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Poker - Implied Odds
03-09-2009, 06:53 AM
Post: #1
Poker - Implied Odds
Assuming you know what outs, odds and pot odds are, in this article we'll be talking about a concept called implied odds. We know that we can determine the profitability of calling a bet by counting cards that can improve our hand (outs), determining the probability of one of those cards showing up in the community cards (odds) and comparing these odds with how much money we have to invest into the pot to stay in the current hand (pot odds). Often we don’t get the correct odds to call a bet but if we would call it, we would get paid when we hit our flush or a straight. Here is where implied odds come into play.

Pot odds take only the current pot into consideration even though we often (can) get more money into the pot from our opponents when we complete our draw. Implied odds take this possible profit into the account and require some speculation about the amount your opponent is willing to put into the pot when you complete your draw (if he doesn’t know you’ve completed your draw).

We use the next formula to calculate our implied pot odds:

Implied Pot Odds = (current pot + expected future bets/calls of your opponent) / bet which has to be called

By looking at this formula you can see that implied odds are really nothing more than improved pot odds.

Now let’s look at an example:
Your hand is 8h9h, flop is AhQh5d and your opponent has AsJc. There is $40 already in the pot.

So, you’re on a flush draw and you opponent has top pair with a strong kicker. Your opponent bets another $20 into the pot. Now, what do you do? Is it profitable to call this bet?

Your odds for completing the flush draw are 4:1 and the pot odds are 3:1 which makes it an unprofitable call. For us to make this call there should be $20 more in the pot which would make 4:1 pot odds. This is the amount that your opponent would have to pay on the turn to make our call profitable on the flop. Is it realistic to expect our opponent to put $20 more into the pot on the turn? Well, here’s where speculation comes into play. When speculating we should take few things into consideration:
1. Looseness of your opponent
Generally speaking, a looser player means higher implied pot odds
2. Your opponents hand
The stronger the hand your opponent has, the tougher for him to fold which means higher implied odds
3. Position
If you have a position on your opponent it’s easier to extract more money from your opponent.
4. Obviousness of your hand
If there are for example 2 hearts in the community cards on the flop and you just check or call, and on the turn when third heart comes to the board you start betting it’s obvious to a lot of players that you have the flush.
5. Flop or turn
Your implied odds are higher on the flop then on the turn because after the flop there are 2 more betting round for you to extract some money.
6. Size of the stacks
The bigger the stacks that player involved in the hand have the more money you can win.

In our example our opponent has a solid hand and we can safely presume that we can extract some more money on the turn if we hit our flush. It can be obvious to our opponent that we are on a flush draw but it is safe to presume that he will pay at least $20 more to see the showdown, so this means that we can make the call on the flop. And this is all there is to Implied odds, the toughest part being the speculation about the “willingness” of your opponent to pay you out in case you do hit that flush.

"Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't work for the rabbit." - R. E. Shay
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