Quick & Easy Intro to Implied Odds in Poker
One big problem with pot odds? The calculations don't take into account money that can be earned on later streets should we make our hand.
This is where implied odds come in.
What Are Implied Odds?
Implied odds are the odds on a hand that not only include the pot but also money from the opponent's stack.
For practical purposes, implied odds tend to include all of the money in a player’s stack.
When you work with implied odds you need to estimate how much more of your opponent’s stack that you think you can get him or her to commit to the hand.
How to Use Implied Odds
Let’s assume that you have a flush draw with a pot of $500. Your opponent bets out $500.
Your call represents about 33.33% of the potential pot and you need 36% to make the call.
However, let’s assume your opponent has another $1,000 behind him. You figure that he has a big enough hand where he'll call off that $1,000 should you hit.
Therefore, you can add that $1,000 to the pot. Now, you have sufficient odds to make the call.
Simply add the amount that you think the player will call off if you hit your hand to the pot size and then calculate your odds.
Caveats to Using Implied Odds
The first thing to remember in using implied odds is that your opponent must have a strong enough hand where he will make the call.
If he doesn't, then you are chasing with inferior odds.
Do not use implied odds to chase every draw. You still have to hit your draw and you are actually chasing with the worst of it mathematically.
Many people chase every draw due to implied odds and wind up losing a lot of money when they are not hitting.
Implied odds can help you make decisions that can lead to big pots. When used in conjunctions with great reads on your opponents, they can lead to hefty windfalls.