Okay, we’re going to come right out and say it. This is a strategy article with a strong maths theme. NO, DON’T CLICK OUT. We promise that we’ll try and make it as interesting as possible and that it’ll help improve your poker game. Today, ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking poker odds and outs.
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Why should I care about poker odds and outs?
Well first of all, poker odds and outs are a crucial part of the game. Poker is a game with a basis in maths. It’s a game of skill and if you have the right mental tools, you’ve got the ability to beat more and more players.
It’s not like other casinos where the house always has the edge, or your chance to win always remains the same. In this game, you have the power to get better and better and win more often.
That’s where poker odds and outs come in. So learn a bit more about it and watch your opponents start to shudder when you sit down at the table.
Tell me more about poker odds
So poker odds, are in their very essence, made up of two crucial ideas. The first one is to work out how many different cards you have left in order to make a winning hand. Those cards left that could form a winning hand for you are called your outs.
The second thing is like the first, but for your opponents. How many cards might they need to win?
As anyone with a head for numbers, or a penchant for gambling, knows, you need lower odds in order to have a higher chance of winning.
Working out your outs
So like we said before, your outs are simply the number of cards you have left that can give you a winning hand.
Say for example, you want to make a straight but you’re one card short on either side. It’s just before the turn and you want to figure out what are the chances you’ll get your card.
That means you have eight possible outs (two cards in each suit can give you that flush). You can just see the flop, so that means there are 47 cards that are a mystery to you.
So there’s eight cards that turn your hand into a winner and 39 cards that mean you don’t get that straight. That gives you odds of 39:8. That’s about a 20% chance of hitting your straight.
We know that sounds kinda complicated, but once you’ve done it a few times, it gets easier, we promise.
Then slowly, it’ll start to become second nature and you’ll become a much more competent player.