Odds for Outs

One of the most important things that a poker player should know is what their odds are in a given situation. There are no betting lines to choose from in poker like you get in the sportsbook or on a racing form, so poker players have to figure out what their odds are for a given situation.

You can figure out the odds you have to win a hand by mentally counting the cards that could come to give you a hand big enough to take down the pot. These potential draw cards are known as “outs”, and determining how many you have in a given situation determines what your odds to win are.

Let’s say you you’re holding 10h-Jh and a flop of 2h-9h-8d hits the board. At this point in the hand you don’t have anything, jack-high is your best hand and anyone with as little as a queen in their hand will beat you. But there lots of cards that could come that would give you a big hand.

Any heart will give you a flush because you have four hearts at this point, and queen or seven would complete a straight for you, and even a 10 or jack would give you top pair, likely putting you into the lead.

When you add up all those cards it’s nine outs for the flush draw, six more for the straight draw and four for the jack or ten. That’s a total of 18 outs you have in this situation to come from behind and win the pot. Eighteen outs equates to a 62.4% chance of hitting one of your outs and winning the hand.

Outs Chart

Outs                  % 2 Cards to Come         % 1 Card to Come
1                                        4.4%                           2.2%
2                                        8.4%                           4.3%
3                                       12.5%                          6.5%
4                                       16.5%                          8.7%                      
5                                       20.3%                        10.9%
6                                       24.1%                           13%
7                                       27.8%                         15.2%
8                                       31.5%                         17.4%
9                                          35%                          19.6%
10                                     38.4%                         21.7%
11                                     41.7%                            24%
12                                        45%                          26.1%
13                                      48.1%                         28.3%
14                                      51.2%                         30.4%
15                                      54.1%                         32.6%
16                                         57%                         34.3%
17                                       59.8%                           37%
18                                       62.4%                         39.1%
19                                         65%                          41.3%
20                                       67.5%                         43.5%