Calculating implied odds is basically an extension of determining pot odds that will assist you in deciding whether a drawing hand is worthy of calling when confronted with a raise. In other words, implied odds tell you the amount you can expect to win if you happen to hit your draw. A good implied odds situation is one in which you can expect to win a good deal more money after making your draw. Should you anticipate not getting more money from your opponent on the turn and river cards, then you have very little or no implied odds.
Calculating pot odds is accomplished with a simple formula of counting your outs and factoring in the probability of making your hand. Implied odds use no such formula and instead rely on an estimate based on your knowledge of your opponent, as well as the situation. Therefore, implied odds determinations are more accurately calculated by players who have more experience in the game and skills in reading the tendencies of their opponents. Newcomers to the game must first learn the good and bad implied odds situations. Perhaps the following illustration will help in that regard.
Suppose you are holding and the flop reveals . You are looking at an open-ended straight draw. Should your opponent bet, you can determine that you do have good implied odds because hitting a 6 or Jack will, in all probability, give you a good opportunity to get more money from the opposing player in the final two rounds of betting. Your opponent would be hard-pressed to estimate your hand or the strength of your hole cards.
On the other hand, if you limped in with a from the big blind and the flop came up , you are still holding an open-ended straight draw, but your implied odds are a lot worse in this situation. That’s because if you made your straight with a 7 or Queen, the community cards look far scarier to your opponent because of the ease in which a straight could be made. You probably won’t get much money from the other players unless they happen to have caught a straight as well. The key point to take from the story is, the better disguised your hand happens to be, the better will be your implied odds.
If you’re wondering how implied odds will impact your decision-making processes, the theory is that even though there will be situations that you don’t have the correct pot odds to make a call and continue playing the hand, the fact that your implied odds are good and you can fully expect to extract more money from your table rivals in the later betting rounds, making the call would be the proper play. Therefore, if your implied odds are good, you can make calls without the correct pot odds. Likewise, having no implied odds should persuade you to play only the pot odds. Keep in mind that there are no implied odds in an all-in heads-up situation simply because there is no money to be extracted from your opponent in later rounds.
Although it is impossible to calculate the amount you stand to win with implied odds, you can determine how much you would need to win in order to make calling the bet a profitable proposition. This is done by subtracting your pot odds from the odds of making your draw. The result is a new ratio that can be compared with the amount needed to call to determine the amount required to be gotten from an opposing player in the later rounds to make it worth your while or profitable.
To illustrate, let’s assume that you have a flush draw after the flop and a bet of $10 is made by your opponent into a $10 pot. You would have to call $10 in order to take down a $20 pot. The odds of hitting a flush with nine outs are 4.2 to 1 and the pot odds are 2 to 1 based on having to call $10 to win $20. Therefore, the draw odds (4.2 to 1) minus the pot odd (2 to 1) equals 2.2 to 1, which is the implied odds ratio. Multiplying 2.2 by the $10 needed to make the call, you get $22. That means that in order to make the call a break-even proposition, you would have to get $22 out of your opponent following the turn and river cards.
Implied odds are used in determining whether or not you should call your opponent’s bet after you have made your pot odds calculations. With incorrect pot odds to call and try to hit your draw, you can still justify making the call if you have determined that your implied odds are good. However, with little or no implied odds, simply rely on your pot odds calculations. Remember that in factoring implied odds, a knowledge of the styles and tendencies of the opposing players is often necessary in estimating the likelihood of getting more money from them in the later rounds of betting – after the turn and river cards.