Pot odds and implied odds are major concepts in the math of poker. It is crucial to know when the odds are in your favor, and when they are against you. Then, you can make informed decisions on when to call, bet, fold, raise, re-raise or go all-in.
Note: For the examples in this section, round numbers will used (whenever possible). It is easier to learn a concept in black and white. The real world runs in shades of gray. Consequently, at the poker tables you will need to approximate.
Pot odds are the ratio of the current size of the pot to the cost of a contemplated call.
For example, if there is $7,500 in a pot and villain (an opponent) bets $2,500. There is now $10,000 in the pot. It will cost you $2,500 to win a potential $10,000. If you bet there will be $12,500 in the pot.
Your pot odds are 20% ($2,500/$12,500). You must win 1 out of 5 pots to break even. This can be expressed as 1:4. That is to say, you must win one pot and can lose four pots to break even. If you win more than that, you will make money.
When the odds of drawing a card that wins the pot are higher than the pot odds, the call has a positive expectation. In other words, on average, you will win more money than the cost of the bet.
Conversely, if the odds of drawing a winning card are numerically lower than the pot odds, the call has a negative expectation. On average, you will win less money than the cost of the bet.
To explain this concept further let’s review a flush draw. Sometimes this is called chasing a flush.
Example #1: Getting Pot Odds on a Flush Draw
Implied odds are your potential winnings by the end of the hand compared with the amount of money required to make a call. They are different than pot odds because they account for possible future betting.
Implied odds are calculated in situations where you have a draw. You expect to make money on additional bets if your draw is made. And, you can fold to a bet on the next card if the pot and implied odds are unfavorable.
Since you expect to gain additional money in a later round, or rounds (if your draw is made, and not be committed to lose additional bets when your draw is missed), the extra money you expect to gain is added to the current pot size.
What you may gain is only an estimate depending on your read of the other player. It isn’t an exact science.
Example #2: Getting Implied Odds on a Flush Draw
To learn more please go to the: Mastering Poker Math Book
Charles W. Clayton
All Rights Reserved
Now available on Amazon.com
"A must read if you’re serious about improving your game."
~ Tom Britton
Become a Feared Shark!
This blog has been created to help you gain a competitive edge using poker math and how to integrate it with the rest of your game. Enjoy! ~ Chuck Clayton