|What are the maths?
The maths involved are very simple, and you can do this in your head. It takes very little time and can make a tremendous amount of difference to your game. So what do you do to work out the money? The best way to go around it is to compare the money in the pot against the money you need to put in.
If there is $500 in the pot, and your opponent raises by $250, you have to place $250 to win $750. This is a risk of $250 to possibly win $750, a 3:1 risk reward ratio. This is the odds that you effectively are receiving on your bet that yours is the best hand.
Compare the odds and decide
The odds of the pot are essential to deciding whether you want to play your hand. If you work out that the pot odds are 2:1, then you need to compare this to the chance of you winning the hand. If the odds of you winning are less than 2:1, and you stand to win 2:1, you can weigh up that you are not playing in the right hand.
Learning to bet
Understanding the concept of odds in poker is very important. Simply playing games because you are attempting to predict the future, or on pure gut instinct are doomed to failure in the long term.
If you are able to keep your bets small in relation to the pot then you have good pot odds to call your bets. If you stand a better chance of winning a large pot with a strong hand then your overall profit will be better.
To be successful you should make bets that are in relation to the size of the pot and the strength of your hand. If you are playing against a smart opponent and he can calculate the pot odds he will tend to fold and play more tactically.
If he does not calculate then he will call your bets when he does not have optimum hands. This will allow you to make long terms profits, whether you bluff or not if you can also calculate your hands.