. Actually, any money in the pot is not yours. It was yours before you put it in the pot, but the only way to get it back is to win the pot. This is the reason that money you have already placed in the pot is not used in pot odds computation.
Remember to always get your money in with the best of it and over the long run you will be not only a winning online poker player, but a profitable one too.