What Are Reverse Implied Odds and Why They Are Important

Last Updated on March 19, 2020 Author:Adrian Sterne

Reverse Implied OddsTo understand the concept of reverse implied odds, you must first learn what the term “implied odds” refers to.

In a nutshell, implied odds help you calculate how much money can you expect to win after making the draw. With their help, you should be able to predict your opponents’ hands and how much money they will earn based on it.

In case of reverse implied odds, they calculate the amount of money that you may lose, as your opponent presumably has a stronger hand than you.

Today, we’ll show you why reverse implied odds are just as important as implied odds when it comes to making the right betting decisions. We’ll try to keep things as simple and straightforward as possible. First, we’ll discuss the difference between implied odds and reverse implied odds, and then we’ll talk about:

  • Which type of hands are lousy according to reverse implied odds
  • Which type of players aren’t favored by reverse implied odds
  • When you should pay attention to reverse implied odds.


Implied odds allow us to make betting calls without having to calculate direct pot odds because they look at the big picture of a poker game. So, even if direct pot odds might indicate that you are likely to lose a particular hand, implied odds may show you the possibility of being able to win additional chips on the later betting rounds.

On the other hand, reverse implied odds suggest that it may be incorrect to make a specific call even if the direct pot odds favor us. This is because we may lose chips in the next round even if we make our hand.

The implied odds are essential when you’re the guy on the draw who has a disadvantage on a draw — but only right now, not necessarily later. So, they are basically showing you what your current chances to win against an opponent who has a better hand than you are.

On the flip side of the coin, reverse implied odds come into play when you’re the guy with the advantage, while your opponent is the one who’s drawing.

Keep in mind that these odds are useless when you’ve flopped a monster hand like a full house or top set. That’s because you’re not concerned about the opponent running you down. In fact, in these situations, you’re hoping that their hand will improve to a hand that’s good enough to bet but still weak enough to lose.

Bad Type of Hands According to Reverse Implied Odds

There are two primary types of hand which aren’t particularly favoured by reverse implied odds.

  • The “Good but not great” hands — An excellent example of this would be a mid-pair in Texas Hold’em. This type of hand is not only highly unlikely to improve by the river, but it also has a high probability to deteriorate in strength as more cards are dealt. When overcards start falling, all signs, including reverse implied odds, start pointing out to the fact that you don’t stand a chance in the later rounds.
  • Dominated draws — Any time we hold a draw with good but not great hands, we take the risk of being crushed by an even stronger hand once we make our bets. This means that we are probably going to lose additional chips even if we get what we needed on the flop. So, we need to be getting a fantastic price to compensate for this.

Win Small, Lose Big

Reverse implied odds won’t go in your favor unless your opponent is out of money to wager. These odds come into play in situations when you can win small if you get the best hand, but lose a substantial amount of cash if your opponent draws out on your or has a better hand right now.

As a rule of thumb, reverse implied odds punish overly aggressive players. That’s because they usually win a small amount of money when their opponent fold, but tend to lose a lot if their opponent either has a better hand or makes one. The opponent then punishes the aggressive player who has a marginal hand that doesn’t get any better, regardless of the cards that fall on the turn or the river.

How Precise Are Reverse Implied Odds?

The reason why you can’t always rely on reverse implied odds is that they require estimating how your opponents will behave in future betting rounds.

If the current pot odds are solid, you can usually keep betting, even if reverse implied odds suggest otherwise. But if the pot odds are marginal and there is a high possibility that someone has a strong hand, then you should start thinking about releasing your hand or at least getting to the showdown without investing much.


You should use reverse implied odds to find out whether you have the best hand, and how much it will cost you to find out in the future rounds. So, if you are on an 8 high flush draw on the flop, and several opponents have already called, reverse implied odds will help you decide whether this draw is worth calling for, as another player may have a higher flush draw than you.

With all the knowledge you have learnt in this article why not try it for yourself at one of American Online Poker Sites, which we have selected and reviewed for you to enjoy today.

If you have any questions or concerns about the matter above, please let us know in the comment section below.

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