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Home arrow The Mathematics of Poker arrow Things To Remember
Things To Remember

Reverse implied odds describe situations in which:

1.

You're not sure where you're at.

2.

You have little chance of improving to beat the hand your opponent might already have or might make.

3.

A call commits you to calling future bets all the way to the end.

4.

Your opponent can back off at any time.

In such cases, you must not think you are getting odds according to what's in the pot and what you have to call right now. You are getting much worse odds - so much worse that it is often better.

A similar situation might occur in seven-card stud if you held two black aces and an opponent with three hearts on board came out betting on Fifth Street.

Where as implied odds are based on the possibility of winning more money in later betting rounds, reverse implied odds are based on the possibility of losing more money in later betting rounds. Put another way, when you're getting implied odds, you're glad you're not all-in, for you expect to make money on future bets if your card hits. However, when you're getting reverse implied odds, you wish you were all-in so you could see the hand to the end without having to call future bets.

The general rule is: The better the players and the smaller the pot, the more you disguise your hand when there are more cards to come. The worse the players and the larger the pot, the more you play your hand normally, without regard to giving anything away. Sometimes, though, playing your hand normally may be the best deception of all against very tough players who expect you to be deceptive.

If a tough opponent acts before you and raises, reraise just as you would against a sucker. A tough opponent who has two kings knows you might be reraising with a three-flush or any number of second-best hands. So you still have your deception as well as an extra bet.

It is extremely important to disguise your hand against players who put great emphasis on reading hands, though such players may not necessarily be good, and when deceptive play has gotten the super readers confused, they've got no chance. This type tends to put you on a hand early, and like a captain going down with the ship, he sticks to his opinion until the end.

There are five criteria for using deception to avoid giving your hand away.

1.

You are up against good players or super readers.

2.

The pot is small in comparison to future bets.

3.

The present round of betting is small in comparison to future bets.

4.

You have only one or two opponents against you.

5.

You are slow playing a monster hand.

The first two conditions are most significant. It is not necessary to meet all five conditions before deception is employed. Three of the five are usually sufficient so long as one or both of the first two are included.

Do not use deception against bad players, against many players, when the pot is large, or when the early bets are large. It is especially important to play a good hand strongly if the pot is large. The only exception would be when you have an unbeatable hand and figure you will gain more by waiting a round before making your move.

The basis of your decision to play normally or deceptively is simple. You should play each session and each hand of each session in the way that will win the most money and lose the least (except when you intentionally play a hand badly to create an impression for future hands). Always remember from the Fundamental Theorem of Online Poker Games that the more your opponents know about your hand, the less likely they are to make mistakes. However, there are situations when deception can be costly and straightforward play is best.

The basic concept set forth in this page is a simple one. When the pot is big, you want to win it right away. To try to win it right away, you should bet and raise as much as possible, hoping to drive everybody out, but at least reducing the opposition. You should bet and raise with the best hand, and you should frequently do the same even with a hand you think maybe second best. The fewer opponents you have in a pot, the greater your chances of winning it, even if those chances are less than 50 percent; and when the pot gets large, winning it should be your foremost concern.



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