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

What Are Outs in Poker & How Does One Calculate Them?

Poker Diaries: What Are Outs in Poker & How To Calculate Them

Q. So, what’s an ‘out’?
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 in a bad hand from time to time to gain more. Which is why a player needs to calculate the outs.

Counting outs in a 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.  Eg.: 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.

Learn Texas Holdem Poker

Here’s a chart to help you understand the most common situations you’ll be in after the flop:

Hand Outs
Open-ended Straight Draw 8
Gut-shot Straight Draw 4
Flush Draw 9
Open-ended & Flush Draw 15
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 2

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.


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

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