Implied Odds in Poker
- Implied odds can wreck your bankroll
- The more you play, the more your knowledge will increase
- Implied odds are more difficult to understand than pot odds
When you begin to get more experienced with playing online poker, you can expand your bank of knowledge to understand new poker techniques and strategies, including understanding implied odds in poker. When you are faced with a big raise, it is not enough to just consider the pot odds of the hand. In reality, you have to know about implied odds in poker to understand the value associated with making any big call. While pot odds might give you a general idea of whether making the call is a good move, the implied odds will give you a chance to understand exactly how much money can be made once you make the big drawing hand. The simplistic view of implied odds in poker is to consider if you would make a lot of money from your various opponents after making a draw. If this is the case, then your hand has excellent implied odds. On the flip side of that, if you don’t think you can extract any chips out of the opposing players after you hit that big hand, then your implied odds aren’t nearly as promising.
Implied odds in poker aren’t nearly as easy to understand as simple pot odds. You won’t stumble across any magic formula that can give you the pot odds. In short, you have to use a little bit of poker savvy to determine the implied odds of a given hand. In order to truly figure out your pot odds, you have to have a firm understanding of what the opponents are trying to do and of the situation. Because of that, this strategy is something that novice players often struggle with. As you play more often, you will be able to get used to this theory. Over time, you will go through a number of situations which will require you to think in the sense of your implied odds, until then, you can consider some scenarios that are presented below in order to get a feeling for how to use implied odds in poker.
Understanding Implied Odds
Consider a hand in which you hold 7d-6s. The flop comes out and it reads Kh-5s-8c. Here you have flopped a two-sided straight draw, so you have a decent chance of making your hand once the turn or river hits. Consider the possibility that your opponent will come out betting hard into you. When this happens, your implied odds for this hand are strong because if you happen to hit the straight on the turn or the river, then there is a good chance that you’ll have the opportunity to get a lot of money off of your opponent. This happens because you have a hand that is somewhat unexpected by your opponent and since they are already throwing money into the pot, they will find it difficult to lay down their hand once you make the best hand.
Now, consider a scenario where your pot odds might not be so hot. You are dealt hole cards Kc-4s. Then, the flop comes Qh-Jd-10s. You have a two-way straight draw, just as you did in the previous hand, but this scenario is totally different. In this case, your hand’s implied odds will suffer because if you do happen to hit the straight on an Ace or a 9, your opponent will see a very scary board. They will likely expect that you made a straight, so they will avoid betting hard into you. In this case, you will likely win the hand, but you implied odds of extracting extra money from the opponent will not be as high because of the predictability of your hand.
Given these two different scenarios, you should be able to come to the conclusion that you have greater implied odds if your hand is more unpredictable or disguised.
- How can implied odds play a role in my game?
Implied odds can open up your game a whole lot. While traditional pot odds theory might tell you to avoid a certain call because of the financial impact that it might have, implied odds give you the opportunity to call in these spots. Since you can infer from previous play that you will be able to pull more money out of an opponent, you can take more chances. In the long run, this can make the game more enjoyable and more profitable.
Let’s take an example and go from there. If you are lucky enough to pick up a draw to the top straight (best straight possible), and your odds to hit the hand are 5:1, then you have some options. Say your opponent bets $125 into the pot, bringing the total to $500. In this case, you are only getting 4: 1 pot odds to make the call. Traditional pot odds theory would tell you to fold here, but since you have a decision to make based upon implied odds, the thinking is different. Because you would probably make a substantial amount of money if you hit the nut straight, you can justify making a call in that spot.
If you want a couple of quick rules to consider with implied odds, then remember two important things. If your hand dictates solid implied odds, then you can make a couple of calls without the right pot odds. Also remember that if you have limited implied odds or you think that you’ll make very little when hitting a hand, you should only call based upon pot odds.
The final word on implied odds is that you have to use them in order to make positive decisions during play. There are a couple of other factors to consider, as well. If your opponent has gone all-in, then you don’t have any implied odds there because there isn’t any additional betting that takes place from there. In addition, you should use caution when you have to call large raises. Though you might be getting appropriate implied odds at the moment of the call, you might have to pay a huge amount to continue drawing towards that made hand. As you continue to play more and more online poker, you eventually learn how to integrate more implied odds theory into your game and make the appropriate moves from there.