Common Poker Odds Calculator Mistakes
People always say that “Practice makes perfect.”
The truth is that “perfect practice makes perfect.”
Using an online poker odds calculator is a crucial way to develop your skills and become a better player. But, I’ve noticed that even though the popularity of poker odds calculators like Texas Calculatem is booming, many players aren’t using these tools correctly.
This “bad practice” can easily cause lost profits, a frustrating learning curve, and unnecessary confusion…
So let’s discuss the seven most costly mistakes players make when using an odds calculator– and how you can avoid them.
MISTAKE #1: NOT BLUFFING ENOUGH
Poker is a game of odds and skill. It’s also a game of psychology and luck.
If you listen to the advice of an odds calculator 100% of the time, yes, you’ll come out ahead. But you don’t want to become a predictable “robot” who only plays favorable odds and never bluffs.
Get my drift?
There are times in every poker game when you’ll want to buy the blinds because you sense weakness, over bet the pot to give off a certain table image, or “bully” the table with your huge chip stack.
Odds calculators don’t bluff. And they don’t tell you when to bluff.
That’s why you’ve got to stay alert and make these types of decisions based on your own intuition.
MISTAKE #2: NOT PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION TO YOUR OPPONENTS
The right odds calculator can quickly become addictive. It’s easy to get in a bad habit of just listening to its “advice” without paying attention to the game.
This allows you to save time, save energy, and play multiple games at once.
Just like bluffing, blindly listening to an odds calculator can be detrimental. It can prevent you from catching important tells at the table.
Pay close attention to your opponents so that you spot someone on “tilt”, identify an amateur, and pick up betting patterns.
MISTAKE #3: NOT CONSIDERING “LIKELY ODDS”
Let’s say you’ve got pocket Queens. You make a pre-flop raise of 3x the big blind and get four callers (at an 8-man table).
The flop hits: A-A-K
What a terrible flop, right? You figure one of your four opponents must have an Ace… or at least a King. And that means all you can hope for on the turn or river is a Queen.
If someone throws out a sizeable bet in this situation, you would fold… because you know you’re beat.
What’s interesting is that a “primitive” odds calculator would tell you that you have a strong hand: two pair with a great kicker. And it would probably tell you to call any bets… or even raise.
You see, here’s the thing: Most odds calculators only look at your hand… and don’t try to “deduce” what your opponents might have. They don’t look at what’s “likely”.
You and I both know that the only way someone would call a pre-flop raise of 3x the big blind is if they have something good… like an Ace. But an odds calculator that just pays attention to your cards has no idea.
Texas Calculatem is different. Texas Calculatem does look at what’s “likely” and what’s not. It takes a look at those four players who stayed in the pot and calculates the likelihood that one of them is holding an Ace or a King… given all the possible conditions.
Don’t download an odds calculator that doesn’t do “likely odds”, otherwise you’re just asking for trouble.
MISTAKE #4: RELYING TOO MUCH ON ODDS DURING “ALL-IN” PLAYS
In no limit Texas Holdem there is no restriction to how much you can bet. This makes the use of an odds calculator more tricky in this game type.
For instance, let’s say there’s $20 in the pot and your opponent decides to go all-in for his entire stack of $480.
You have to make a decision to call or fold.
The “pot odds” in a situation like this aren’t very good. The reason is because there’s such a small amount in the pot.
In this situation, however, pot odds don’t mean much. Your decision shouldn’t be based on “math”… it should be based on whether you think your opponent has a better hand.
An all-in situation is so “disproportionate” that odds aren’t really relevant… so don’t get too caught up in them.
MISTAKE #5: MIS-INTERPRETING ODDS INFORMATION WHEN PLAYING
Heads-Up (Or Short-Handed)
With just 2-3 players at the table, chances are nobody will get good cards. At this stage in the game, winning is more about bluffs and reading opponents.
Proof of this is the fact that most heads-up hands never get to “show down”. Someone almost always folds before the river.
Therefore, the odds of “winning by river” aren’t as relevant in this type of situation. Who cares if you have 7-2 offsuit? All that really matters is what your opponent thinks you have.
When I get heads-up, I don’t pay attention to the “hand strength” percentage or “odds by river” on my odds calculator.
Instead, I pay attention to the “odds on next card” feature, because that’s what is immediately relevant.
MISTAKE #6: NOT ADJUSTING THE ODDS TO YOUR PERSONAL STYLE
When you download an odds calculator, make sure it fits your personal “style” of play. If you’re a loose pre-flop player, you don’t want your odds calculator constantly telling you to “play tight and fold”
Instead, you want your odds calculator to be “loose” and simply show you when you’re deviating in the wrong manner.
Texas Calculatem features “play settings” that you can customize for your own needs and preference.
(These settings apply both to pre-flop and post-flop play.)
This is also very useful depending on your game type. For instance, I set my pre-flop settings to be extremely tight in large multi-table tournaments… because my strategy is to sit back and be very patient.
But in a shorthanded Sit and Go, I do exactly the opposite, because “loose” hand selection is required to avoid getting blinded out.
MISTAKE #7: USING THE WRONG ODDS CALCULATOR
An odds calculator is only useful if it has the features you need and if you use it right.
Avoid the common mistakes we’ve just discussed and you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your online poker profits.
The next step is to simply get the best odds calculator possible.
My highest recommendation goes to “Texas Calculatem”. It has all the features we’ve just discussed, and dozens more.
It’s by far the easiest-to-use and most useful odds calculator on the market… and it’s proven to help players like you make more money at online poker.
You can download Texas Calculatem now for free (by joining a partner casino).