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Calculating Outs & Odds

Calculating your outs & odds before you put your money in the pot is CRITICAL if you want to be a winning poker player!

Why? Because if you always put your money in the pot when the odds are favorable, it is mathematically impossible for you to lose in the long run (assuming you know what your opponent has and you know what you need to win).

Calculating Outs
To calculate your outs, simply count how many cards remain in the deck will give you the winning hand. For example:
  • You have Ace King of Spades.
  • Four community cards have been exposed, and 2 of them are Spades.
  • You believe that you need a flush to win.
You have 9 outs - there are 9 more Spades remaining that will give you the winning hand.

Here are the outs for some common drawing hands. You will eventually memorize them all:

DrawOuts
Gutshot (inside) straight draw4
2 over cards6
Open ended straight draw8
Flush draw9
Gutshot straight & flush draw12
Open ended straight & flush draw15
Calculating Odds Against You Winning
To calculate the odds against you winning the hand, you will need to know your outs, and you will need to calculate some simple division - dividing your outs into one of three numbers:
  • 50 - the number of unkown cards before the flop.
  • 47 - the number of unkown cards after the flop.
  • 46 - the number of unkown cards after the turn.
Going back to our last example, you need a flush to win the hand, there are 9 cards left in the deck that will give you a flush, and there are 46 unknown cards. 9 goes into 46 roughly 5 times, so the odds against you winning are 4:1 (four-to-one).
Calculating Your Pot Odds
To calculate your pot odds, simply divide the total amount of money in the pot by the amount you are required to put in.

Going back to our example, you are on a flush draw, your opponents bets $20, and the total pot is $100. It will cost your $20 to call your opponent's bet and remain in the hand. 20 goes into 100 5 times, so your pot odds are 5:1 (five-to-one).
Odds Against vs. Pot Odds
Because the odds against your winning (4:1) are less than your pot odds (5:1), you should call this bet.

If you were to play this hand over and over again, your would come out a winner in the long run.
Implied Odds
What if you don't have the correct odds to call a bet on the turn, but you believe your opponent will either bet on the river, or call your bet on the river, when you hit your winning hand? These are your implied odds, and they should be taken into consideration too.

For example, you are on a flush draw, your opponents bets $33, and the total pot is $100. It will cost your $33 to call your opponent's bet and remain in the hand. 33 goes into 100 3 times, so your pot odds are 3:1.

The odds against you winning (4:1) are greater than your pot odds, but you believe your opponent will call a $50 bet on the river if you hit your flush. 33 goes into 183 (183 = $100 pot + your $33 call + the expected $50 call on the river) 5.5 times, so your implied pot odds are 5.5:1.

Here a call would be acceptable too, just make sure you KNOW that your opponent will call!

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