I know that odds calculators are a very prominent part of poker but I am a bit confused on how to use them most effectively. Are odds calculators meant to be used during the game to suggest a possible course of action or are they strictly meant for post-game analysis? Because most/if not all of the calculators that I saw required the user to enter the hands of two players, which would be impossible mid-game. I am looking for something that would help me learn what to do during the game so are there any tools out there that can help me and recommend a course of action during the game? Thanks in advance.
All odds calculators will tell you is the odds of you winning given your hole cards and the board. It is useful to know the stats but risky to rely on them.
If you're heads up and villain has 72o and shoves, you're likely to fold unless you have a premium hand. Likewise, if villain has nuts and limps or stop/goes, you're likely to play until the later streets.
I'm my view, their value comes when you have a marginal hand you sometimes play and you want to see how it stands up. Good odds calculators will allow you to set your hole cards and the number of players and then allow you to randomise the other players' hands.
For years I was partial to Q8s having hit big money a few times but after crunching the numbers, I now know this is a marginal hand at best.
Hope this helps.
It is very good to know the odds of winning with any given hand, as this will tell you a good course to bet. However, if you rely totally on the odds your opponents will learn this (how quickly depends on how good they are) and soon be able to tell what is in your hand by your bets. And this is where the real game of poker comes in, not telling your opponent what you have by your bets, yet still getting the best possible outcome based on the odds of you winning any given hand.
My brother used to hate it when I would win to an inside straight to his hand and I never really realized why I was so consistent in winning against him until I realized I was betting based on instinct, the bets he (and others) were making were very small and the addition I had to make to the pot was small enough that even though my odds of winning to an inside straight weren't that great the payoff when I did win was well worth the investment of when I didn't.
In a professional type game I would never get away with that as a lot of poker players will purposely (myself included) make a larger bet just to drop out the players that may win by luck. If they do stay in the amount they put in more than pay for the odds of them actually winning. Of course if you have a very good hand it can be advantageous to string along other players as long as you can to increase the pot.
And all this depends on you knowing, at least roughly, what your chances of winning are. The more players at the table, the higher hand you will generally need to win.
So, with your odds calculator you can experiment around with different hands and so when you get certain hands you'll know which is more likely to win.
From a casual player who has won online "fun" (play money) tournaments enough how to beat the players who don't know what they're doing, and able to go to my local card club, win around 6x my money then start to lose as they learn my strategy. Then I'd go home to bed. Only did this until I learned how to do it, then got bored with it and only play for play money nowadays.