# Why you should use a Poker Odds Calculator

by on November 7, 2007

Do you use an online poker odds calculator?

I really, truly hope so. Odds calculators are a critical element of winning money when playing online poker. Here are a just a couple of ways an odds calculator can simply and quickly improve your game:

The biggest mistake made by most online poker players is playing TOO MANY HANDS. Just as an example, tell me if this has ever crossed your mind:

“It’s worth calling the flop even though I have bad cards– because who knows, I might catch three-of-a-kind… or two pair… or something really good!”

Every poker player has had this thought cross their minds from time to time. Yup, even the pros.

But thinking like this will actually cause you to LOSE MONEY in the long run. Why?Well, it’s all because of the ODDS. Even though you might potentially make a “great hand” once in every twenty flops, those other nineteen hands will actually cause you to lose MORE money than you won in the one good hand.

A good online poker odds calculator will show you EXACTLY how strong or weak your starting hand is… based on a PERCENTAGE and will show you the appropriate “Sklansky Starting Hand Group”. What this means is you will IMMEDIATELY know just how good (or how bad!) your hand is, almost as soon as the cards are dealt to you.

For example, at a 10-man online poker table (assuming you are playing something like Texas Hold em) pocket Aces has a hand rank of 100% and is GROUP 1. Pocket two’s has a hand rank of 63.3%, which is in GROUP 7.

But come on – understanding how “good” those hands are is just plain EASY. You don’t need an odds calculator for that.

To make things a little more difficult, which of THESE hands do you think has the highest “Hand Rank”?

a.) Queen-9 suited
b.) Ace-5 suited
c.) Jack-10 suited
d.) Ace-Queen offsuit

(Here’s a hint… the strongest hand is NOT options “b” or “d”…)

Give up? Are you surprised that A-Q wasn’t the strongest? Well, that’s just ONE of the ways an odds calculator can be incredibly useful… you’ll know the exact hand strength right away and can make a more educated (and therefore MORE PROFITABLE) decision before the flop.

KNOW YOUR CHANCES OF HITTING AN “OUT”

For example, let’s say you’re holding 5-6 and the flop comes out 3-4-Q. That means you need either a two or a seven to make a straight

Since there are four two’s and four seven’s in the deck, you have EIGHT OUTS.

Odds calculators will show you how many outs you have at any given time… and also give you the PERCENTAGE chance you have of getting them. In addition, a REALLY good odds calculator will “break it down” by each hand…

For example, in the scenario above with the straight draw, let’s say you ALSO had a spade flush draw. That means you have more than eight outs, since one more spade will help you.

Premium odds calculators will show you the exact percentage chance you have of making the straight, the exact percentage chance of making the flush, and the TOTAL percentage for the two…

This is a huge time-saver for you. Playing Online poker is fast-paced… and it’s not really that practical to sit there and do advanced calculations and long division in your head while you’re trying to make a decision about whether to call, raise or fold.

When playing Texas Holdem poker, positioning is everything. You want to play MORE hands with good positioning and FEWER hands with bad positioning. It’s that simple.

The odds calculator I recommend allows you to ADJUST your starting hand settings depending on where you’re sitting at the table. For instance, if you’re on the button (the dealer position, which is the best position to be), the program will automatically set the “Hand Rank Requirement” to 50%…

…So if you pick up a hand that has a Hand Rank LOWER than 50%, it will recommend that you fold.

But if you’re UNDER THE GUN (the player to the left of the big blind, which is the worst position to be), the program will automatically set the “Hand Rank Requirement” to 85%… so the software will make “tighter” recommendations while you’re in this position. Now come on – how brilliant is that? Oh yes, you’ll thank me for it!

Most professional poker players improve their skills over years and YEARS of hard work, practice, and study. This is without a doubt the slow and painful way.

Using an online poker odds calculator such as the one we recommend ACCELERATES the learning process dramatically. Here’s why:

As you’re playing online poker, the odds calculator will automatically compute the odds, hand strength, percentage chance on outs, and so on. You’ll use this information, make better decisions, and win more money. Life is good.

Then here’s what will happen…

In a matter of months, you’ll find yourself “knowing” the odds and hand strength WITHOUT looking at the software! It will become “natural” to you… because you’ll be seeing the same types of hands so frequently.

Of course, you’ll still want to use the odds software for the more advanced calculations.

But you’ll be AMAZED when you sit down at the poker table with your buddies, see the flop, and then blurt out:

“He has an 19% chance of making the flush on the river.”

Your friends will think you’re a poker genius! Because the truth is, learning the odds ISN’T just about learning the MATHs… it’s about SEEING and PLAYING with the numbers right in front of you frequently enough.

This is how the pros do it… and this is how YOU can do it too given the right tool.

GET “ODDS-BASED” RECOMMENDATIONS.

Ultimately, the point is to reach a conclusion about WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN A GIVEN SITUATION BASED ON THE ODDS.

You and I both know that “odds” are only a PART of the game. They may be a BIG part, but they’re still just a part. There’s bluffing strategies, betting patterns, and many other factors that will affect your decisions…

Now let me show you the odds calculator that I use when I play online poker. It’s called “Texas Calculatem“. One of the great things is that it gives you “odds-based” recommendations.

To put it another way, it take the outs, percentages, ratios, number of players, starting hand strength, and everything else… compile it all together… and then spit out a “decision” about what you should do.

So while you’re playing online poker, this program will run near the bottom of your screen and say something like, “Check” or “Fold” or “Call Unraised Only” or “Raise and Re-Raise”… and so on.

And here’s another reason why I like Texas Calculatem so much:

For instance, let’s say you’re playing a 10-player Sit and Go. At the start, you’re going to want to play extremely tight because you just want to SURVIVE as the other players start knocking themselves out (after all, Sit and Go’s only pay out for the top three finishers, so there’s no need to risk many chips in the beginning).

So what I do is set the “Pre-Flop Slider” to a very tight setting.

BUT… when you DO play a hand in the early stages of a Sit and Go, you want to play it AGGRESSIVELY. Especially if it’s a really good hand like a high pocket pair. Because the reality is, there are a lot of “loose manics” at the Sit and Go’s who will call just about anything so you want to try and increase your chip stack by taking advantage of them.

So in that situation, I set the “Post-Flop Slider” to a much more aggressive setting.

You see, with Texas Calculatem Pro you can adjust each of these settings without affecting the other. Not only that, but you can adjust them mid-game or any time you want (I adjust mine back to more normal levels when it gets down to around six players remaining in the Sit and Go Tournament).

Of course, it works in exactly the same way with Ring Games and other tournaments. In a four player ring game I like to play lots of starting hands and aggressively “bully” my opponents… so I adjust the sliders to the looser and more aggressive settings and then “Bam!”… the program adjusts its computations automatically.

AND, wait for it.. get this…

Texas Calculatem instantly adjusts all of the odds and recommendations based on HOW MANY PLAYERS are at the table. In ring games people are constantly getting up, sitting out, coming in, etc… and in Sit and Go’s players are continuously being eliminated. All of this makes it very confusing indeed to figure out which hands to play and how to play them.

Texas Calculatem adjusts everything AUTOMATICALLY. You don’t have to input anything, either. It “detects” everything by itself. I know – genius isn’t it?

Speaking of detection… there’s a couple of other things you need to be aware of:

DON’T BUY AN ODDS CALCULATOR WITHOUT THESE FEATURES…

There are some KEY FEATURES that make an odds calculator a very effective tool. But ironically, MOST ODDS CALCULATORS don’t have these features!

For instance, most odds calculators make you “manually” type in what your cards are… what the flop cards are… and so on.

This makes no sense. After all, you can do the math faster than that!

Texas Calculatem was designed in a way that requires NONE of your time or effort. It automatically “attaches” to your poker game and detects your cards and the cards on the table (from the flop, turn, and river). You simply sit back and focus on the game.

Obviously Texas Calculatem doesn’t read your OPPONENTS cards, though… since that information is completely secured by the casino. (Shame really – That sure would make things so much easier, wouldn’t it?)

Another great feature that Calculatem has is called “Fold Depth”. This basically uses “human logic” to make the odds computations more accurate. For instance, let’s say the flop came out 7-7-3 and two players folded.

Texas Calculatem “knows” that neither of those two players folded the seven. (obviously!)

The reason this is important is because it affects all of the ADVANCED calculations from that point forward. Using the “human logic”, Texas Calculatem knows a more accurate percentage of WHERE the other two sevens actually are… as well as all the other cards in the deck.

The result is a program that is far superior and more useful than any other on the market. In fact, I’ve really only “scratched the surface” of all the features that Texas Calculatem Pro has… and all the ways it can help you win more money at online poker.

Honestly, the question isn’t whether or not you need an odds calculator…

The question is: How can you afford NOT to use one?

The cold hard truth is that many of your opponents WILL be using Texas Calculatem… which gives them the IMMEDIATE ADVANTAGE at the tables.

If you’re only going to play poker for “play money”, then I guess it’s OK. But if you’re playing for REAL MONEY, then you need to download Texas Calculatem to your computer TODAY. Without it, you’re just another fish waiting to be hooked.

The best part is, Texas Calculatem is FREE (Yup, that’s right – 100% free, gratis, nada, zilch.. you get the point) when you open a new account at one of the partner poker rooms