Calculate Poker Odds And Outs – It´s Easy!

Poker Odds And Outs Made Easy

Today I´m going to teach you how to calculate poker odds and outs. Counting odds and outs is very simple math. If you don´t like math, don´t worry. I don’t´t really like math either. There is a stereotype out there, that all people with Asperger´s syndrome are into math, computers and technology. That is not correct! I´m not good with either math, computers or technology. Luckily, you don´t need to be talented in math to become a good poker player. You only need simple math. No quantum mechanics are needed! And if you are good at math, odds and outs are going to be piece of cake for you.Poker Odds And Outs Made Easy - It´s Not Quantum Mechanics

On today´s post, I´m going to teach you how to count your outs first. Then I´m going to reveal a very easy way to count your odds. I´m also going to explain how to count your pot odds, so that you can decide can you call a bet profitably. Last, I will talk about implied odds and how they affect the pot odds.

How Many Outs Do You Have?

An out in poker is a card that you need to make a hand. So counting outs means counting how many cards there are left in the deck that can make your hand.

An example: You are hoping to make a flush, say, a diamond flush. Your pocket cards are two diamonds, and there are two diamond cards on the flop. You are hoping to get the fifth diamond on the turn or river. There are 13 cards of each flush on the deck. You have two of them, and another two are on the flop. So there are 9 diamond cards left in the deck. That means you have 9 outs to hit the flush on the turn or river. Counting outs does not take into account the possibility, that your opponent may have some of your out cards. We can´t know what our opponent is holding, so we count outs as if all the outs were in the deck.Poker Odds And Outs Made Easy - Numbers

There are some common drawing hand outs on the flop you should learn by heart. The more there are outs, the better the probability of making the hand. Here is a list of the common drawing hand outs on the flop:

Drawing Hand                           Number of Outs                 Example Pocket Cards / Flop Cards

3 of a kind                                                     2                      K♠ A              K 8 2

                                                                                               8 8♦                 Q 3 9

Full house                                                        4                    8 7                 8 J♠ 7♠

                                                                                              6 6♠                 5♠ 5 K

Inside (gutshot) straight draw                      4                   Q♠ J♠                 9♠ 8 A

Open-ended straight draw                            8                   T J                  8 9 4♠

Straight and flush draw                               15                  9 8♥                 T 7 3

An Easy Way To Count The Odds

Poker Odds And Outs Made EasyOdds in poker are the probability to hit an out on the turn or river. That means the percentage of times you hit the out. There is a very easy way to count the odds. Of course, there is also a complicated way to count the odds, which gives a more accurate number. However,  we don´t need to deal with that. The simple calculation gives a result close enough to the accurate result to make the right decision. This is the easy way:

On the flop: Outs x 4

Simply multiply your outs by four, and you will get the odds to hit your out either on the turn or on the river.

If you have 2 outs, count 2 x 4. You get 8. That is your odds. So you have an 8% probability to hit an out on the turn or on the river.

With 15 outs, count 15 x 4. You get 60. You have a 60% possibility to hit an out on the turn or on the river.

On the turn: Outs x 2

On the turn you multiply your outs by two. You will get the odds to hit your out on the river.

Again, if you have 2 outs, count 2 x 2. You get 4. You have a 4% probability to hit an out on the river.

If you have 15 outs, count 15 x 2. You have a 30% probability to hit an out on the river.

Easy, right? As you can see, counting the odds is easy enough to do in your head. But you need to know the outs, so that you can count the odds. That´s why it is a good idea to learn the most common outs.

Pot Odds – Can You Profitably Call The Bet? Poker Odds And Outs Made Easy

When you know your odds, you can also count your pot odds. Pot odds mean basically is there enough money in the pot to make a call profitable.

You get the pot odds by comparing the size of the pot with the size of the bet. An example: There is 3000 in the pot. Your opponent bets 1000. That is what you need to invest if you call. You need to add in the pot the opponent´s bet and your call: 3000 + 1000 + 1000 = 5000. 5000 is the total pot including your opponent´s bet and your call. Now you have to compare the total pot and the bet size: 5000:1000. Pot odds are 5:1. So the investment you need is 20% of the pot.

Now let´s say you have an open-ended straight draw on the flop. You have 8 outs on the flop, which you multiply by 4. Your odds are 32%.

Should you call? Yes. Your odds to hit your draw either on the turn or on the river are 32%. You only need to invest 20% of the pot, so your odds are bigger than the investment needed.

In the same situation, let´s assume the opponent bets 3000 into a pot of 3000. Now the total pot is 3000 + 3000 + 3000 = 9000. Pot odds are 9000:3000 or 3:1 or 33%. Now you should fold, because the investment needed is slightly bigger than your odds, 32%.

Implied Odds Affect The Pot Odds

There is a factor that can increase your pot odds: Implied odds. If you can expect your opponent to make another bet or call your bet on the turn or river, you can expect to win more than just the original pot if you hit your draw.

An example: Let´s return to the previous example with the pot of 3000. Your opponent bets 1000. The total pot is 5000. However, after making the bet on the flop, your opponent has 2000 left in his stack. You expect him to go all-in with his remaining stack on the turn. So if you hit your draw, you can win 2000 more. Add the 2000 to the original pot: 5000 + 2000 = 7000. Compare this pot with the 1000 bet. 7000:1000 = 7:1. That is approximately 14%.

Implied odds make the pot odds better for you. However, you should not overestimate the implied odds. You need to be realistic and analyze your opponent. Can you really expect him to bet again or call your bet if you hit a flush, for example?

Poker Odds And Outs – Master Them To Perfection

Once you learn how to calculate poker odds, outs and pot odds, you should keep practicing and making calculations. You can think about them in a way that is easy to remember for you, as long as it´s mathematically correct. It´s going to be very helpful for your game, if you don´t need to count the odds too much at the table, because you know them so well you know them automatically. To get to that point, you need to calculate different pot odds scenarios off the table.

Odds and outs are a very basic aspect of poker, and mastering the basics to perfection is the key to becoming a great poker player. In fact, mastering the basics is the key to becoming great at almost anything.

Poker Odds And Outs Made Easy - Pink Dices

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below!

Comments 12

  • What a fantastic post , I’ve been looking for an explanation on poker odds and I always out and regret it , now I can understand in some way the maths behind decisions and hopefully win more often , thanks again

  • Hey, Kirsti! I have to say, I hate math so much! hahaha
    But I understand a little more about outs and odds now, the way you explain it really helps, thank you so much!
    I just hope I can remember this when the time comes. I feel like the more I practice, the better I’ll get.

    Looking forward to your next posts!
    Have a wonderful week,
    Barbara.

    • Hi, Barbara! You´re not alone, math is really not my cup of tea either. 😀 That´s why I wanted to explain the outs and odds so that it´s easy to understand, because I know the struggle with math from my own experience. I´m happy to hear I succeeded in this. With the odds and pot odds, it certainly helps to calculate different scenarios. It becomes more automatic the more you practice.

      Thank you, Barbara, have a great week too!

  • Awesome information! While I don’t play professionally or anything like that, I can really use your tips to make a small fortune from my friends! I do believe I can impress them. Thanks again for your comprehensive post.

  • HI Kirsti,

    I use to play poker, well, Texas Holden not the older version.

    I gave up on it. I was pretty good at reading people and I am sure everyone says that. I learned that I was not the 1 in 20 that are the luckiest ones. I was not that fortunate.

    I gave up because I kept getting knocked out at the bubble. I played continuously correctly and put the question to my opponent. Too many times I see nothing but luck.

    I see cards that should have been folded beating all odds at my expense and out ranking my pair of aces, ak, queens etc etc. Even my full houses were beat by just the next highest full house on the river card.

    I am thinking about starting back but with some better research and your article has been very illuminating. Thanks Kirsti 🙂 .

    • Hi Philip,

      Sounds like you faced lots of bad beat at the table. But we must remember that bad players, who don´t fold when they should fold, and sometimes win with their bad hands, are those who make poker so profitable. Because of the variance in poker, some really nasty situations happen, Aces not holding etc. like you described.

      However, if you keep studying the game and play good poker, you will win in a long run. There´s nothing we can do about bad beats, but we can improve our poker skills. That will pay off when you keep playing and constantly training your skills. I hope you will have a fresh start in poker!

  • “You get the pot odds by comparing the size of the pot with the size of the bet. An example: There is 3000 in the pot. Your opponent bets 1000. That is what you need to invest if you call. You need to add in the pot the opponent´s bet and your call: 3000 + 1000 + 1000 = 5000. 5000 is the total pot including your opponent´s bet and your call. Now you have to compare the total pot and the bet size: 5000:1000. Pot odds are 5:1. So the investment you need is 20% of the pot.

    Now let´s say you have an open-ended straight draw on the flop. You have 8 outs on the flop, which you multiply by 4. Your odds are 32%.

    Should you call? Yes. Your odds to hit your draw either on the turn or on the river are 32%. You only need to invest 20% of the pot, so your odds are bigger than the investment needed.”

    Just to note in above example that when you face flop bet you should not think that much about your odds to hit your hand by river. Unless its allin because you cannot know if there is further aggression on turn. Implied odds will come to play but if one is calling pot size bet on flop with logic in your example he/she will likely make lot of unprofitable decisions.

    • You’re right, you can’t make decisions based on pot odds only. There are situations when you should not call even if you have the pot odds. Also in some situations you should call even if you don’t have the pot odds to call. Especially in tournament poker these situations occur.

      And like I said, implied odds should not be overestimated, because often the opponent won’t make a bet on the turn or river. You should also consider your opponent’s range.

      While there are more factors to consider than just pot odds, when making the decision to call or fold, pot odds are a very basic thing in poker. All players should know if they can mathematically call or not based on pot odds.

      Anyway, I appreciate your comment, Jari, and thanks for taking time to read the post and leave a comment.

  • Wow Kirsti,
    This is an excellent post and I understand Poker more now. I never knew much about Poker, but you have opened my eyes up. Yes maths has always been one of those areas that I kind of stayed away from. After reading this post I do believe I could get myself through a game of poker with a lot more ease than I could before.
    Thanks Kirsti
    JakkiiK

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