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Pot Odds, Outs, Actual Odds and Implied Odds

Pot odds are the odds the pot is laying you in comparison to the bet you are facing. The formula is very simple: Pot Odds is the total pot (including your opponent’s bets) to the amount you need to call. If the pot is 100$ on the flop and your opponent bets is 50$, there is now 150$ in the pot and you need 50$ to call. Your pot odds are therefore 150 (100+50) to 50, or 3 to 1.


To start with you have to count your outs. Your outs are the amount of cards which will boost your hand. Let’s say that you got 9T pre flop.. The flop comes with 2, K of diamond and a 6, and you then have a flush draw. There's 9 remaining diamonds = 9 outs.

The Actual Odds

Count your outs and compare this number to the number of unseen cards in the deck. Let’s say we are on the same flop as before, and you still have 9T of diamond. There are 52 cards in the deck, you have 2 cards in the hole, and there are 3 cards on the table.

The number of unknown cards are therefore 47. Of these 47 cards 9 will hit (your outs) and 38 will miss. Your actual odds for a flush are therefore 38 to 9 or 4.22 to 1.

You don’t need to be very accurate when calculating the odds. If you can figure out that 38 divided with 9 are a little more than 4. 2 to 1, you will do just fine.

Poker is about making good investments, so now you compare the pot odds with the actual odds. In this example the pot odds are 3 to 1. With 2 cards to come the actual odds are 4. 2 to 1 on the turn and on the river = 4. 2 to 2, so here we have a good investment.

Implied Odds
Where pot odds take into consideration the amount there is in the pot right now, implied odd is an estimation on how much money you can win, if you hit with your hand.

Lets say, that with you knowledge about your opponent you know, that there is a 50% change that he will bet half the pot on the turn, and also 50% change that he will call a half pot size bet on the river.

If you call the bet on flop there's at this point 200$ within the pot. Let’s assume you hit the lacking diamond on the turn.

50% of the times your opponent should call a 50 % pot size bet. That is extra 100$ out of your opponent on the turn.

The value from the implied odds are consequently 50$ (100$ x 50%) on the turn.

On the river the pot is most likely either 200$ or 400$. The averages pot size is therefore 300$ and 50% of the times, you can get additional half the pot or 150$ more out of your opponent.

The value of the implied odds are therefore 75$ on the river, and the total value of the implied odds on the turn and the river is 125$.

Original there were 150$ within the pot on the flop, and you had to call extra 50$ to stay. With the implied odds you expect to win extra 125$ in case you hit your hand on the turn. The pot odds + implied odds on the flop are consequently 275$ (150 + 125) to 50$ = 5. 5 to 1.

If you are playing online, you do not need to calculate the implied odds from scratch each and every time. You only need to do it a couple of times for each opponent. Since the implied odds are an approximation based on your knowledge about your opponents tendencies, you can use an averaged calculation.

In this case our opponent calls a half pot bet 50% of the times on the turn and on the river. A fast way to find your implied odds is therefore to do the calculation above once. Then you know that the value of your implied odds on the flop are 125$ for a 150$ pot = 5/6 of the pot on the flop. The pot odds was 3 to 1 on the flop, but including the implied odds your now get 5.5 to1.

A more advanced method takes into consideration how you think your opponent will react to different cards on the turn and on the river.

How often do you think he will call a bet if there is a possible flush? What will you do on the turn if a blank hits? With a flush draw and an opponent as descript above, 5. 5 to 1 is a little to optimistic, since your opponent will call less often if a possible flush hits.

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