People always say that “Practice makes perfect.”
The truth is that “PERFECT practice makes perfect.”
Using an odds calculator at online poker is a crucial way to
develop your skills and become a better player…
But I’ve noticed that even though the popularity of programs
like Holdem Genius and Calculatem Pro 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 for this newsletter I want to discuss the seven most
costly mistakes players make when using an odds calculator–
and how YOU can avoid them.
OK, let’s get started.
MISTAKE #1: Not Bluffing Enough
Poker is a game of ODDS and SKILL… but 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
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
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.
Calculatem Pro is different. Calculatem Pro 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 Hold’em 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
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
MISTAKE #5: Mis-Interpreting Odds Information When Playing
Heads-Up (Or Short-Handed)
With just 2-3 players at the table, chances are NO ONE 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
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
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.
Holdem Genius and Calculatem Pro both feature “play
settings” that you can customize for your own needs and
(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
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.