Pot Odds and Implied Odds

Pot Odds and Implied Odds can be used to help make many decisions in holdem. Like whether to draw to a flush or straight. Or whether to make a tough call or even bluff on the river. Using the odds does not need to be an exact science. Close estimates are usually good enough since typically time limits on decisions are involved


Pot Odds

This is the relationship between a bet that is being called and the total pot size at that particular moment.

Example: If the pot is 100 and the bet is 25. Calling the 25 would be
4 to 1.


Implied Odds

This is the relationship between a bet and the total pot size at that moment. Plus any other bets estimated to be included in the pot before the hand is finished (by other players). It is correct to include anything you have previously added to the pot since it is now part of the pot and no longer yours. But do not include what you will be adding to the pot in the future.


How to Calculate Odds

Basically odds are the two numbers being considered turned into a fraction.

For example:
- The pot is 50 at the moment and the bet to call is 25 (or 50/25).
- 25 enters both 50 and 25 evenly and is the highest common denominator. 
- 50 divided by 25 is 2. 
- And 25 divided by 25 = 1. 
- The pot odds are 2 to 1 (or 2/1). 

The same method is used to calculate implied odds except add any estimated future bets to the total pot first (not counting future bets added by yourself).

For example: The pot is 50 and the bet is 25. We estimate there will be 150 more added. 50 plus 150 = 200. So the implied odds would be 200/25. Again 25 is the highest common denominator...200 divided by 25 = 8 and 25 divided by 25 = 1 so the implied odds are 8 to 1.


How to Use Them

Here is a common situation for using the odds to see if a call is profitable.

Player X has AQ of hearts and the flop is 287 with two hearts. AQ could win this hand in many situations by making a pair... but to keep it simple we will only consider the flush. And that there will be no more betting since both players will be all in.

The pot is 50 and player A bets 25 (all in) the pot is now 75. If 25 is called by player X. The pot oddswill be 3 to 1.

Making a flush with two cards to go is 35% or approximately 2 to 1. This correct play here is to call since the reward is 3 to 1 and the chance of winning is 2 to 1.

More on How to Use Texas Holdem Odds and Strategy together


With practice this gets easier. I remember when I first started learning flop, turn and river odds. I had to go over them numerous times to remember them all by heart. So don't be frustrated if you need to reference this section in the future.

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