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Thread: Implied odds confusion!

  1. #1
    beddelol is offline Junior Member
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    Aug 2014

    Default Implied odds confusion!

    Hi everyone. as you might have understood by reading the headline, there is something about implied odds that i just cannot seem to grasp. here it is:

    there is $12 in the pot. my opponent bets $6, giving me 3:1 odds on a call.
    i have 4:1 odds to improve my flush-draw. with this information i can work out the amount of money i need to extract from my opponent on future beting rounds to make my call profitable. This will be done simply by reducing my actual pot odds from my odds of improving, in this case 4-3=1, giving me a new ratio of 1:1. then i will multiply this ratio with the amount i need to call in this case 1x6=$6. this means i would have to extract at least $6 more from my opponent to make this play breakeven at worst. now comes the part that is bothering me.
    if i make sure to extract at least $6 from my opponent, either by betting and have him call, or by letting him bet and i call, wouldnt this mean that i can allways manipulate the pot to make sure i play my draws profitably no matter what my actual pot odds are? if the opponent folds to my bet, then i just won the pot, so it didnt matter if i was able to extract the $6 bet or not. in other words, it is allways profitable to play my draws no matter what pot odds i have.

    Now i understand that this cannot be the case and that i probably left out a very important factor that is messing my logic up. This is where i need you guys. Why wont this theory i made hold up?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by beddelol; Sep 19th, 2014 at 03:49 PM.

  2. #2
    J_Verschueren's Avatar
    J_Verschueren is offline They call me "J"
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    Aug 2011
    Antwerp, Belgium


    Well, there is a lot of stuff you're missing, probably the biggest mistake is putting implied odds at the center of your decision making, attaching too much importance to it. You're playing no-limit, so opponents can actually bet enough to cut your odds if they read the situation well and implied odds only compensate to a degree (I'll get back to this). In limit, often opponents can't bet enough to make drawing unprofitable, or, if they can, only slightly so. So, indeed, often you just need that one bet on the river and, unless you play absolutely straightforwardly, your opponent is almost forced to call you, because he'll just give up too much to you if he always folds.

    No limit is a different animal and just getting "enough or some more" when your draw comes in, isn't going to cut it. You need to be able to get "significantly more" and here's some of the reasons why.

    - the $6,- is fine to call in a sense, but a bigger bet on the next card may force you to fold if you miss. Leaving you with more to extract from your next made hand or successfull draw in order to compensate. And an opponent may well bet bigger on a subsequent round because your call defined your hand more.

    - the next card may be a "barrel card". A card your opponent can bet heavily, regardless of whether it hit him or not, because you cannot discount him having it, again forcing a fold of, possibly, the best hand this time (if you have a small pair to go with your draw, e.g.).

    - you might make your draw and still lose. This is partly board texture related, so you may be able to get away, but don't count on it.

    Those are what's referrred to as reverse-implied odds situations and, as I've hinted at, they make it so you cannot "always draw", because, if you do, you're putting too much of a drain on your successfull draws and made hands.

    So what other factors should be considered when playing a draw?

    -position, you definately want position on any opponent with more than one braincell in order to play any draw which isn't mathematically a favourite at the point in the hand.

    -the opponent himself. If you (as an unknown) were playing me in that hand, the bet wouldn't be just half pot, it would be more like 2/3rds- to potsize and you would be facing another sizeable chunk on a blank next card. As I would be aware of draws, I would slow down or block small when an obvious draw came in (most of the time, and, remember, I may have been betting with a bigger draw myself and now be inducing ). The way to beat me (as an unknown) is to trick me into believing you're dumb and let me do the betting for you, not trying to outdraw me. That just won't work. Conversely, when faced with weak, spewy opponents, you can go to town with your draws. Catch a draw cheaply and snap them off when they overbet 2nd pair.
    Two extremes, obviously, but: pay attention to your opponents and table dynamics and you'll pretty much know what to do with your weak and medium to strong draws.
    In cash play, always play monster draws aggressively, BTW. Only apply deception with hands which have less equity to begin with.

    -which leads us to: deception. If someone is opening a lot and c-betting a lot and generally chipping up a lot (partly at our expense), one is eventually going to have to put a stop to that, if necessary, with a stone cold bluff. But this is one of those spots where another weapon in our arsenal might prove very usefull: the semi-bluff. In these sorts of spots, instead of just "sticking around" with an "ok" draw, it's in our interest to attack with it. For, a decent amount of the time, we'll get the fold, just as with the stone cold bluff. But, when we're called, there's a decent chance of hitting our hand + a bonus chance of hitting a card we can barrel on. Thus forcing our opponent to find a softer spot on the table.

    Anyhow, no-limit hold'em is complex, especially if stacks are deep relative to the betting, so don't get hung up on one aspect of decision making. Look at the whole picture and try to figure out how others perceive this same picture. Often in doing so, the right course of action becomes clear.
    Last edited by J_Verschueren; Sep 20th, 2014 at 03:05 AM.

  3. #3
    jimbot25 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Central NY


    The card you were drawing to may have been a scare card he was folding to, meaning that, you drew to incorrect implied odds, thinking you would get paid and didn't. That is the first paradox in your question.

    If in fact he would have folded to any card on the next street, no matter scare card or not, then you were incorrect in assuming you had the number of outs you did. If you had the better hand you would have folded to a bet made by a worse hand later (much of the time that you miss), this time for a bigger pot mind you. You would've been bluffed, meaning that if you don't hit you don't continue and your call doesn't hold its weight.

    You're implied odds are simplified in the books for conceptual reasons. You are using incomplete information and you are guesstimating your outs. Also, you need to seek more chips in the amount of the percentage of times you hit and lose multiplied by the size of your loss when that happens and then some. You may make the flush, but two pair and trips will improve to beat you About 10% of the time (that you hit on the turn), so you can basically subtract that from your expected value. Since you will mostly be paying it off.
    Last edited by jimbot25; Nov 28th, 2014 at 05:21 AM.


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