Just playing the cards you have is not enough in today’s world of online poker. You must play the odds if you are going to have a better chance of taking down more pots and winning more hands. Understanding implied pot odds and how to use them will help your game overall and your bottom line profitability at the poker table.
So what are implied pot odds. Simply the ratio between the amount of money (or chips if in tournament play) you expect to win if you win the hand and the amount of money (or chips if in tournament play again) needed to call the bet CMD368.
Here is a quick illustrative example. A player with a stack of around 3,000 chips throws in a pre-flop raise of 120. Now it’s your turn to act. You have a much bigger stack – say 30,000 chips – so you can cover the 120 without making a significant impact on your stack. You think you can win the hand anyway and in so doing take out your opponent. So that mathematics required to calculate the implied pot odds are to divide your opponent’s stack (3,000) by the amount you have to wager to call the bet (120). Thus in this instance the implied pot odds are 25/1.
While that is a pretty straightforward calculation you must remember that implied pot odds are not always done deals. You need the right circumstances to make the play. You have to take various other factors in to account. For example you have to be sure that your opponent will call if you do hit your hand. So consider your opponent and his style of play and also take a guess at what cards he may be holding.
Another important factor to be aware of is that implied pot odds disappear in a puff of smoke if your opponent is small stacked. There are not enough chips for you to win in such circumstances. The correct use of implied pots odds is basically all about lining yourself up for a nice boost to your own chip stack by taking those chips from an unsuspecting opponent. Here is where the playing characteristics of your opponent becomes a big consideration.
The rock solid player who folds to any bet and only plays back if he has premium hands is not good for you if you are seeking to leverage implied pot odds. It is the calling stations and loose players against who you have the best chance of using implied pot odds.
A final consideration is your own hand. What cards are you holding which make you think you can win with the odds. Do not lose sight of hand selection no matter what the implied odds are. Otherwise it is you who can be wiped out and watch your chips leave the table.
Starting hands such as small pocket pairs and suited connectors can be good hands to use with implied pot odds because they are disguised and if you hit a set, flush or straight on the flop you can be in a good position to exploit the opportunity.