We need a technical term. I have a source against which I can check my answers, so I want to compute the “odds against” improving a hand. The odds against something are computed as the number of bad outcomes divided by the number of good outcomes.
For example: we saw in the previous poker post that the probability of being dealt at least a pair is the good outcomes (“poker” in the previous post) divided by the total outcomes (“hands”):
OK, the probability of being dealt at least a pair is almost 50%.
The odds against being dealt at least a pair is bad outcomes divided by good outcomes:
That is, the odds against being dealt at least a pair are just barely greater than 1; so close in fact that we might as well call it “even odds”.
Now let’s suppose you’ve been dealt at least a pair – or that you’ve been dealt four cards toward a straight or flush. (Worthless as they stand, they have great potential.)
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