Playing With Implied Odds in Poker Tournaments

One interesting aspect of poker tournaments is the fact that the blinds increase steadily. So the ratio of blinds and stacks change every time. And that has a big impact on your strategy. For instance you can play with a stack of 100 big blinds at level 5 and only with half that ratio at level 6. It’s obvious that you have to adapt your game.

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Playing implied odds hands with deep stacks

There are hands that need deeper stacks automatically. A great example are small pocket pairs. Those hands are very strong with deep stacks because you can win a big pot when you flop a set most of the time. For instance you’re holding 66 in late position and are calling a raise. The flop is AQ6. Now you can win all of your opponent’s chips if he happens to hold AQ or AK. But those cases are rare. And that’s the reason you need a big stack to be able to win more once you’ve hit the flop. This is especially the case with tournaments with an abrupt payout structure like double or nothing sit ‘n go’s.

But also other hands with potential like suited connectors are implied odds hands. You can call every hand that has big pot potential a implied odds hand.

The fact that you need a deep stack to play implied odds hands means that you should play those hands in early stages when the blinds are low. A border might be 50 big blinds. Once your stack is smaller than 50 big blinds you have to play those implied odds hands differently.

Playing implied odds hands with smaller stacks

The smaller your stack compared to the blinds the less value implied odds hands have. Let’s assume you have 1000 and the blinds are 50/100. You call a raise of 250 with 33 and hit another 3 on the flop. Great you might think. Now you have a monster and almost no chips to win. If you make those plays every time you’ll lose a lot because you rarely flop a set and if you do you have to make a lot of money with it. And that’s not possible with a short stack.