Some years ago I used to read poker books on games like no limit Texas hold’em which stressed about the importance of implied odds. They used to quote how implied odds were much more important than pot odds and this is true if the stacks are very deep.
However in modern online cash games then your implied odds are not anywhere near as good as they used to be some years ago and there are many reasons for this. Online poker has changed the poker landscape forever, players can now play multiple tables and earn reward points and rakeback and all sorts of goodies.
Tougher Opponents Online
Players are also on average far more knowledgeable about the game. The fact that the games play so fast compared to live poker games means that players can gain loads of “experience” within a very short space of time.
Because players are better and tighter on average then this means that they are stacking off a lot less with second best hands in games like no limit Texas hold’em poker. This is especially the case in games like full ring where the average player line up is even more risk adverse.
Another factor that lowers implied odds is the average stack size. Far more players buy in for the table minimum now because of the popularity of short stack strategies. Also the average playing session of an online player is much shorter than a live game player.
This means that with a maximum buy in of one hundred big blinds that the average stack size is less in an online game than it is in a live game. So with better opposition and smaller average stack sizes along with fewer players seeing the flop then implied odds are clearly going to be affected.
Also your opponents are more aggressive and so this means that if you base a large part of your game on implied odds and making hands or hitting hands on the flop or turn then aggressive opponents are going to be taking too many pots away from you when you miss these boards.
Designing Your Poker Style
So you need to design a style of play that is not implied odds based and one that is based on fold equity and not seeing the showdown. Against tight players who are mainly solid then there will not be a lot of value in big pots.
This is simply because your opponents will also have a big hand and you will not always be on the right side of these big hand versus big hand confrontations.
The key to making money in the modern online games is to play tightly in certain spots avoiding rake and conceding equity to aggressive players by not playing in a fit or fold way. Then you exploit wide ranges especially when in position and look to take a larger number of small to medium small pots.
You need to learn how to grind profits out these days in a consistent way rather than sitting and waiting for big pots to come along.