I have always joked about not using math at the table during our podcasts, but during our holiday party this year, I think I saw more white smoke coming out of people’s ears than at any $1/$2 table I have ever sat at before. So I decided to take some time to figure out a couple of simple math formulas to use at the table for those of us that need that kind of help.
When calculating the size of the pot, use the trusty (B x P) + Pot, or “BeePP formula” as I like to call it, where B is the bet size and P is the number of players. For example, UTG opens for $10 pre-flop (B=$10) and there a total of 5 players see the flop (P=5), the Pot starts as zero pre-flop, so the Pot on the flop is $10 x 5 + $0 = $50 (more or less depending on blinds).
Of course, Gambit likes to throw me off, so he might ask, what if UTG raises to $7, gets four callers, and then the button re-raises to $50 and gets one caller? Well, then the Bet is $50, the number of players is 2, but the dead money ($7 x 4 = $28) gets added to the Pot, so $50 x 2 + $28 = $128. Aha! I can do math and play poker at the same time.
You might ask, Frank, what if I flop a monster, but I am pretty deep, say $250. I am heads up and my opponent bets close to the Pot, which was $10 before his bet, how much do I bet so I have just a pot size bet left on the turn? Well, this one I like to call the Triple Bet Formula. First I subtract the Pot ($10) from my stack size ($250), then I divide that total by 3 (thus the Triple Bet Formula). So $250 – $10 = $240 / 3 = $80. You should raise to $80, and if your opponent calls there will be $170 in the pot, which is exactly what you will have left on the turn. Shove the turn, all the monies goes in the middle, and you win a nice pot. So to recap, Current Stack – Pot / 3 = perfect bet size for a pot size bet on the turn.
Warning: you should not decide to bet this amount just because the formula works out this way. Your bets should also consider your opponent’s range, the texture of the board, and their propensities to bet or fold. Please drink responsibly and wear your seat belts. That is all.