odds explain situations when your odds are better
than they seem. There are other times when you must
realize that your odds are not as good as they seem.
These situations occur when you have a mediocre hand
with little chance of improving, which you think is
the best hand at the moment, yet your opponent keeps
betting. You think he may be bluffing, and you can
beat only a bluff - that is, a hand that is weaker
than what your opponent is representing. However,
since your opponent is controlling the betting, he
will probably back off on later rounds if he doesn't
have you beat. Thus, you are in the position of winning
the minimum if you have the best hand but losing the
maximum if you have the worst hand. The true pot odds
in such situations are much worse than they seem,
and so we call them reverse implied odds.
For instance, there is $50 in the pot, and your opponent
bets $20. You think you have him beat, but you are
not sure. You also have little chance of improving.
You cannot say, "I'm getting to-20 odds here,"
because your opponent may come out betting again next
round if he has a better hand than yours - or if his
hand improves to a better hand - but he is likely
to give it up if he has a worse hand than yours. You
are in a situation where, if you lose, you figure
to lose not just the $20 you are calling right now
but a total of $60. However, if you win, you'll probably
win only the $70 in the pot right now because once
your opponent sees you're committed to the pot, he
won't bet further with the worst hand. All of a sudden,
then, you're not getting 70-to-20 odds but closer
Actually, reverse implied odds of 70-to-60 represent
the worst possible case of such situations, as they
come up in practice. If, for instance, you are sure
your opponent will not bet again without a good hand,
then you should obviously fold if he does bet again.
So you have risked only $20 and not $60 to win $70.
Conversely, if there is some chance your opponent
will bet once or twice more without the best hand,
then when you continue calling, you are risking $40
to win $90 or $60 to win $110, depending on how many
times he bets. You are risking $60 to win $70 only
when you plan to call to the end if your opponent
bets, even though you assume you have little chance
of winning if he continues betting.
players think of aggressive betting as a way to "protect
your hand," a bet they won't call so they can't
catch a card that can beat you. Players who think
this way will often end up playing passively because
"they won't fold anyway" This is not a good
way to think about things.
When you bet with the best hand, sometimes you prefer
that they fold, but sometimes you do better if they
call. When you're betting with the best hand, what
you prefer they do depends on the combination of the
size of the pot and their chances for improvement
to a better hand. It depends more on their hand than
on your hand.