Pot Odds and Implied Odds in Texas Hold’em Poker

Pot Odds

Odds and Implied Odds in Texas Hold’em Poker

Pot odds and Implied odds in Texas Holdem PokerIf you are new to poker, poker odds can be very confusing, but if you want to take poker seriously then having a basic knowledge of poker odds is very important. You might ask yourself why? Well because in poker it’s all about the arithmetic and what happens in the long run, over many games and many hands. It’s not about the hand you are in right now. Once you understand this, and understand pot odds, your win rate will go up. Why? Because if you know what the chances are of you winning the hand, and work with that, if you work with the odds and it doesn’t work out with the current hand, it doesn’t matter because overall you will win in the long run.

Poker Pot Odds and Implied OddsWhat are Texas Hold’em Hand Odds?

When you bet on your cards you are trying to win the money that is already in the pot. But how often do you need to win to make a profit? The answer to that is not every time. If there is $200 in the pot and it costs you $20 to bet, your odds are 10/1. You can be wrong 9 times out of 10 and still break even on the 10th  – but the point is it depends on your cards and the odds you get, so if your cards don’t give you the right odds the odds in that situation won’t be 10/1. For instance if there are cards which would make a straight on the board and all you have is a high card, you don’t have the odds to call that $20 bet. But if there is the possibility of a straight on the board and you have two suited cards leading to a flush on the board, the turn and the river give you great odds for making a call. So you have to have a hand which might lead you to win the hand for pot odds to work. This is the essence of the pot odds. You are calling a fraction to win a larger sum. But you have to work out those odds first.

For beginners, understanding the concept of poker pot odds is a must in order to play winning poker. Making bets that don’t pay off in the long run will give you a loss instead of profit.

Poker Pot Odds and Implied OddsWhat are Texas Hold’em Implied Odds?

Implied odds are occur when you are in a hand and a bet is made before you get to act, and the bet is sufficient to mean that the pot odds mean you should fold. But implied odds are when you then factor in the players behind you and whether they are likely to call or not. In this case, the fact that you called means they have better odds to call also, so are more likely to. And now your pot odds are good.

An example of implied odds in action in Texas Hold’em poker is when you limp in with a small or medium pair pre -flop. Your chance of hitting a set is around 7.5-1. This means that pot technically needs to have 6 or 7 other limpers to make it worth your while being in the hand. If you are in early position you have to consider whether players behind you are likely to enter the pot, and if you are in late position you will see how many players have called already.

Assume there are four other limpers and your bets will narrow the field down by 50% on the flop, and another 50% on the turn – so what are your implied odds?

Here, you stand to win 8 small bets, at the initial price of 1, which gives your call positive expectation (against the 7.5% of hitting your set). So, your implied odds are good to make the call with a weak pair because of the money you will figure to win if you do hit your set, rather than the “definite” amount you’re about to win.

The only downside to implied odds in poker is that they are a mathematical estimation, and you can be too optimistic in calculating them – because you are guessing what might happen after you have acted.

Poker Pot Odds and Implied OddsHow Do Texas Hold’em Hand Odds Affect Your Game?

Implied odds can have a benefit on your pot odds. If you think that your opponent will bet after the next card (turn or river) that can be added to the pot odds. It only works if you win in the end so it does take some thinking about. This means you may make bets/calls when your opponent is not giving you the correct pot odds to bet/call on that particular card.

poker winning handsFor example if you have the nut straight draw the odds that you will complete the draw on the next card are roughly 5 to 1. If your opponent bets $50 making the pot $100, they are giving you 2 to 1 odds to call. Now if you are to base your decision to call purely on pot odds, then you should not make the call. However, if you believe that you have good implied odds, the call becomes justifiable. This is because you will be making more money when you make your draw, than if you folded.

The fundamental rules of implied odds to remember are:

·       If you have good implied odds, you can afford to call without correct pot odds.

·       If you have little or no implied odds, you should stick to the pot odds.


Poker Pot Odds and Implied OddsHow Do You Calculate Texas Hold’em Hand Poker Odds?

There are many ways to calculate different kinds of Texas Hold ’em poker odds. You could use a poker cheat sheet. You can also use a poker chart as a guide. But in most games you are not allowed to do this at the table so you probably won’t be able to work out the odds until after the hand. It is simple maths to work out the pot odds,  as we showed above and once you have learnt the maths you will be able to do it in your head quickly every time. If you are playing online, sure you can use a cheat sheet or an odds calculator.

Poker Pot Odds and Implied OddsHow Do I Calculate Texas Hold’em Hand Odds in My Head Quickly?

The rule of four and two is the best easiest way to know what your odds are. It’s a simple process: first, work out how many cards you can hit to improve your hand. For example, if you have a flush draw, there are nine cards you can hit to make a flush.

To know the odds of making your flush on the turn, simply multiply your outs by two and add two. To know the odds of making your flush on the river, multiply your outs by four and add four. In this case, you have a roughly 40% chance of making your flush by the river.

Poker Pot Odds and Implied OddsConclusion

Pot odds are critical in working out whether to stay in a hand right now or not on the basis of your long term profitability. And don’t forget that’s what it is about, not whether you make a hero call on this hand, but whether you have the odds to make the hand work for you over and over again. If you don’t have the odds, you should fold right there.

Implied odds are useful for deciding whether to bet or not after calculating your pot odds. If you do not have the correct odds to call a bet and make your draw a call is justifiable if you have good implied odds.

However you should stick to the pot odds if you figure that you have little or no implied odds.

Poker Pot Odds and Implied OddsAnd Finally on Texas Hold’em Hand Odds

A final point to consider is that you have no implied odds if your opponent is all-in. There will be no betting on further rounds as there is nobody else in the pot. So its not right just to call. You still have to work out the pot odds and base your call on the result of your calculations.

The best way to understand your pot odds and implied odds is to simply play more poker. Good luck.

Start doing the maths, it will help your game.

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