Implied Odds in Poker And How to Use Them

Learning implied odds is a huge stepping stone toward becoming a serious poker player and we explain what they are and how to use them.

Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by Avatar Author Adrian Sterne
Fact checked by Dusan Jovanovic

Image of Implied Odds in PokerImplied odds in poker can be a powerful weapon. They are the extension of pot odds, indicating the amount of money you can extract from your opponent after a completed draw.

This guide will teach you implied odds and how to calculate them. To make things easier, we will also use a few examples, showcasing scenarios for both good and bad implied odds.

What Are Implied Odds

Implied odds is a concept that tells you whether you have a good shot at winning money from your opponent after a completed draw. It goes without saying that to have good implied odds, you must have a strong hand or at least a good draw. However, poker is not only about winning a hand but getting as much money as possible from your opponents.

In that sense, when you have a strong chance of winning more money from your opponent, you have good implied odds. Conversely, if you think your opponent will stop betting on future streets, you face bad implied odds.

Calculating implied odds does not require complex mathematical formulas. As a matter of fact, there is no formula for calculating how much you stand to win with implied odds. However, there is a formula for determining how much you need to win to make a call worth it, which is done by subtracting pot odds from your draw odds.

How Do Implied Odds Work

This may seem confusing, so let’s use examples to show what good and bad implied odds look like.

Good Implied Odds

  • Your hand: 5♥, 6♥
  • The flop: 4♣, 7♠, Q♦

Here, we are looking at an open-ended straight draw. You’ll have good implied odds if the other player decides to bet. If you make your straight on the turn or the river, the opponent won’t easily be able to predict the strength of your hand, giving you a chance to extract more money from them.

Bad Implied Odds

  • Your hand: A♣, 5♦
  • The flop: Q♦, 10♦, 8♦

In this scenario, you have a solid flush draw. However, your opponent can easily get scared by this draw and refrain from betting because they can see three diamonds on the flop. Unless they have a flush draw themselves, you will have difficulty drawing money from your opponent here.

Conclusion: Implied odds are all about how well-hidden your hand is. If things look too apparent after the flop, the implied odds drop. The implied odds rise if you have a good draw that’s not easy to see.

Implied vs. Reverse Implied Odds

Image of Implied Odds VS. Reverse Implied Odds in PokerJust like you’re looking to get as much money from your opponent as possible, you should be careful about protecting your stack and know when to fold, even if the pot odds seem to be on your side.

That’s why we must look at reverse implied odds, which are the opposite of implied odds, telling us we’re likely to lose more money on future streets, even if we hit.

For instance, if we hit a flush draw, but our opponent follows it with a large bet, we must consider that they may have a better flush or a full house. Even though pot odds tell us one thing, reverse implied odds might suggest something else.

Therefore, both implied and reverse implied odds offer better information than direct pot odds because pot odds don’t account for scenarios when our opponent continues with their aggression on future streets.

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Learning implied and reverse implied odds is a huge step toward becoming a better poker player. There’s a lot more to cover on this topic, but we at least went through the basics, giving you a foundation upon which to build.

Also, implied odds are just one of many things poker pros rely on when playing. If you wish to keep improving your game, we advise you to go through our entire section covering various strategies and areas of the poker game.


What is the goal of implied odds?

The goal of implied odds is to show the probability of winning and how much money you stand to gain from your opponent in future streets.

Is it better to use implied odds than pot odds?

Yes, using only pot odds has limitations since it doesn’t account for future betting rounds. The pot odds are only accurate when your opponent goes all in.

Is it better to use implied or reverse implied odds?

It’s not a question of one or the other, as you should use both depending on the scenario.

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