Reverse Implied Odds


Implied Odds In Poker

Reverse implied odds are the opposite of implied odds. With implied odds you estimate how much you expect to win after making a draw, but with reverse implied odds you estimate how much you expect to lose if you complete your draw but your opponent still holds a better hand.

Reverse implied odds are how much you could expect to lose after hitting your draw.

If you find yourself on a draw, you can work out your pot odds to see whether or not a call would be a profitable play in the long run. If you do not have the pot odds to call, you can estimate your implied odds to gauge whether or not a call would still be profitable.

Now if you believe you have the implied odds to call a bet, you should also estimate your reverse implied odds to weigh out whether or not you should still call to make your draw. Although this may sound complicated, it really isn’t too difficult to understand and there are many situations in which you should be aware of your reverse implied odds.

Reverse implied odds example.

Lets say you are facing a bet in a multi way pot holding 6c 7d and the flop comes 5h 8s Th. You are now in a situation where you should certainly be considering your reverse implied odds.

If the first player to act bets and another player has called, you must think about whether you will have the best hand when you complete your draw.

  • If a 4h or 9h comes, you will have made your straight, but then this also makes a possible flush for another player.
  • In addition, any 9 makes a higher straight a possibility, which will again beat your straight.

In this situation we have reverse implied odds because if we make our draw, there is a possibility that one of our opponents will make a better hand than ours. Therefore if we make our straight and our opponent makes a hand like a flush, we will be losing money to them from calling down their bets with our second best hand.

If we do not have the pot odds to call the initial raiser’s bet, we should be folding our hand because the reverse implied odds are outweighing any implied odds that we do have. This will be saving us from losing more money in the long run from chasing after draws that may well not end up being the best hand when they are completed.

Other reverse implied odds situations.

If we have weak flush draws then there is the potential that another player may be calling to hit a higher flush than ours. So we should be wary when calling bets holding 7h 8h on a 2h 5c Kh board because our flush draw is not very strong.

The same applies to straight draws when we are drawing to the lower end of a straight. Furthermore, if we are on a flush or straight draw and the board has paired, there is the possibility that an opponent will make or already has made a full house.

In a nutshell, the following hands are going to have reverse implied odds that make calling to complete your draw quite dangerous:

  • Weak flush draws.
  • Low-end straight draws.

Mathematics of reverse implied odds.

Unfortunately for the players who like to be mathematically accurate in drawing situations, reverse implied odds are similar to implied odds in that we cannot put an exact figure on how much we can expect to win or lose.

Our reverse implied odds increase when there is a greater chance that our hand will not be the best after completing our draw, and they decrease when there is a greater chance that our hand will be the best after completing our draw.

As a basic rule, we can make calls with some reverse implied odds if our pot odds are very good, but if we have bad pot odds and reverse implied odds, we should be looking to fold.


Reverse implied odds are not there to scare you out of calling bets to make draws, but more to make you aware that you stand to lose money if you are calling to complete a weak draw. If there are many players in a pot you should be especially sure that your draw is strong enough to hold up against other players in the pot that might also be calling to make their draws.

So if you are on a 9 high flush draw on the flop and there have already been a number of callers in front of you, you have to evaluate whether you think this draw is worth calling for, as there is a good chance that another player is on a higher flush draw than you.

Go back to the awesome Texas Hold'em Strategy.


Ready To Play?

Ignition Poker Screenshot

Ignition Poker is the busiest US-friendly poker room and currently has the worst players.