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February 18, 2024

Mastering Texas Hold’em Hands Odds—A Complete Guide 

“What are the odds?” is a phrase mostly used figuratively when playing games of luck. Not so in Texas hold’em, where it’s more likely to be used literally.

Calculating the odds of your starting hand winning the pot is a skill you can use to your advantage when playing any variant of poker. Figuring out your Texas hold’em hands odds is all about knowing a card deck by heart and using simple math.

How To Calculate Odds in Texas Hold’em

Each starting hand combination in poker has specific odds of winning. Professional players often perform precise mathematical calculations to determine those odds. This helps them make better decisions on whether to call, raise, or fold in each stage of the game.

If you’re not that skilled at math, you can use a free online calculator to determine hand odds by following these steps:

  1. Pick any combination for your hole cards
  2. Add the starting hands of your hypothetical opponents
  3. Study the percentage of your hole cards forming a particular hand and the probability of your hand winning the betting round against your opponents during pre-flop
  4. Insert any combination of community cards into the calculator 
  5. Analyze the updated odds for each stage

Texas Hold’em Odds Calculator Example

Source: Dylan Clifton

To see an example of how a poker odds calculator would work in practice, let’s imagine the hole cards are:

  • 9♣️, J♣️—for you
  • 5♥️, 8♠️—for your opponent

Based on these starting hands, here are your and your opponent’s chances of forming a certain poker hand:

Poker HandYour Chances of Forming ItYour Opponent’s Chances of Forming it 
Straight flush0.17%0.03%
Four of a kind0.14%0.14%
Full house2.39%2.39%
Three of a kind4.44%4.56%
Two pair22.37%23.06%
One pair40.94%43.77%
High card15.94%17.5%

Besides showing you what specific hand odds in Texas hold’em are for each starting card combination, the calculator will also tell you the overall chances of winning the game. In the example used above, your chances of winning long-term would be 67.58% and your opponent’s 31.16%.

Keep in mind that these are only the calculations for the pre-flop round, and you would still need to add the community cards to calculate your odds during the flop, turn, and river.

When playing the actual game, you cannot think about the odds of all hole cards in Texas hold’em. It is more important to learn how to calculate the overall poker odds during each hand by knowing your outs and the pot odds based on the specific bet sizes involved.  

Texas Hold’em Odds and Percentages in Practice

To form an in-depth understanding of Texas hold’em hand odds and apply that knowledge, you must pay attention to all factors of the game that include math:

  1. Poker outs
  2. Pot odds
  3. Implied odds

Poker Outs

A poker out is any card that can improve your starting combination and is not already on the table. For example, if your hole card combination is 5 and 7 of hearts, you will need:

To calculate your outs, you need to:

  1. Determine how many unseen cards there are in the deck (e.g. the game is still in the pre-flop stage, you’re holding two cards, and you can’t see your opponents’ hands, which leaves you with a total of 50 unseen cards)
  2. Calculate the total number of the example suit cards (which is 13) minus the number of that suit’s cards that you’re holding (which is 2)
  3. Conclude that there are a total of 11 outs (the number of undrawn hearts you need to form a flush) or six outs (the number of undrawn hearts you need to form a straight flush)

If any heart card is drawn on the flop or in the later stages of the game, your outs will change accordingly. 

Pot Odds

Seeing as you’re playing poker against a number of opponents, you can only loosely determine the number of outs you have, not know it with certainty. The above example applies to the ideal case scenario where nobody else has any of the cards you need. However, you can’t know if they do, and this is where calculating Texas hold’em pot odds comes into play.

Pot odds is a concept that determines how much it costs you to stay in the game. It represents the ratio of the current pot size to the bet size you will have to call, which tells you whether the potential reward will be worth the risk.

For example, if the current pot size is $100, and your opponent bets $20, you will:

  1. Divide the pot size by the opponent’s bet and get the number 5 
  2. Conclude that your pot odds are 5:1—for every $1 you call, there is $5 already in the pot
  3. Decide to call if the probability of your hand improving is higher than 1 in 5 based on the number of outs you’re keeping in mind 

Using math in poker to form favourable decisions involves assessing both your outs and pot odds against your opponents during each hand.

Implied Odds

Another factor to keep in mind is the implied odds—the potential rewards you can win in a later betting round if you form your desired poker hand. You can calculate the implied odds by keeping in mind the current pot size and the bet size, based on which you will divide the potential winnings by the current call amount. 

Using the above example, if the current pot odds are 5:1, calling your opponent’s $20 bet could win you 2.5 times the current call amount—which makes placing a bet a smart decision. 

Tips On Using a Poker Odds Calculator

Source: Keenan Constance

While you will find no shortage of Texas hold’em odds charts, hand combination statistics, or easily available calculators on the internet, it’s impossible to memorize all that math. To improve your overall decision-making skills, here are a few things you can do:

  • Memorize or jot down the cards that were at play during a hand you lost and simulate the game via the odds calculator to see when you should have folded and why
  • Practice varied hand combinations to be able to determine the odds more quickly
  • Consider your table position when making calculations since it can affect your decisions

You should use calculators as a tool that helps you become more comfortable and understand the game better. However, assessing your poker odds in real time is a soft skill that can only improve with practice.

Calculate Your Poker Odds and Outs by Playing Texas Hold’em Online

Source: Chris Liverani

Now that you have seen how you can calculate your Texas hold’em hand winning percentages, you should test your math abilities by playing online poker!

Seeing how many online casinos there are, it can be time-consuming to filter out the legitimate ones. This is why we have come up with a handy list of reputable venues that you can sign up for today for a seamless online poker session! 

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By calculating your poker odds and outs, you can build your confidence and adjust your Texas hold’em strategy. Whether you’re playing recreationally or competing in large tournaments, knowing all the math behind the game can make your gaming sessions more rewarding.

Featured image source: Josh Appel

Tuomas Laine

Navigating offers and nailing the best, Tuomas is our dedicated Casino Bonus Hunter

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