Introduction to Implied Odds

Implied odds in poker are the close relative of pot odds. While the two concepts are both used to calculate odds, they have very different mechanics. Implied odds are odds in a pot adjusted for future rounds of betting while pot odds are what the odds are at that moment.

For example, if you were deciding whether or not to call another player’s bet on the flop you would be using implied odds if you considered the possibility of improving your hand. Think about what improving your hand will do for the overall value of it, surely your hand’s worth will increase dramatically.The reason that you call bets without a very strong hand is for the implied odds, you probably just never knew it.

The purpose of implied odds is to help players make the best decision based on what the end result will be. No poker player will achieve profitability if they neglect the implied odds in any particular hand. This is not to say that implied odds play a vital role in each and every hand, not at all, but when they do come into play they are often extremely important. Not only are implied odds important, but certain types of hands can only be played properly when consideration is given to implied odds.

Using Implied Odds

Implied odds are generally most useful when playing a pot pre flop. Small pocket pairs are best suited for capitalization on implied odds because they will best be able to stack better starting hands.

Pocket aces and kings are the two strongest starting hands possible, but if they face a pair of 6’s that flops a set they will be worthless.The player with pocket 6’s would have incredible implied odds in this situation because it is implied that if they connect with the flop that they will get paid off. This is the essence of implied odds, the ability to judge the potential in any given hand.

Would AQ have good implied odds against KK?

No. If AQ hit a flop of A 7 8 it would have taken the lead over KK, but the problem is that it would not have gotten paid off. The only type of flop that will virtually guarantee a big pot would be T J K, or something along those lines. The problem with this is that it is very difficult to hit the flop perfectly. Going back to the 66 example, if 66 was up against KK, a flop of 6 8 J would be perfect.

There will be many times where the two players will be all in on the flop and 66 will take it down. If the player with 66 called a raise of $6 pre flop and then won a pot of $200 they will have had pre flop odds of 6:100. The odds would have been 6:100 as opposed to 6:200 as only half of the entire pot is profit. For the player with 66 to be profitable in this spot they would need to simply determine whether they will hit the flop and get paid off at a higher ratio than 6:100. Implied odds are just that simple.