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Calculating Implied Odds

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Article Summary: Online poker requires players to calculate probabilities and odds to be successful and make correct decisions, this article discusses how to use implied odds to enhance your decision making ability.

Pot odds and implied odds become intermingled in the world of online poker. Players calculate the wrong odds, miscalculate the odds altogether or confuse them with each other all the time. If an online poker player does not know how to calculate pot odds, they should first begin learning how. Pot odds are more important that implied odds in most cases. The reasoning for the previous statement is due to the uncertainty that comes with the calculation of implied odds. Implied odds basically use pot odds and then assume the actions of their opponents to slightly adjust the odds.

Calculating Implied Odds

Pot odds for those that are new to the pot odds calculation process, are odds that refer to the size of the pot versus the amount of the bet to be called, which is then compared to the player’s outs. Pot odds determine if the amount the player can possibly win is favourable or worth it when they consider the percentage chance of hitting their outs. Implied odds take the calculated pot odds and assume the table’s actions to adjust the odds. For example, if the pot is currently at $50 and the bet to call is $15, the player should have 3.33 to 1 odds of making their hand. $15 is 30% of the $50 in the pot and 30% chance of hitting your outs would have odds of 3.33 to 1.

Implied odds takes into consideration the assumption of what the table may do. For example, a player sitting in middle position with pocket nines has 7.5 to 1 odds of flopping a set. In order for pot odds to be correct, the player would need at least 7.5 times the amount of the call in the pot to make the call worth it. However, implied odds suggest that if 3 to 5 players are in the hand, the odds are worth it. The reasoning for this is that, implied odds are considering the amount of chips that can be squeezed out of the players in the hand if the set is hit.

Say the flop comes and the board reads, A, 9, Q with a rainbow (different suits). The probability of one of those 3 to 5 players having at least a Q is pretty high and there is an equal probability that one of them very well may have an Ace. The implied odds would have been correct in assuming that the flopped set will suck out more chips from the remaining players throughout the hand and make the original pot odds more than worth it. The player bets the flop to eliminate the straight draws and probably eliminates half the players in the hand. The turn produces a similar result and the river is a three-way or heads-up showdown.

Overall, the player took down plenty more than the original 7.5 to 1 they were looking for. This is an example of how taking pot odds and then calculating implied odds can be profitable for online poker players. Keep in mind; implied odds are uncertain and if the hand is not hit, be very very careful. Pot odds are much more reliable than implied odds. Too often, players think they have implied odds in their favor in a scenario similar to the example given. However, they miss the flop and end up giving away chips because they can’t let go or they foolishly believe their odds are somehow favorable to hit the set on the turn or river. Be cautious and make sure you are calculating pot odds correctly and not over estimating the implied odds calculations.


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