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Bonus of the Month

Mathematics and Rush Poker: Knowing the (Pot) Odds

Rush Poker is a card-based game. You’re paying less attention to opponent’s tendencies and more to the immediately perceivable value of your hand. You can’t pick up long-term reads, so face-up worth becomes the main factor driving decisions.

Thus it is useful to know some basic poker math. Every profitable Rush Poker player will have a working knowledge of at least some concepts. These are not intimidating formulas or abstract theories. They are very simple and applicable calculations that can be learned quickly.

You really only need to know two basic concepts to get an edge: counting outs, and pot odds. Let’s get started.

Counting Outs in Rush Poker

What is an out? Simple: any card that will make your hand. For example, say you hold AK and the flop is J-3-Q rainbow. How many outs to the nuts? Four—a T on the turn or river will make a straight.

Imagine a second hand in which you hold 9h-Th. The flop comes Ac-4h-Kh. Your hand hasn’t connected with the flop, but you’ve picked up a flush draw. How many outs do you have here?

Well, there are 13 cards in every suit. You’re drawing to hearts, and you know there are 4 of them already dealt. Thus there are (13-4) 9 hearts left unseen. You’ve got 9 outs.

Are My Outs Really Outs?

Counting outs is generally pretty simple, but there are some complications. When counting, you want to take care not to include cards that make your hand, but leave it second best. For example:

You’re dealt 8d-Ad. The flop comes 9c-Tc-Jc. You’re drawing at a straight, and you need either a 7 or a Q in order to make it. However, there are some complications:

If a Q hits on the turn, you make the low straight. Anybody with a K in their hand will have also hit a straight—a straight higher than yours. The Q can either make your hand or cripple it, depending on your opponent’s hand.

There are 3 clubs on the board. You have no clubs in your hand. Somebody could have a flush right now. Anybody with no club could make a flush on the turn, including the 7 or Q of clubs. Thus these cards aren’t really solid outs.

In the above example, both 7c and a Q of any suit could potentially destroy your hand, although they’d give you a straight. My best advice is to simply avoid weak made hands like these. Do not draw aggressively to them, since your outs are tainted. You might hit, only to find that your opponent did too. All too often players lose stacks in these situations.

Calculating Pot Odds in Rush Poker

Now that you can count outs, it’s time to apply the skill to calculating pot odds. Pot odds are useful to consider when you are drawing to a hand. They are simply the ratio of the money in the pot to a bet you need to call.

Pot Odds = (Total $ In Pot) : ($ Bet)

For example, imagine you’re dealt Th-Jh on the button. A player in middle position raises the action, and you call. Everyone else folds out. The action preflop brings the pot to $12. The flop falls 4h-Ah-7d. You have a flush draw. Your opponent bets $7, bringing the pot to $19. What are your pot odds on a call?

Pot Odds = (Total $ In Pot) : ($ Bet) = 19:7, or 2.71:1

Easy, huh?

“How is this useful,” you may be wondering. On its own, it really isn’t. However comparing your pot odds to the odds you have to hit your draw is very useful.

Simply put, if the pot offers you odds better than those of making your draw, you must call. If the pot offers you worse odds than those of hitting, you must fold.

Continuing with the above example, let’s see if you should call with your flush draw. First, count your outs. There are 13 hearts total in the deck, and 4 seen. Thus there are 9 left to come, giving you 9 outs. There are a total of 52 cards in a deck, and a total of 5 seen; this leaves 47 left unseen. Out of these 47, 9 make your hand and 38 do not. Thus your odds of hitting a flush on the turn are:

Odds to Hit = (Cards that don’t make your flush) : (Outs) = 38:9, or 4.22:1

So you’ve got odds of 4.22:1 to hit your hand on the turn, and the pot is giving you 2.71:1 odds on a call. Should you draw to your flush?

No! Your pot odds are smaller than the odds of your making the flush. Remember: you only want to call when your pot odds are greater than the odds of hitting your hand.

With this simple math, you should be ready to crush the Rush Poker tables in no time. Practice a few calculations every day, and it’ll be second nature within a week. Math is a formidable weapon in Rush Poker. Use it wisely!

Rush Poker is being played at FullTilt Poker, we can offer the top bonus for new players when using the Full Tilt referral code .

Find more Rush Poker articles here!


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