Article 6, and you’re not bored? Even better….Article 6, and you’re still at free poker NoPayPoker Either way, I’m pleased that you’re possibly being dealt pocket cards at a B & M, and I’m pleased that you’ve maintained an absence from the ‘real money’ Internet poker sites.
Let the morons who possess no regard for money….no regard for an honest game….continue their string of losses at ‘PokerForSuckers’, while you continue to put together strings of cash wins in card rooms, and strings of penny wins at NoPayPOKER.
And, I want to quantify those wins.
The wins that will be cause for very large sums of money to move away from most of our competitors, and for that very same large amount of money to take up residence in our wallets.
These wins will have very little to do with Pot Odds; they will have almost everything to do with Implied Odds. Take a moment to distinguish between the two;
- Pot Odds relate to the chips that are lying in the middle of the table…in front of the dealer.
- Implied Odds relate to the chips that are individually stacked by our competitors…in front of each of them.
Most often, Pot Odds, are a defensive tool in our game play….and, we’ll get to that later in this Article. Yet, Implied Odds are a major offensive weapon in our game play.
Thus, it’s no less than mandatory that we develop a complete understanding of Implied Odds; a command so pronounced that it will ultimately provide us with a Return on Investment (ROI) that compares most favorably with the ROI associated to the way in which we play the lower pocket pairs (recall, as it was described in Part 4 of this series of articles, the low pocket pairs ROI was about 128%).
To make our introduction to “a complete comprehension”; of Implied Odds, let’s look at a hand where we hold KQ off-suit.
- The board, pre-river, is showing us Tc/Js/4h/2d.
- Our King is a Spade, our Queen is a Diamond.
- The current pot holds a total of $600.
- We’re in late position, the other two players remaining in the hand are both in early position.
- The first of the two players makes a $200 bet, and the second of the two players calls.
- There is now $1,000 in the pot, and it’s our turn to fold, call, or raise.
The four exposed cards clearly indicate that no one holds a full house (the board’s not paired), or a flush draw (the board is a rainbow).
- The cards also suggest that there are 2 different straight draws…with the T/J, and with the 2/4.
- Moreover, either of the two players who just put $200 into the pot could hold any one of 4 different sets.
- So, if we were to catch any Nine, or any Ace, on the river, we would end up with a ‘nuts’ hand.
- We have 8 outs to this ‘nuts’ hand….the four nines, and the four aces.
Yet, if we were to call the $200 bet, we would not be getting the correct Pot Odds ($1,000 in the pot versus our $200 gives us 5 to 1 odds).
- We need Pot Odds of at least 5 to 1 for our $200 to be a ‘dead even’ bet
- …and, we’ve already decided that we’re not playing this game to end up ‘dead-even’; we’re only playing this game to win….actually, to win big.
- Therefore, in this situation, the Pot Odds tell us to fold. But should we?
Maybe not. If we dispense with Pot Odds, and consider Implied Odds, we might not want to fold.
- Remember, Implied Odds relate to the stacks of chips sitting before the two players who individually put $200 each into the pot.
- The first player has a stack of $3,200.
- The second player has a stack of $2,800.
- And, if they’re holding sets, or if they’re holding 2 pairs, any Nine, or any Ace, on the river, might not take them out of the pot (they could easily ignore the possibility that the Nine or Ace created a straight).
Even better, if they’re holding a pocket Ace, coupled with a pocket card that has already paired the board, like a Ten or a Jack, an Ace on the river will be cause for them to begin tossing chips around like freerollers do during the initial round of an Internet tourney.
- Frankly, even if one, or both, are only holding the high pair (without a pocket Ace), a Nine on the river might not be enough to take them out of the pot.
- Plus, it’s even possible that an Ace on the river also wouldn’t be enough to take them out of the pot (remember, they could have each been holding 2 pair pre-flop).
So, it’s certainly time to perform some quick arithmetic regarding Implied Odds.
- The first player’s $3,200 stack is giving us Implied Odds of 21 to 1 versus the $200 we would have to put into the pot (his stack plus the $1,000 already in the pot).
- The second player’s $2,800 is giving us Implied Odds of 19 to 1 versus the $200 we would have to put into the pot (his stack plus the $1,000 already in the pot).
- And, the combination of both of their stacks ($6,000, plus the $1,000 already in the pot) is giving us Implied Odds of 35 to 1 versus the $200 we would have to put into the pot.
We have a 1 in 6 chance of witnessing Lady Luck, through a fortuitous act, deposit any one of the four Nines, or any one of the four Aces, on the river (8 outs divided by 46 equals 17%….or, a little better than a 1 in 6 chance).
Plus, we’re getting 35 to 1 in Implied Odds (and, 5 to 1 in Pot Odds).
- At this point, I’m wondering if there is any need for any questions about participating in the hand.
- Doubtful! But, I’ll ask anyway.
- Who’s the Rocket Scientist amongst us? Or, do we really need one?
I’ll bet we all agree that he or she can stay at NASA…we can handle this ourselves.
- Sure, the Pot Odds are wrong. But, good Lord, the Implied Odds are far from wrong.
- At worst, the Implied Odds are 19 to 1, at best the Implied Odds are 35 to 1.
- And, none of us needs a consultant from the space program, or a Mathematics Professor, to tell us that we likely belong in this pot.
- We have a 17% chance of dragging a ‘monster’ pot; a pot that could be worth as much as $7,000.
Is it sensible to put our $200 into the fray? It’s a call that carries with it the potential to take down a 7K pot. I would hope that we uniformly concur…I would hope that we’re all saying “Yes”. And, why shouldn’t we be?
If this opportunity were continually presented to us, we would be winning approximately 1 out of every 6 hands, at a total cost of $1,200; yielding an ROI that would be outrageously high; probably far higher than the 128% that the low pocket pairs produce.
Certainly, and this is extremely important, caution has to be an ever-present constant regarding our use of Implied Odds.
In just about every draw situation, we’re likely to find a way to justify our involvement in the hand.
For example, if we had a gut-shot straight draw, where only four outs would produce a ‘nuts’ hand for us, we have about a 1 in 12 pre-river chance of making our straight. And, if three players were currently in a pot that was going to cost us $100 to call (a call that would allow us to see the river card), where the combined stacks of all three players totaled about $4,000, we would be getting Implied Odds of greater than 40 to 1.
And, while those odds appear very tempting, keep in mind that we’re going to lose at least 11 out of 12 times.
- Now, should the 11 losses occur before any one win occurs, we’re out a minimum of $1,100…or, we’ve lost more than two-thirds of what was likely a $1,500 buy-in to a $5/$10 cash game.
- This, the fact that we’re out $1,100 at a minimum, is completely unacceptable.
- Not necessarily because we lost the money, but because we’ve essentially eliminated our ability to take down a large pot that could result from an all-in bet by another opponent when we hold a ‘nuts’ hand.
Clearly, we need to establish a fairly rigid set of guidelines for the times that we should be looking to use Implied Odds…guidelines, I might add, that will insure a very high ROI. I’ll suggest that you use mine; they’re very simple.
There are only 3 rules:
- I need to be in the best table position; I need to be last to act.
- I need to have at least eight outs to a ‘nuts’ hand.
- And, 3)…I need to be presented with a minimum in Implied Odds of 30 to 1.
Also, I want you to know that I rarely deviate from these rules…plus, just to make the whole subject of Implied Odds all the more interesting, I’d like you to know that I’ve been witness to Implied Odds that were greater than 75 to 1; and, on more than one occasion, the 75 to 1 was present when I held 12 or more outs to a ‘nuts’ hand. Could you honestly not envision me participating in such a hand?
Yet, while we would all likely play when Implied Odds offer us 75 to 1 in a draw situation whenever we’re sitting with 12 or more outs, I need to reiterate the strong cautionary warning regarding the potential to utilize Implied Odds on a frequent basis.
Therefore, all 3 of the rules I cited above must remain in the forefront of your thoughts.
- You’re at the B & M table to win money.
- You’re at the B & M table to decimate your competition.
- You’re at the B & M table to invoke Emotions Management problems for your opponents.
- So, allow a controlled use of Implied Odds to accomplish the preceding goals.
Remember, our play is not about ego, it’s about money.
When we walked through the B & M’s entrance, whatever ego we had in tow was dropped by us at the doorway…it had to be; we never bring an ego to the table.
Plus, during the course of our labors at the table, keep something in mind. The game is very serious, our involvement in the game is very serious, our quest for opponents cash is very serious, and our attentiveness to the disciplines we’re all learning is very serious.
Earlier, I briefly mentioned Pot Odds…from a defensive perspective.
That is, when we hold what we believe to be the current post-flop ‘nuts’ hand, we would want to make it extremely difficult for an opponent to draw against us.
And, generally speaking, a pot size bet accomplishes that…he’ll be getting Pot Odds in the area of 2 to 1.
Thus, when you can project with some degree of reasonable certainty that your opponent has seven or less outs in connection with his draw, you’ll want to bet the pot.
- His seven outs require Pot Odds that are at least equal to 7 to 3; and, all that would accomplish for him is a long-term ‘break even’.
- If he had six outs, he would need Pot Odds of 3 to 1…again, to ‘break even’.
- If he had five outs, he would need Pot Odds of 4 to 1…again, to ‘break even’.
- If he had four outs, he would need Pot Odds of 5 to 1…again to ‘break even’.
- And, if he had three outs, he would need Pot Odds of 7 to 1…again to ‘break even’.
- Therefore, we should have a propensity for pot size betting.
However, if he has eight, nine, or more post-flop outs, the picture changes dramatically.
And, the action we take adjusts to correlate with the vastly altered picture. We no longer want to be the bettor. We simply want the cards to fall as they may…let Lady Luck dictate the outcome of the hand.
Why? Well…unless we overbet the pot, our opponent is getting correct Pot Odds on a pot size bet. And, I for one, have little inclination to ever overbet a pot (with the exception of only those instances where a ‘deceit’ has been set-up).
His nine outs, with a pot size bet, give our opponent Pot Odds of 2 to 1. And, he has a little more than a 1 in 3 chance of hitting any one of his outs. Moreover, if his nine outs to a flush draw also include a draw to a straight, he could have 12 outs to a flush and ‘gut shot’ straight draw, or, 15 outs to a flush and ‘open end’ straight draw.
With 12 outs, he has almost a 1 in 2 chance of catching any one of his needed cards. With 15 outs, he has almost a 2 in 3 chance of catching any one of his needed cards.
These are not situations I want to be risking my money on…I would much prefer to simply play the hand with a very passive approach. In this instance, what I’m trying to get all of you to understand, is that I will rarely put money at risk when I don’t hold a distinct advantage.
And, I’m putting a form of ‘pen to paper’ to get you to do the very same thing. If we’re only playing hands when we possess an advantage, there’s absolutely no doubt that we’re going to end up with a bevy of cash…cash that once belonged to others at the tables.
Last, at least for this Article, you need to know that:
- There are times when ‘slowplay’ can be used to our advantage...think of a low pocket pair turning into a post-flop set.
- There are times when ‘aggressive’ play can be used to our advantage…think of betting pocket Aces into one or two ‘calling stations’.
- There are times when ‘passive’ play can be used to our advantage…think of making a small and timid bet into a large number of players when the flop has given us a current ‘nuts’ straight or flush.
- There are times when ‘calculated’ play can be used to our advantage…think of calling because Implied Odds provide us with an astronomical Return on Investment.
- And, there are times when a ‘semi-bluff’ can be used to our advantage…think of under-betting the pot when we hold the high pair combined with a flush or open-end straight draw.
However, excluding deceit set-up situations, don’t ever think that there is a time for a ‘real bluff’...what reason would we have for leaving ourselves exposed to an opponents possible power hand? None! Don’t do it.
In the end, there are any number of good reasons for us to be mixing it up, for us to be regularly changing our playing styles. And, like almost everything else I’ve discussed, the ‘good reasons’ relate to money…our opponents money, and the shifting of that money from them to us.
It is our primary goal. You might say it is our only goal; everything else is either supportive of, or subordinate to, our plans and plays that are intended to make their money, our money.
Thus far, with the combination of ‘scribblings’ from all 6 Parts of this series, we’ve developed some vastly different individual approaches to No Limit cash game play…each of which show us an ROI of greater than 100%:
- The use of low pocket pairs.
- The use of the three deceits
- The use of Implied Odds.
I would hope that all three become a major part of your game. You’re going to need them. Like me, you’re prone to an error here and there…none of us are perfect; in my case, I’m far from perfect.
My imperfect B & M cash game career-long ROI average is approximately 65% for each 4 week period of time that I play.
That clearly suggests that if there was an absence of numbers 1, 2, and 3 as listed above, I would be playing with a rather substantially reduced profit; possibly an ROI as small as 29%. I’m not able to accurately quantify the exact effect of any of the three 100%+ ROI ‘approaches to the game’…low pocket pairs, deceptions, and Implied Odds.
But, if I simply estimated all three in terms of their effect on my monthly ROI, then my best estimate would be that each of the three represent about 12% per month; totaling 36%….thus the reduction in profit to 29%.
With that being so, what makes up the balance? The other 29%. I’m convinced that the answer should have popped right out of your head. If it didn’t, I don’t think I’ve done a good job in conveying my suggestions and examples in these past 6 articles.
Yes…the answer is patience. Or, yes, the answer is the Playable Pockets Matrix (PPM). Or, yes, the answer is both patience and the PPM…it being the basis for our use of patience in cash game play.
Listen, could you have possibly thought that I would put forth an article, or render a lecture, or teach a class, without making mention of patience?
Not a chance. Patience, to me, represents approximately 50% of the necessary skills that we each bring to the table, every table…without it, we’re no more than a lone duck floating on the water with 9 impatient hunters hidden in the blinds ready to blow our heads off.
Make no mistake about this, if you’re not bringing patience to every table you sit at, you’re bound to be the featured entree on that evening’s dinner menu…here in southern Louisiana you’d likely be fried oysters, boiled crabs, duck gumbo, or cajun crawfish. All four are very tasty, but I don’t think you’d want to be the main ingredient.
So, let tonight’s main course be a really good steak. And, with patience as your mainstay, you’ll easily be able to afford the $24 a pound for prime beef, or the $324 a pound for Kobe beef. Maybe money can’t buy happiness, but it sure as heck can buy a good steak.
Best of Luck at the Tables
(c) copyright 2009; no reproduction, all rights reserved by D. M. Vadnais
NB – Over your head a bit for now? Don’t worry! Read the whole series by D.M. Vadnais on the NoPayPOKER.com blog then go practice your free poker online on the main NoPayPOKER.com site. As our mastro says in previous articles, you can win real monet playing real free poker on NopayPOKER and with that fund your bankroll for the real deal when you go up to the B&M bigs.