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Implied Odds | MED #7 Class 2 | Poker Podcast #140


Sky Matsuhashi

on May 27, 2017

In this episode I discuss implied odds for both pre-flop and post-flop drawing +EV decisions.

Download and listen to this episode as you follow along below.


Implied Odds (1:35)

Implied Odds is the amount of money/chips you can expect to win if you hit your speculative hand.

Example: HU, effective stacks are $30 >>> you can potentially win $30 more

Implied Odds allows us to make calls that are technically -EV right now, but if we hit our hand we can stand to win a lot of money; thereby making it +EV over the course of the hand.

The 20x Rule (3:25)

The 20x Rule stats:

There should be 20 times the bet remaining in the effective stacks to make it worthwhile to play speculative hands.

Example: if the bet you’re facing is $1, you want at least $20 in the stacks behind to make playing your speculative hand potentially profitable.

20x effective stack sizes mitigates the fact that with speculative hands, sometimes you:

  • miss your hand and fold on the flop >>> LOSE A LITTLE VALUE
  • catch a draw and pay to catch it, costing you more money when you miss or fold later >>> POSSIBLY LOSE A TON OF VALUE
  • hit the hand and they still beat you with a better hand >>> LOSE A TON OF VALUE
  • hit the hand but they fold >>> EARN LITTLE VALUE
  • spike your miracle hand and get paid off >>> EARN THE MOST VALUE

Speculative Hands (4:25)

Speculative hands hope to hit something on the flop and can’t stand a lot of post-flop pressure.

Small-medium PP’s for set mining (22-99):
The odds of flopping a set: 11% (1 in 9)
Odds of flopping a sd: 4.5% (1 in 22)

Suited Connectors for flush/straight/big draw power (32s-QJs):
The odds of flopping a flush: <1% (1 in 100)
Odds of flopping a straight: >1% (1 in 100)
Odds of flopping a fd or sd: 32% (1 in 3)

Suited Aces for flushy goodness (A2s – A9s)
The odds of flopping a flush: <1% (1 in 100)
Odds of flopping a straight: .16% (1 in 600)
Odds of flopping a fd or sd: 19% (1 in 5)

Implied Odds Considerations (6:15)

The 20x Rule isn’t the end all, be all. You can’t just see a speculative hand and say, “Well, there’s 20x behind, so I’ve gotta call.”

There’s plenty more to consider…

The likelihood of getting paid off:
Does my opponent have a hard time folding?
If I hit my (flush/straight), will that card scare them into folding even TP hands?

The Pros/Cons of Your Hand:
How does this (pp/sc/Axs) make money?
What kind of flops am I looking for?

Your Position:
Am I OOP or IP on the flop?
What plays can I take advantage of for bluffing?

Your Opponent:
What type of player is my opponent?
How will your relative position affect their play?

Potential Opponents:
Are you last to act?
If I call, how will those yet to act respond?

Your Image:
Are you a bluffy, aggressive player?
What types of hands has your opponent seen you SD when calling pre-flop?

Future Board Texture:
What types of flops/boards hit or miss my opponent?
Can I get lots of value if I hit my miracle hand?

Listen to the 1st episode in the 3bet MED by clicking here.

Post-flop Implied Odds (10:45)


  • TAG EP opens to $3, we call in the BB w/As6s. The flop effective stacks are $50.
  • Flop comes Js3s2c board.  $7 in the pot. We have the nut FD for 18% chance of hitting the turn (using the x2 rule for our 9 flush outs).
  • After we check, the TAG EP bets $5. We suspect an over-pair on this J high board.  We could make the semi-bluff check-raise, but there’s also the option of calling with our draw.
  • The break-even math on the call is the $5 call to win the total pot of $17, so we need 29% equity to make a mathematically correct call (5/17).
  • If we think our opponent is married to his hand and will pay us off even on a 3-flush board.  This means we can include his remaining $50 to the amount of money we can win.  Our new break-even formula is now the $5 call divided by a potential pot of $67.  This means we only need 7% equity.

VERY IMPORTANT: We have to be careful to not let the idea of implied odds let us call far too often. 

When you’re using implied odds post-flop to call on a draw:

  1. Be reasonably sure your opponent can pay you off
  2. Be drawing to the nuts
  3. Have an oesd or better
  4. Err on the side of caution.

You’re essentially giving your opponent value right now by calling with your draw, you need to be sure it’s worth it for a big pay day later in the hand.  If a payday is unlikely, don’t give him value and just fold your hand.

Challenge (15:00)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  In your next study session, do a hand history review on 5 flopped flush draw spots and 5 flopped straight draw spots.  Review these hands and look for mistakes in your drawing logic.  Did you fold when you should’ve called?  Did you call when it was obvious you should’ve folded?  Reviewing these spots will make you a better draw hunter.

Now it’s your turn to take action and do something positive for your poker game.

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Sky Matsuhashi

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