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What Are Outs in Poker & How Does One Calculate Them?
One of the most basic but also the most crucial skills for a poker player is the ability to quickly calculate how many outs you have to a winning hand – Outs in Poker
Have you ever seen a live poker stream? Or a televised version? There would be random numbers on the screen that talks about poker-outs. Have you ever wondered how do they arrive at these numbers and what they really mean? This article will address that very same question and hopefully take your understanding of the game of poker to a whole new level.
Once you have understood the basic rules of poker and have a fair understanding of position play, it is a good idea to start working on winning percentages. One of the keys to that is to have the ability to calculate the outs you have to make it a winning hand.
Sounds complicated, right? It is but you just need a little practice before it becomes an invaluable part of your playing style.
So, coming back to the main agenda of this article –
What is a Poker OUT?
You have been dealt the initial cards and you need to draw/hit certain cards to increase the probability of your hand for it to become a winner. Outs, are nothing but the sum of all the cards you can possibly get to improve the ability of your hand to win.
In other words, any unseen card that can give you the best hand is called an ‘out’.
We always want to put our money in the best-case scenarios. But, in poker, you sometimes have to bet your money on a bad hand from time to time to gain more. This is why a player needs to calculate the outs.
How exactly are they calculating Poker Outs?
Just remember. If you know basic maths, you can calculate poker outs. The more no. of outs you have, the higher your odds of winning the hand. It’s a direct correlation.
Before we talk about that, we have to mention an important side note. The outs are determined after the flop has been dealt with. This makes sense, cause the number of cards in play is an important variable in poker.
There are many poker-outs calculators that are available when you are playing online, but it is still important to do these calculations in your head. Counting outs in an online poker game isn’t too hard either. By dividing the number of outs by the number of unseen cards one can convert the number of outs to the probability of making a strong hand on the next card.
Example.: In draw poker, a hand with four diamonds has nine outs to make a flush: there are 13 diamonds in the deck, and four of them have been seen. If a player has two small pairs, and he believes that it will be necessary for him to make a full house to win, then he has four outs: the two remaining cards of each rank that he holds.
There is also something called hidden outs – outs which don’t necessarily help you but hurts your opponent’s chances of winning.
Example: You hold only a pair Q♥ Q♣ on a 4♠ 9♣ 7♦ K♥ board while your opponent is holding two pairs 7♠ 4♥. If the river card comes out as a nine or king, your opponent’s hand weakens while you win the pot.
Here’s a chart to help you understand the most common poker situations you’ll be in after the flop:
|Open-ended Straight Draw
|Gut-shot Straight Draw
|Open-ended & Flush Draw
|Three of a Kind to make a Full House
|6 on the flop, 9 on the turn (add one out for quads)
|Pocket Pair to Hit a Set after the Flop
Remember: Every out gives you an approximate 4% chance of hitting on the turn and river combined. The unseen cards of opponents may affect your calculation of outs.
In case you were wondering, yes pocket Aces aka AA has more outs than any other pre-flop card you can hope to get.
Here’s another detailed chart to help you understand the most common situations you’ll be in after the turn and river:
|ON RIVER ONLY
Open-ended straight flush draw
Open-ended straight flush draw
Open-ended straight draw
Three of a kind
Unmatched pocket cards
|Two pair/Three of a kind
Three of a kind
|Three of a kind
|Four of a kind
Once you master the art and science of Poker Outs, you will quickly see a change in the way you play the game. Not only will you be able to access which poker hands are worth playing, but you will also be able to assign bet values to the hand. But that is another topic which we will cover in the future.
In the meantime, practice these newly acquired skills while playing poker on Pocket52. And don’t forget to keep this page open for easy access to these numbers before you learn them by heart. Happy Playing and Happy Skilling Up!
It’s only by knowing how to master the basics do you become a poker player who is taken very seriously by his/her opponents. Learn more about the basics of Texas Holdem Poker and Pot Limit Omaha Poker