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Most players make many of their calling decisions based on the size of the pot related to the current bet. While this does give an indication of what is correct, pot odds should be adjusted based on the expected future action of your opponents. For example, if the bettor is to your right and there are other players who might raise behind you, you should adjust the pot odds considerably lower. Specifically, you would reduce your calling frequency, since there is a possibility of a raise behind you.
Here are two extreme examples of this concept. First, suppose you hold Ac Tc and the flop is As Qs 9d
You should fold if you are in second position, a solid player to your right bets, a number of players are behind you, and there has been no raise before the flop.
A second example is to fold in the same situation if you hold Kd Jd and the flop is Js Ts 8h
Exceptions to folding these hands are when the pot has become very large and/or the game is very loose. (The first condition is often the case in today's games, but don't use this as an excuse to make an automatic call.) Also, remember that calling is sometimes the worst play. That is, folding or raising in these situations is usually a superior strategy. If the pot is large and you are going to play, it is generally correct to raise with these types of hands. You should seldom call, as you cannot afford to give someone behind you who holds a marginal hand the correct odds to draw out on you.
In addition, if you call on the flop and intend to also call on fourth street, keep in mind that the pot odds you are getting are not as good as they appear. The additional call that you plan to make lowers the effective odds that you are receiving from the pot. (For a more detailed discussion of these concepts, see The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky.)
Sometimes, however, the opposite will be the case. That is, your implied odds actually are better than the odds that the pot is offering you. This occurs when you plan to continue playing only if you hit your hand. Otherwise, you will fold. What this means is that the pot does not have to offer you seemingly correct odds to play a particular hand.
An example is to call before the flop with a small pair, if there is little danger of a raise, when you have odds of only about 5-to-1. (The odds against flopping a set are approximately 7+-to-1.) A second example is to try for an inside straight on the flop when you have odds of only about 8-to-1. (The odds against making your gut shot are approximately 11-to-1.) By the way, in a loose passive game, where you anticipate a lot of callers, small pairs can be played up front even if you do not have odds (as yet) as good as 5-to-1.
Specifically, if you hold 6d 5d and the flop is Kc 8s 4h you can call even if you are getting a little less than the required 11-to-1. However, if a two flush is on board, or for some other reason you are not sure that your hand will be good if you hit it, you probably would want odds of at least 11-to-1 to call.
Finally, even if the odds don't seem to justify it, you still should make a loose call every now and then, as you don't want to become known as a "folder." If you are regarded as a folder, other players will try to run over you, and otherwise predictable opponents may turn tricky and become difficult to play against. (Once again, for a more thorough analysis of pot odds and implied odds, see The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky.)
|Foreword by Ray Zee||vi|
|Using This Book||5|
|Why Play Texas Hold'em||7|
|Part One: The First Two Cards||9|
|The First Two Cards: Early Position||16|
|The First Two Cards: Middle Position||21|
|The First Two Cards: Late Position||23|
|The First Two Cards: Live Blinds||28|
|The First Two Cards: Late-Position Blind||34|
|Part Two: Strategic Concepts||39|
|The Free Card||49|
|Odds and Implied Odds||66|
|Folding when the Pot is Big||75|
|Heads-up Versus Multiway||77|
|Heads-up on Fifth Street||85|
|Part Three: Miscellaneous Topics||93|
|Being Beat on the River||95|
|Continuing the Semi-Bluff||98|
|Getting a Free Card||100|
|Staying With a Draw||101|
|Playing When There Is No Raise Before the Flop||103|
|Playing When Two Suited Cards Flop||105|
|Playing When a Pair Flops||106|
|Playing Pairs in the Hole||107|
|Playing Trash Hands||110|
|Playing Against a Maniac||112|
|Playing Good Hands When It Is Three Bets Before the Flop||114|
|Playing When the Flop Is All the Same Suit||116|
|Fourth Street Play||118|
|Part Four: Playing in Non-Standard Games||124|
|Playing in Loose Games||126|
|Playing in Extremely Tight Games||128|
|Playing Against a Live Straddle||129|
|Playing in Short-Handed Games||131|
|Playing in Spread-Limit Games||133|
|Part Five: Other Skills||136|
|Part Six: Questions and Answers||151|