# Threats implied vs implied odds

A concept on the rarely discussed bluff. Very few poker authors have addressed the issue of "implicit threats", but I think that's one of the most critical concepts of bluff. It is so important that I've devoted an entire chapter in my Book of Bluffs.
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A concept on the rarely discussed bluff. Very few poker authors have addressed the issue of "implicit threats", but I think that's one of the most critical concepts of bluff. It is so important that I've devoted an entire chapter in my Book of Bluffs.

Unfortunately, the concept of implied odds retains much more attention. If you are not familiar with the term, 'implied odds' refer to the money you can earn if you succeed your "draw" (run maps). Suppose that you have 7-6 and the flop fell K-8-4. You then have a "gutshot straight draw" and you have caller a bet of \$ 10 in a pot of \$ 70. Your implied odds are 7:1 and you should not pay this amount to try to hit a 5 at the turning point (especially if you, quite rightly, decide to fold your hand at the turn if you do not hit your 5).

But if luck is on your side and you hit your 5 on the turn, you can expect to pay at the turn and the River, and this bonus will make you profitable implied odds. If you are on a 'draw' and you look at the implied odds, all future updates will turn in your favor.

The other hand..

The implied threats wholesale are the other side of this coin. In a simple way, it refers to the time where you have a marginal hand that might you be the best hand, but where there are several rounds of updates to pass. For example, you have a small pair in hand, but the board contains 2 higher than your pair cards. If you were at the River, and you did that a small update caller, you would probably. At this point, you would simply have to compare the caller making the size of the pot and ask you if you have enough chances so that your hand is the best to find out if your game is profitable.

But given that you are either the flop or the turn, you know that there is probably more than one caller updates. You can have several updates to caller while you hold a hand that is unlikely to improve. It is the implicit threat of these future updates which will help you to know if you caller a present update. When you are in the position of implicit threat, all future updates will play against you.

As a bluffer, I love confront people to which put them in a situation of implied threat. When I'm bluffing on the flop, I want my opponent to know that I am ready to beat me. And as my opponent knows that I constantly put pressure on the game, it does think twice before me caller with a hand that is not very strong.

A simple example

Andy is in the midst of a tournament limit hold'em with an average of \$ 10,000 tokens. The blinds are 300\$-600\$. One of his opponents, with about \$ 6000, limp in the first position. Having played several hours with him, Andy knows that his opponent usually limp at this position with a small or a medium pair. The other players fold up to Andy which is the button with a trash hand and he raises to \$ 1200. The other players fold to the player who surely holds a pair and he decides to caller.

The flop fell K-T-8 and Mr Pocket Pair check. Andy put \$ 600. His opponent looks his hand and decides the sunset. Andy looks at his cards and smiles into thinking he has to win a pot with a hand that should have gone in the trash.

The bluff was able easily to Andy, but this success is due to the fact that he has bet \$ 600 on the flop. There were already \$ 3,300 in the pot before the flop. If you look at only the bet of \$ 600 on the flop, the sides to call the bet were 6:1. Small or medium, his pocket pair had probably more than 6:1 odds of being the best hand after the flop. After all, Andy could certainly have raiser with something like A - Q and A - J. In this perspective, a simple call on the part of Andy could be the good game to do.

The reason for which the opponent by Andy is lying and that the bluff worked, was because it was early in the hand. The opponent of Andy knew that would not only the \$ 600 to caller on the flop, but also perhaps another update \$ 1200 at the turn and the river. The implicit threat of these upcoming updates discouragement of the call on the flop. His call of \$ 600 on the flop could become an investment \$ 3000 if he had wanted to remain in the hand. For Andy, this is a return on investment of 6:1 (bet of \$ 600 on the flop to win a pot of \$ 3300).

When your opponent is close to being in all

Suppose that the opponent of Andy started the hand with \$ 1800 instead of \$ 6000. In this case, he could himself getting Cabrera all-in on the flop and thereby remove the factor of the implicit threat of future updates. Obviously, Andy could be lucky and win the pot, but his goal was to win the hand without having the best hand. The implicit threat of future updates is the main reason why he was able to do this. Thus, if Andy sees that his opponent is practically in all, it would be preferable for him to abandon his bluff because it is doomed to failure.

As long as you and your opponent are not close to being all-in and you put your opponent on a hand that is unlikely to be improved (as a pair), a bluff on the implicit threat can work beautifully. But don't take me too literally. Try to find ideal situations for this kind of bluff, to adapt it to your style of play.