It is a common occurence when palying a game of poker that the cards we hold aren’t the greatest. Being hopeful, we wait for certain cards to come to make our hand complete (in the case of flush draws or straight draws, for example). This is known in the poker world as a drawing hand and can be very profitable is we play our cards right. It has been said that it is enough to know the number of our outs with outs being the cards in which we would win the hand. In order to get the odds in your favor, this number needs to be compared to the total remaining cards within the deck. Following this, it is essential to compare the size of the bet with the size of the total pot. If we compare these two odds, they form what is known as **pot odds calculation**.

Let’s have a look at a quick example: If we the circumstance to call a $10 bet for a $100 pot, our pot odds would calculate into 1:10. If we happen to have a flush draw, we have 9 outs for the flush to come. There are a total remaining 47 cards within the deck, so our odds for the flush would be 9:47 = 35% in your favor. If the pot odds happen to be better than this, it is highly recommended to call the opponent’s bet – simple maths is on your side.

Besides this, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration in order to decide our next step of action. The pot odds can be calculated using the amount of money already in the pot. However, if we want to forecast the size of the possible winnings in the future outcome of the hand (upon hitting our flush draw, for example), this is when **implied odds** come into play.

**Implied odds: what are implied odds and what can they be used for?**

Unlike pot odds, implied odds can never have an exact value but work more on estimation. There are both good and bad implied odds open for discussion. If we have good implied odds, it’s easily countable that we can win big upon hitting our draw. Whereas bad implied odds indicate the opposite (smaller winnings).

**Let’s have a look at a good example of good implied odds:**

Let’s presume we call a raise preflop with a pocket pair and wait for the set to arrive on the flop. If we do happen to hit the set, it is easy to see that big winnings are within our grasp, which indicates good implied odds.

The best example of bad implied odds is when we hold an Ace in our hands and we flop a nut flush draw. This equates to bad implied odds, because even if we do hit the flush on the turn or river, the cards on the board will be daunting for the other players. Because of this, we can not count on big winnings hence bad implied odds.

It can be noted as a general rule of thumb, that the more disguised our hand is to our opponents, the better the implied odds. So straight draws, for example although have a smaller chance of securing than flush draws, they do offer a better lure for the opponents, which means they offer better implied odds.

It is easy to see how implied odds can influence our decisions (ie deciding whether or not to call a bet with given pot odds) and open a dimension for poker play. In many cases it is possible that we don’t have the pot odds for calling, but because of the implied odds, it is a better decision to call. However, if we don’t have good implied odds our best decision is to fold our hand. Final but important to note: if the pot odds are sufficient, implied odds do not need to be taken into consideration.

I hope this valuable information will have a positive impact on your gameplay. Please share with me your thoughts!