To this day, some people maintain that poker is a game of pure luck. Smart players, however, know that it’s all about playing the probabilities. Now, probabilities can be complicated but that doesn’t mean that you need to be a math whiz to use them to improve your game. That said, learning about reverse implied odds can be a little complicated for the casual player, particularly if they don’t already understand pot odds and implied pot odds. If you haven’t mastered those concepts, you may want to read up on them first, before you try to figure out reverse implied odds.

So you already know that pot odds tells you how much you should be willing to bet to get a chance at a pot and that implied odds is a more far-reaching extension of that basic concept. The basic idea of is to find how much money you stand to gain. So let’s get into reverse implied odds. As the name implies, this concept is the opposite of implied odds – which means that you use it to figure out how much you stand to lose instead of how much you stand to gain. mynordstrom

Basically, reverse implied odds answers the question, “How bad off am I if I make my draw but my opponent still has a superior hand?” If you want to play the best game possible, then whenever you think about your implied odds, you should also consider your reverse implied odds.

You especially want to think about this when you have a low-powered hand are trying to draw into something like a straight. Say you have 6-7 and the flop comes up 9-10-A. In this situation, even if you make the straight with an 8, you can easily lose to a higher straight to someone who’s holding Q-K, a much stronger hand to begin with. Similarly, a Q on the turn or river doesn’t help you, but gives anyone holding a K a straight that beats you.

Flush draws are another tricky spot. Say your hand is 6-7 suited and the flop brings two more cards of the same suit. Another player could be holding something as mediocre as 2-8 suited and beat you when you both make the flush.

Reverse implied odds are not something that you can calculate with math in your head, unfortunately. You simply have to consider how much you are going to have to pay in order to keep seeing cards and whether or not your drawing hand has a strong chance of winning if you make the draw.