Test # 84
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Poker for Beginners
Know when to hold and when to fold
The key to being successful at poker is knowing when to fold your hand and accept a smaller loss, or when to hold onto it and risk a larger loss knowing that you have a good chance to win the pot. If the flop comes and youre holding a hand that doesnt play, check and fold. You dont want to keep betting money at a hand that wont win. If the flop comes and you have a strong hand, bet at it. This will force weaker hands out and raise the value of your pot.If your hand could play if the right cards come up, then youll want to determine if its worth holding out for them. Calculating pot odds can go a long way towards helping you make these decisions.Pot odds are calculated by determining the percentage chance that you have to draw the card you need. To calculate them, count the number of outs you have. These are cards that will improve your hand. Multiply the number of cards times two, then add 1 to get the percentage. For example, if there are 10 cards in the deck that could improve your hand, you have about a 21% (10 x 2 + 1) chance of getting a card you need.Next, youll need to determine if it is worth betting. Calculate the pot+bet, which is the pot total plus the bet to call. So if the pot is $120, and the bet to call is $20, then the pot+bet is $140. Multiply your percentage of your outs with the pot+bet. In the previous example, a 21% chance with a pot+bet of $140 would look like 0.21 x 140 = 29.4. This means you should call bets lower than %29 of the pot, or around $40. Working out the pot odds is only a guideline, and doesnt take a lot of variables into account. Use it as a basis to judge the worthiness of a hand.