Count Your Outs: How Not to Suck at Poker Ep. 3

Share:
Published on 30 April 2014 by Pokerlistings 9874

Playing poker is a lot less fun when you suck at it. That's why we've put together an easy-to-follow crash course for beginner poker players to get in the game and skip the sucking. The third lesson is how to count your outs. One really important thing to get into the habit of when you’re playing poker is counting your outs. Outs refer to the cards you need to hit to improve to the winning hand, and counting them the first step in figuring out basic poker odds. Accurately counting outs can betricky since you have to be able to put your opponent on some sort of hand, but in a lot of cases it’s really easy. If you have 2-3 suited and flop a flush draw, for example, chances are you’re going to have to improve to win the hand. So how many cards are there left in the deck that will complete your flush? The good news is that if you put in some work counting your outs now it’ll became second-nature really quickly. Even more good news, once you know how many outs you have, there’s a really easy trick to figure out the odds of hitting one of them.

One really important thing you need to get into the habit of when you're playing poker is counting your outs. Outs refer to the cards that you need to hit to improve to the winning hand, and counting them is the first step towards figuring out basic poker odds. Sometimes it is tricky to accurately count your outs since you have to put your opponent on some kind of a hand. But most of the time, it's really easy. Imagine for example that you have two, three suited and you flop and flush draw. Chances are you're going to have to improve to win the hand. So how many cards are still left in the deck to complete your flush? It might sound tricky at first, but the good news is, if you put in some work now learning how to carry your outs, it's going to become second nature really quickly. And even better news, once you know how many outs you have, there's a really simple math trick to figuring out the odds of hitting one of them. These are the most common situations you need to be familiar with. A flush draw is when you have four cards of the same suit and need one more to make a flush, like in the first example. With a flush draw, you have nine outs. An open-ended straight draw is when you have four sequential cards and need one more on either side to make a straight. With an open ender, you have eight outs. A gutshot straight draw, sometimes called an inside straight draw, is when you need one more card in the middle to make a straight. With a gutshot, you have four outs. One of the best draws you can have in poker is an open-ended straight draw and a flush draw combo. In this spot, you have 15 outs. After you counted your outs, the next step is calculating your odds of hitting one of them. This is one of the best math tricks in Texas Holdem. If you are on the flop and there's two cards to come, just take your total number of outs and multiply it by four. If you're on the turn and there is just one card to come, multiply your total outs by two. So like in our first example, when you have a flush draw and nine outs, if are on the flop, just multiply it by four, and you'll see that you have 36% chance of hitting your hand on either the turn or the river. In the next lesson, we'll use what we've learned today to help explain how to calculate plot odds and plot equity to help you figure out if you should call with those draws or fold and wait for a better spot.