Implied Odds, Bet Odds, Investment Odds, and Best Case/Worse Case Scenario

Implied Odds

Your implied odds in the hand are ‘how much money will my opponent continue you throw into the pot after they see the next cards.’ If you are going for an obvious flush, for example, and put your opponent on a large pair your implied odds will be lower based on the simple fact that your opponent will stop betting once the flush card pops up UNLESS you have played the hand in such a way that the flush card will not scare your opponent away from betting and or calling. The implied odds are greater on straight draws than on flush draws because your opponent may be paying less attention to any straights on board ESPECIALLY if you have an open ended straight with 6 7 as your hole cards and the board contains 5 8 K. Your implied odds on the straight would be lower if you held 6 7 and the board contained 8 9 K because the straight is much more obvious to an opponent. Knowing what cards your opponent has and how they typically bet their hands is the key to playing with Implied Odds. If you have no idea what cards your opponent is liable to play nor have any idea how much they will typically bet versus the kind of hand you are currently going for will make Implied Odds completely useless to you. Your Implied Odds are much greater against an opponent who bets regardless of if a flush draw is on board when you hold a flush than against an opponent who folds the second they see a flush card pop up on the board.

Your Implied Odds in a hand are typically much higher when you flop trips with a low pocket pair OR a high pocket pair against an opponent who holds the same over card than any other hand with the exception of straight draws that are not obvious to an opponent. Your Implied Odds are also very high when you hold something along the lines of Big Slick versus an opponent holding KQ when there is a pair of Kings on board and neither one of you made 2 pair.

Bet Odds

Determining how many players will stay in the hand after you have made your bet. You use Bet Odds to increase pot sizes to make future plays favorable based on pot odds. Its basically a way of increasing the size of a pot by knowing how many players in advance will call a predetermined sized bet. For example if you had an 8 out straight draw and the pot was 500 in a 50/100 game you would make a 100 bet and if you believed 6 out of the other 9 players at the table would call your bet the pot size has now grown to 1200 (500 + 600 from callers + your 100 bet). Because you have increased the pot size the pot odds will now be much more in your favor if another opponent bets at you on the turn. Lets say your opponent bets 200 at you on the turn. 1200/200=6 (your pot odds.) Your odds against are about 5 to 1 so this is now a favorable call. Had the flop betting gone check, check there would only be 500 in the pot and 500/200 is 2.5 making it a horrible play for you to call.

Investment Odds

Investment odds are basically the same as pot odds but are based on numbers you make up in your head before betting. This is why they are on the same page as implied odds. You determine how large of a pot you believe you will win multiply it by your percent chance to win then divide that number by the amount of money you plan on investing in the pot (Total Pot Size*% chance of winning / Your Total Bets = Investment Odds). You are making the correct play if your Investment Odds are greater than 1. Let’s say you believe the pot is going to be 1000 and you have a 20% shot at winning. That is 200. Now lets say you are going to throw 250 into the pot. 200/250 is 0.8. You do not have good investment odds and are in for a long night of losing. If you were going after the same 1000 pot with the same odds and planned on only throwing in 200 or less your Investment Odds would be good and are looking forward to a long night of winning (unless someone gets lucky and you continually get rivered.) Investment Odds are used to determine a correct/incorrect play that playing by normal odds/outs would normally tell you differently (for example drawing to an inside straight that the outs and current pot odds tell you to fold but the implied odds of the pot tell you to call.)

Best Case/Worse Case Scenario

When figuring out the odds you have to figure out what will happen if the best- case scenario for your hand occurs. This is very important when chasing after straight and flush draws that will not make ‘the nuts.’ Let’s say you hold 4 5 and the board is 6 7 A. You are hoping to make your open ended straight. If a 3 comes off you have made your straight and there are currently no cards that can beat you. An opponent who also has made their straight with this hand would have been 2 5. The player with 2 5 will now think they have the best hand after completing their inside straight and may begin betting into you. Now the player holding 2 5 should have figured out the worse case scenario on the flop and folded immediately. The worse case scenario for the 2 5 would be ‘If I make my straight will anyone else have made a higher straight than me?’ You always must think to yourself ‘What will happen IF I do make my hand?’ because your hand may be second best. 2 5’s best scenario was making the straight to beat anyone who wasn’t also going for the exact same card. Their worse case scenario was making the 3 and being up against someone who needed the exact same card. Knowing the worse case scenario for your hand can allow you to throw away hands that you know are good but not the best to win that specific hand. The 2 5 is doing the right thing by throwing out a feeler bet but if reraised should place their opponent on a hand then, if they decide their opponent was indeed playing 4 5, should fold to avoid further losses. As for you holding 4 5 there is still a chance your hand can be beat. Worse Case Scenario for the river card is your opponent completes their open ended straight with either a 5 or 10 coming up on the river if they hold 8 9. Best Case/Worse Case scenario is all about being able to read a board, put your opponent on a hand, and limiting losses in a hand regardless of if you made the hand you were going for. Being able to throw away a good hand because your opponent made a better hand is the key to poker as well as the hardest lesson to learn.

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