Poker Odds Calculator: Should you use one?

Poker is a game of many outcomes and, therefore, a game of nerve.

As players place bets, they are essentially weighing up all of the probabilities of different card combinations and, in doing so, calculating whether or not to up the stakes or play it safe. Or maybe even bluff their way to a big win by banking on rival players folding. A card and a mind game all at once.

With so much to consider, it is perhaps unsurprising that there are tools out there that can help poker players and players of poker online, like the poker odds calculator. When used correctly, it can be a very effective tool, especially if you are a poker player who prefers not to do all the mathematics that an intense game can conjure up.

In this article, we will be looking at what a poker odds calculator does, where to find one and other online poker tips.

What is a poker odds calculator?

Just as poker at its very core is a game of maths, the poker odds calculator is essentially an online machine created by algorithms that use information from poker scenarios and hands to work out a player’s chances of winning, or indeed losing, a hand.

The poker odds calculator calculates the likelihood of a player winning as a ratio. This is typically defined as a percentage out of 100 that, based on the statistics assessed by the poker odds calculator, will give the player their chances of winning as an easy-to-read number.

As you might expect, due to the sheer amount of possibilities and variants in a game of poker - some of which have little to do with cards and more so the decisions made by your fellow players - poker odds calculators are not a sure-fire way to win a hand.

However, they do give some really useful information, especially for players new to poker, of what hands are the most valuable and, using bespoke scenarios from the game before you, they offer insight in the form of probabilities or odds.

Poker Combinations

Poker combinations are the all important result of each round. The phrase refers to sets of cards that a player can make, or has made during the game. Each hand has a different value, and we have listed the ten standard combinations that players might come across below. If you want to know more, check our poker guide.

Poker hand calculator

A poker hand calculator is largely the same thing as a poker odds calculator. However, there are different kinds of poker calculators out there.

Naturally, as technology continues to improve and we all try and keep up, new takes on all sorts of casino-related software emerge. As for the poker odds calculator, new look designs that make the format more user-friendly are frequently popping up, and players will not struggle to find free-to-use poker calculators online.

The free ones tend to be quite basic, but they will always get the job done. As with anything, practice makes perfect, and you might find that the more you use a specific poker calculator, the quicker and easier it is and the more effective it becomes.

There are paid options for poker odds calculator users, too, such as the ICM model, which has become very popular among the online poker community. Even professional poker players have been known to use a calculator like these to sharpen their skills and retain focus in big-pressure moments.

Is using a poker odds calculator allowed during a game?

For the most part, in brick-and-mortar casinos, their use is not allowed. This is more to do with the fact that at many poker tables, smartphones or other devices are not allowed to be on the player’s person anyway, which would obviously rule out the use of a poker odds or poker hand calculator right from the off.

However, during poker online, the use of a poker odds calculator is possible. Whether you have the tool open on a different tab or a separate device, players are able to put the info into a poker odds calculator whilst they are playing.

The only challenge would be taking your turn in time, as most games of online poker will have a time limit for each player to bet, fold or check within. Considering that the use of a poker hand calculator can be quite time-consuming, this would be one thing to bear in mind.

So, should you use a poker odds calculator?

From the information above, there are mainly pros when it comes to the use of the poker odds calculator. At the very least, the tool can be used as a way for players new to poker to practice and research what the best hands and scenarios are. When used effectively, players could gain an advantage when playing poker online by using a calculator to quickly double-check their hands.

If you’d like to explore other ways to enhance your poker play, you can read about hand chart poker