how to calculate implied odds

Knowing about implied odds allows you to call a bet and then, once you've made your winning hand, win more money than there was in the pot when you called that bet. Knowing how to calculate this type of poker odds clearly gives you some strategic advantages which can enable you to make a lot more money than you otherwise would.


implied odds

Implied odds comprises an estimation of how much money you could win from the bet if the board gives you one of your outs. Thus, implied odds differ from their counterpart, pot odds. For instance, let's say that you hit your flush draw that you've been playing (and hoping) for; your implied odds just went up, because you can use that hand, played correctly, to get your remaining opponents to sweeten the pot; as the amount in the pot grows, so do your implied odds, independent of any pot odds calculations.

A perfect time to capitalize on implied odds is found if you limp in with a small or medium pocket pair pre-flop in hold 'em. Your realistic chances of winning with this hand (post-flop) is to get a set on the flop, and the odds of that are about 7.5-to-1. This requires there to be a lot of other limpers to make it worth the risk to play them.

Yet this also carries an assumption; that all others will fold to you if you get your set...and, since nobody is going to know that you did that unless you announce it, you are very unlikely to see everyone else fold to you after you make a post-flop raise. Imagine if four other limpers stay in post-flop, and that by betting the field will be whittled down 50% post-flop and 50% again post-turn.

This means for you that you would win (assuming you have the best hand) eight small bets for the price, to you, of one small bet. This means you have "call positive expectation". You are not guaranteed to win, but even though you have a weak pocket pair if you hit your set on the flop you can take a lot of other people's money; so your implied odds dictate that you are wise to call pre-flop.



There is one problem with implied odds: people tend to become overly optimistic and lose sight of the reality of the situation with them. But this brings up something very important:

You should always keep pot odds in mind as well as implied odds, and if you sense that changes to the pot odds are gong to be made due to knowledge of how your opponents tend to bet and what kind of hand you can put them on in the given situation, that's when you can override pot odds with implied odds consideration.

Let's say that you got a flush draw on the flop but an opponent raises the amount of the pot post-flop. Pot odds say that you fold because he has a monster in hand; but what if you know this opponent and you know he likely would do this anyway as a stone cold bluff or because he's loose and he would never believe you have a flush draw? Your implied odds say to go for it.

Understanding how to calculate implied odds means just keep them in perspective and realize that they are an estimation; and while it's a great tool, don't get overly high on an estimation--just know when to use it.

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