We can spare you the drudgery of doing arithmetic and playing poker at the same time. If memorizing this chart is not your thing, you can always multiply your outs by two, add two to that sum, and you'll have a rough approximation of the chance that you'll make your hand.
It's no secret that we poker players are an aggressive lot. We like to play. We want to win. We are eager. Given a chance to play a poker hand, most of us leap to the challenge. The good news is that most poker players seldom let opportunity pass them by. The bad news is that we frequently play too many hands, and play far too deeply into many of the hands we play.
Someone once said, "Poker is a game of money played with cards." And it's true. Poker is all about money; the cards are only a means to an end. Sometimes they're even incidental.
With communal cards that belong to everybody, it's not unusual for two hold'em players to have an identical hand except for the unpaired side card. It's that side card, or kicker, which often spells the difference between winning and losing a pot.
Poker is one of the only occupations I know of where you don't have to wait for the boss to give you a raise and a promotion; you can decide to promote yourself whenever you believe you can handle the new job. And the new job always involves playing in a tougher game against better opponents. You can win more money if you play in bigger games, but because the stakes are higher, the risks are greater too. Conventional poker wisdom suggests that a minimum of 300 big bets are needed to sustain a player through the predictable peaks and valleys at any given limit.
I'm Lou Krieger and I'm glad to be here. Some of you may be familiar with my writing from other magazines and newspapers such as Card Player, Poker Digest, Inside Edge, Woman Poker Player, Gambling Online Magazine, The Intelligent Gambler, Canadian Poker Player, Gambling Times, Poker Pro, Bluff, Poker Life, PokerMagazine.com, Midwest Travel and Gaming, and Nevada Sunday. But this is my first piece for Poker Player Newspaper and I want to introduce myself, tell you what this column will be about, and explain how you, the reader, can have your say in these pages too.