If you want to succeed at the game of poker you have to understand the “Odds”. In order to understand the odds you first must be able to determine the “Outs”. Outs are the number of cards that can make your hand. For an example, if you have A♠ 5♠, and the Flop is K♠ 9♠ 2♥, then you have 4 cards to a flush. Since there are 13 Spades in a deck of cards and you know about 4 of them that leaves 9 spades that might possibly come out on the Turn or the River. So in this example we say that you have 9 Outs. Now if you had A♠ Q♠, and the Flop was K♠ 10♠ 2♥, then you would also have a potential to make a straight with any Jack. There are 4 Jacks in the deck but you have already counted one of them in your Outs to make a flush so, in this example, you can add 3 more Outs to your total giving you 12 Outs.
Common Hands for Calculating Outs
Pocket Pair to Hit a Set on the Flop – 2 Outs – Your 2 Outs are the 2 remaining cards of the same rank as your pair giving you 2 Outs.
Open Ended Straight Draw – 8 Outs – You have a J♠ 10♥ and the board is Q♦ 9♣ 2♠. You now have 4 cards to a straight Q J 10 9. Any King or 8 will make you a straight. 4 Kings + 4 8s = 8 Outs.
Gut Shot Straight Draw – 4Outs – You have a J♠ 10♥ and the board is Q♦ 8♣ 2♠. You now need a 9 to make your straight and there are 4 9s so you have 4 Outs.
Flush Draw – 9 Outs – You have 2 spades in your hand and there are 2 spades on the Flop so you need 1 more spade to make a flush. There are 13 spades in a deck of cards and you can account for 4 of them leaving you the remaining 9 spades as Outs.
Open Ended Straight and Flush Draw – 15 Outs – You have J♠ 10♠ and the Board is Q♠ 9♥ 2♠. There are 9 remaining spades that will make you a flush giving you 9 Outs to a flush and the 3 non spade Kings and 3 non spade 8s will give you a straight giving you 6 Outs to a straight. 9 Flush Outs + 6 straight Outs = 15 Outs.
3 of a Kind to Make a Full House or Quads – 7 Outs after the Flop and 10 Outs after the Turn – Say that you have A♠ K♥ and the board is A♣ A♦ 4♠ then you have 3 Kings and 3 4s that will make you a full house giving you 6 Outs to a Full House and 1 Ace, or 1 Out, for Quads for a total of 7 Outs. After the Turn card comes out, giving you a board of A♣ A♦ 4♠ 2♥, then you have 3 4s and 3 2s and 3 Kings that will give you a full house for a total of 9 Outs to a Full House. There is still only 1 other Ace which when added to the 9 Outs to a Full House gives you 10 Outs to make a Full House or better.
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