What makes a bet fair?

Getting even money on an unbiased coin-flip is fair.

Getting 5-to-1 or 6.0 on guessing the correct number on a dice roll is also fair.

Let’s get a little more technical.

To work out the fair odds, you simply divide your chances by 1.

In the case of an unbiased coin-flip, the fair odds is therefore 1/50% = 2.0 or even money; and the fair odds for guessing the correct number on a dice roll is 1/16.6% = 6.0 or 5-to-1.

Poker is all about getting a fair (or better!) price.

But first, let me give you another money-saving tip, it’s called the Rule of 4 and 2.

It basically means that whenever you are on a draw, each out (i.e. a card that will make your draw) is worth 2% on each street.

For example:  your hole cards are 8-9.  The flop is 6-7-A.  You have 8 outs to make a straight (four 5s and four 10s), and the are still two more cards to come.

Your estimated chance of making the straight is therefore 8 x 4% = 32%.

But by only knowing your chance of winning is not enough, let’s work out a fair price for this situation.

Assuming making a straight will give you a winning hand, a fair bet is when you get 1/32% = 3.125.  So if the pot has 200, and your opponent bets 125, you are getting a fair price to keep on drawing to your straight.

[Maths:  200 (pot) +125 (opponent’s bet) = 325, you call 125 to win 325, which means you are getting 3.60 or 2.6-to-1]

On the other hand, under the same circumstances, if your opponent bets 250 into a 200 pot, you are no longer getting a fair price to keep on drawing to your straight.

[Maths:  200 (pot) + 250 (opponent’s bet) = 450, you call 250 to win 450, which means you are getting only 2.80 or 1.8-to-1]


That’s a lot to take in, right?

Let me recap:

— Always try to get a fair price in any form of gambling;

— Working out the fair price of a bet is easy:  1 divided by the chance of winning;

— Working out an estimated chance of winning in poker is easy:  Rule of 4 and 2;

— Don’t go broke so that when a fair-or-better bet opportunity arises and you can’t be involved!

That’s all for now.
More to come soon.