Texas Holdem Implied Odds

Implied odds are the pot odds adjusted for the future betting that would follow, and should be considered when deciding whether to continue playing or not your hand in Texas Holdem. When you figure implied odds you are adding bets that you expect to win if you make the winning hand, but before you can consider ‘Implied Odds’ you must have a basic understanding of pot odds and how they affect your playing decisions during a game of Texas Holdem Poker.

The relationship between the sum of the money in the pot and the cost of calling a bet is known as pot odds. Many low limit and higher limit Texas Holdem poker players have no concept of pot odds and how it can affect their winnings in the game. They are only interested in their two cards to see if there is a chance that they could win. They do not understand the reasoning for playing drawing hands against a large field of opponents at the table.

Now let’s look at an example to see how pot odds can affect your profitability at the poker table. Every single poker player has heard the advice to Never Draw to an inside straight. In most of the situations it is truly the correct advice, however not always.
– If you are playing, say, in a $2/4 limit game. And, you hold the Ten and 9 of clubs – the board cards are Kd 7s 6h 2c. To see the River card it will cost you $4. The only card that can help you in this case is an 8. There are four of them left in the card deck. Along with your two hole cards and the four that are dealt face-up on the board, you have seen 6 of the fifty two cards in the deck so there are 46 unseen cards left. Four times you will get the 8 that you need, and 42 times you won’t so the odds are 42 to 4, or 10,5 against you. You get this figure by dividing 46 by 4 and you get 11,5, then subtract 1 and you have 10,5 to 1.

To be able to make a call of $4 to try to get an inside straight, the pot must contain $42 in order for you to break even and more than that, if you want to make an earning. Here is how that figure is formed – you will lose $42 for the 10,5 times you do not catch and 8 (because $4 bet x 10,5 = 42). The only time you do catch the 8 you will make money in the long run if the pot contains more than $42 and you will lose money if the pot contains less than $42.

Remember, the pot odds are a relationship between the money in the pot and the price of a bet you have to make to call. If it happens that the pot contains $44, and the size of the bet you must call is four dollars, then we divide the $44 by $4 and we get 11, that automatically means that the pot odds are 11 to 1. So the odds against making an inside straight are 10,5 to 1, this means the pot odds are greater than the odds against making your hand, so you should call.

Now suppose there are only $40 in the pot, when it is your turn to act. If you go strictly by pot odds you should fold, but you know there are two other gamblers still in the hand and you suspect that one of them has a King for top pair. If you decide to call and make your inside straight you know that one or both of the players will bet and/or call at the river card. It’s possible that you could raise and get a call if the player did have kings and bet first, so if you make your hand you figure to gain two or more bets. These two bets would be your implied odds, and when you add these two extra bets to your pot odds, you will be getting the right odds (12 to 1) to call with your inside straight draw.

When you figure your implied odds, you always have to be aware if there are other gamblers who still have to act after you. If the player to your left raises after your bet then the implied odds that you have calculated will not be correct, as you now have to call another bet to see the next card.

As with all in the poker game, nothing is set in stone, but using implied odds is just another tool you can add to your poker arsenal.

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