Three Examples To Teach You To Count Outs In Poker

You'll be counting your outs in no time with this easy guide.

Hand example #1

Let's take a look at another hand. Say we've got on a board of . There's a flush draw possibility, but you've got the high end of the straight draw, so if you catch a 7 or a 2, you're going to have the nuts, so long as it's not a heart. So you've got four sevens and four twos left in the deck, so reasonably, you have 8 outs here. The makes it so you don't have any overcards to the board, so if he's got a king, a five or a six won't help you, so those aren't out. But you've also got to consider that, if he's got a flush draw, you only have six outs. If you catch the or the , you're actually going to have the worst hand.

You've got somewhere between 6 and 8 outs in this hand. When you have an either-or out like the hearts that make a flush and give you a straight, it's prudent to count your outs somewhere in the middle. Let's say you have 7 outs. By the Rule of Four, you're about 28% to win this hand. So you would want to call if you were getting the proper pot odds to put in 28% of the pot or less.

Hand Example #2

Here's a chance to talk about counting outs in is one that most people don't really think about. Say you have on a . Now, if your opponent wants to put in a lot of chips, there's a good chance he's got you beat. He's either got a better king or he's got something like two pair or a set. But you do have some outs. The ten is likely an out, the king is sometimes an out, and if he has something like K2, then the 7 would also be an out, because you'd have a better kicker (kings and sevens with a ten kicker versus kings and sevens with a two kicker).

The way you're going to count your outs is to assume you have to catch a ten to have the best hand, and there are three tens left in the deck. You also have some partial outs from a 7 or K coming on the turn. It's prudent to assume you have about 4.5 or 5 outs here. If we have 5 outs, we're 20% to catch our hand and win by the river. You can call if you're putting in less than 20% of the pot.

Hand Example #3

There's one more outs situation worth talking about. If I've got the on a board like the . Here you've got several outs. You've got two overcards, a backdoor flush draw if two more clubs were to come, and you've got the nut straight draw. You know all your tens are good outs. If you catch a ten, you'll have the nuts. You've got four good outs there. You've got two overcards, which would be six outs if you knew both of them were good outs. You don't know, though, if he already has two pair or if he's got one of of your outs blocked, like if he has a pair of jacks with a king kicker. But we can count some of those six outs. It's probably good to count about four outs for the overcards. Plus the four outs from the straight draw, that gives us eight outs. Finally, we do have a backdoor flush draw. It doesn't come in often, but it does come in sometimes. You can always count one and a half outs for a backdoor flush draw to the nuts.

So we have a total of 9.5 outs in this hand, which is actually better than a flush draw (9 outs). We don't have any really great nut draws here, but the partial outs from all of our miscellaneous hands that might be good actually give us a really good hand here. So it's important to count your partial outs but not overvalue them - make sure you aren't counting six outs for the overcards. You don't have all of these outs covered all of the time.

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