Implied odds are the odds that a player takes into account when planning future bets. Implied odds are related to pot odds, but take even more into account than pot odds do and are still dictated by expected value. Theoretically, if you’re holding two suited cards, and two suited cards hit the flop to give you a flush draw, you have a 20% chance per card to finish the flush. With implied odds, the theory is that if you have a 20% chance of hitting, then you can afford to call up to 20% of the money you expect to win in the showdown.
This is where both the profit and the danger can occur. You don’t know how much you can get on future bets, you don’t know if your opponent won’t believe you hit the flush and therefore bet into you, or if he will have you on the flush and throw away, thus making the flush worth less because he won’t give up more chips for it.
Sometimes you will hear a pro make a statement like: “I figured it wasn’t a good call because I was chasing, but I knew if I hit it, then it was worth all of his chips.” This is a statement from someone who knows the odds are against him, but also knows that the potential pay off might be worth one call just to see. This is an extreme example, but helps underline how implied odds are used.
Reverse implied odds is considering the chance that you hit your hand, but end up losing anyway. Using the example of chasing a flush, you may have a 20% or better chance of hitting a flush, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll win. There is always the rare higher flush on the same hand, or if any card is paired, then that can theoretically create a full house, meaning that even if you get your flush, you could still lose the hand.
Reverse implied odds force you have to consider how much you could lose if you hit the flush you’re chasing, but still lose the hand. The most common example of this happens when you’re on a straight draw, but there’s a possible flush draw on the board. In this situation you have to consider reverse implied odds because there’s a fairly good chance that even if you hit your straight, there will be a flush that beats you.
This means that if you have a 31.5% chance of hitting a straight on the turn or the river, it does not mean you have a 31.5% chance of winning. Basically, the whole concept behind reverse implied odds is that you don’t win just because your card hits.
This is a more advanced concept, but one that helps you throw away that good hand when you see it beat on the river by the nuts. Money not lost is just as good as money won.
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