Online Poker

Poker Strategies

When you're starting out in poker, learning how to calculate the pot odds is important if you want to make sound decisions in all betting rounds. But as an advanced poker player, you should know how to factor in not only pot odds but implied odds and reverse implied odds if you want to play your hand successfully after the flop.

Calculating poker pot odds is a simple process. Generally new players will use an odds calculator, however it is relatively easy to calculate the odds manually. Remember that these odds will help you determine whether it is worthwhile calling a bet based on the money in the pot. All you need to do is count your outs, which are the cards that you need to make up a poker hand.

For example, a player with a flush draw on the flop has a total of nine outs. This gives him a 19.1 percent chance of hitting a flush on the turn (when the fourth community card is dealt in the game). To justify calling a bet based on these odds, the player should only do so if the amount at stake is lower than 19.1 percent of the pot. If this amount is higher, the bes course of action is to fold.

However, just because you've calculated the pot odds correctly doesn't mean you can win the poker game. The equations used to determine the poker pot odds fail to take several basic points into consideration, including the strength of your opponent's hand and the chance that he may continue to raise the bet. Pot odds also fail to address betting amounts in future rounds.

This is where implied odds in poker come in. These poker odds take into account the possible bets in subsequent poker rounds. Returning to the example above, if a player has a 19.1 percent chance of making a flush on fourth street, he can afford to call up to 19.1 percent of the total pot which he would in theory claim if he won the game.

Reverse implied odds can help you work out the potential loss which will occur even if you make your desired hand but lose the game. Let's assume you have a Queen and a Jack of Hearts in your hand, while on the board there is the King and Five of Hearts and the Five of Clubs. You may have a 19.1 percent of making a flush but you may have a much lower chance of winning the game with this hand. After all, you could lose to an opponent holding a full house!

Reverse implied odds work on the basis that a player does not automatically win the game even if he achieves his strongest hand. Therefore players need to factor in this potential loss when they make their betting decisions and keep in mind the amount of money they may lose in future betting rounds as a result of this loss.

The difference between a novice and an advanced player is how these odds are used. A novice player may base his decisions on pot odds only, while an advanced player factors in implied odds and reverse implied odds into his equations. The more skilled you are in using this combination of poker odds to assist you with decision making, the more successful you will be when you play poker.