While calculating your own chances of winning a poker hand using independent card counting, you need also include the pot odds, which are the ratio of the current wager to the amount of the prize pool.
Let’s take a closer look at this using an illustration. If you’re ready to stake and the pot has reached $100, requiring a call of $20, then the chances are 2:1. Calling is the optimal play if your chances of improving are better than the current pot odds, while folding is the correct decision if the reverse is true.
It also helps to think of this rule as a series of games in order to fully grasp it. In particular, over the course of 5 such sessions, your odds of improving your combination will be 1:3, and your odds of winning the pot will be 1:6. The total stake for the hand is $20.
You end up losing twice as often as you win. Therefore, in this situation, the winner will take home $140 ($20 plus $120). For example, if you bet $5, you’ll lose $100 but win $140, putting you in the black.