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Implied odds in poker

Implied odds

Implied poker odds (potential odds) mean the modified chances of bank that clarify the picture in a decision-making process. They grant a bit of a clue concerning your hesitations to call with a draw, having regard to the fact that you can get profit from your rival if you complete your draw. Actually, the potential chances show the amount of profit, which you are able to earn in the case of completing your draw.

If you look forward to get a good profit from your rival’s action after completing your draw, it means that you possess good implied odds in poker. If you don’t anticipate to get profit from your competitor in the case of completing your draw, then the situation with your potential odds is bad enough.

Dissimilarity between implied odds and pot odds

In opposite from the chances of bank, the implied odds don’t possess a standard math formula. However, the player is able to make his call profitable in the long run by calculating in advance how much money he needs to win at the end of hand.

When figuring out implied chances, it is important to correctly assess spots and understand the rivals’ decisions. Poker experience can facilitate this task.

Practice will help to improve an understanding poker odds and help to find out how to act with draws, having regard to the potential odds. Though, if you are the newbie, then the following examples will explain this concept.

Implied odds in poker

Example with good implied odds

You are dealt 7♦ 6♠

Flop: K♥ 5♠ 8♣

You hit an open ended straight draw. If your rival prefers betting, you will obtain good implied odds (after hitting a straight, you will likely to “acquire wealth” on your rival’s action on the next betting rounds). This will happen due to the fact that your competitors won’t identify your completed straight draw and they will continue to bet or call.

Example with weak implied odds

You are dealt K♣ 4♠

Flop: Q♦ J♥ 10♠

According to this scenario, you also have an open ended straight draw. However, your chances are weak, because if you hit a straight and Ax or 9x appears on the table, then such a board will become intimidating for your competitor and your straight will be pretty evident. Thus, your probability to make some profit on your opponents’ action is small (unless your rival also has a straight).

Disguise of hand grants more poker implied odds.

Impact of implied odds on your play

Implied odds exert substantial influence on your chances of bank. If the player anticipate to “acquire wealth” on his rival’s action on the later betting rounds, then he can call even in spots where his competitor gives him bad chances for call.

Implied odds in poker

Let’s assume that you have a nut straight draw. The probability of your odds of a straight in texas holdem is 5 to 1. Bank consists of $100 and if your rival invests $25, you will get 4 to 1 chances for call. Drawing on the chances of bank, we should fold our holding. However, when you possess good implied odds, a call option will be a justified decision. Thus, we can make more profit after completing a draw, than if we decide to fold.

Fundamentals of implied odds

  • Availability of good poker implied odds gives opportunity to call without good chances of pot.
  • Weak implied odds should incline you to make decisions according to the chances of pot.

Calculation of implied odds

Despite the fact that it is impossible to compute potential winnings, i.e. odds of winning poker, you can calculate the necessary amount for winning in order to make your call profitable. This is very simply.

Calculation of implied odds

It is not difficult to find out how to calculate poker odds in your head. To do this, you should deduct your chances of bank from the chances of completing your draw.

As a result, we will get a new coefficient, with which we can draw a parallel with the bet size that we need to call. This will give us opportunity to compute our future profit against the opponent in the next betting rounds in order to make our call profitable or zero.

Example for computing implied odds

Let's assume that we hit a flush draw. The competitor makes a bet of $10 into $10 bank. This means that we should call $10 to win $20 bank.

  • Chances for completing your draw: 4.2: 1
  • Chances of bank: 2: 1.
  • Chances for completing your draw - chances of bank = 2.2: 1.

Thus, we need to possess implied odds of 2.2: 1. If we multiply 2.2 by ten dollars (that we need to call), we will earn $22. Therefore, in order to make a $10 call with our flush draw at least break even, we should win another twenty-two dollars from our rival in the next betting rounds.

If you want to get acquainted with this topic in a video format, then the following material may be useful for you:

Final thoughts

Implied odds can be considered an excellent assistant at the time of making decision whether you should call your rival’s bet after computing your chances of bank. Without good texas holdem card odds, you can still call in the case if you anticipate that your strong holding will be paid off on the next streets. If you understand that you have a small number of potential chances or they are lacking altogether, you should make a decisions according to the chances of bank.  

It is worth noting that you won’t own implied odds in a spot where your competitor shoves, because you won’t be able to get extra profit in the next streets (if you fight in a heads-up). Be vigilant when calling large bets, as the implied odds you get may not cover your investment. The best solution to get a better awareness of pot odds and implied odds is to generate more poker practice.   

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Cardmates journalist, news editor and translator since 2016. Specialization: poker news and review of events.
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