In this article I am going to talk in a more advanced way to understand odds and outs in poker and how implementing the odd & outs concepts can give you better understanding of overall play.
Using Odds in Poker
The better more consistent poker player’s, use pot odds for more than deciding when to call a bet. They also use the Pot Odds to tell them when they should lead out with a bet or raise a bet, and by how much. For example, in Texas hold-em if you have flopped a set, and there are two cards to a flush or straight on the board, you want to make your bet high enough that any player drawing to that flush or straight will not have pot odds to call. If there is $1,000 in the pot, you can make the pot odds only 2 to 1 for any potential caller on a draw simply betting the size of the pot ($1000) yourself.
It is important that if the player on a draw calls you when you raise in that situation like this, that you understand that he paid too much for that call, even if he does draw out on you. Even if you made the correct play by raising and still get called just continue to play your hand by concentrating on the task at hand. Most amateurs get upset when this happens, but most pros care little about the results of any one given hand. They will look at players who make that call as mini-ATM machines.
The Concept of Outs in Poker
The odds of getting the cards needed to make a hand are known as “outs”. An out is simply a card that would get you “out” of the jam you’re currently in, facing a stronger hand when all you have is a draw.
When you have four cards to a nut flush, it’s easy to count the outs. Since there are 13 cards to every suit and you know there are four cards in one suit between the board cards and the cards in your hand, there are exactly 9 cards left to make your flush. You have nine outs.
So the question is …
How do you figure the pot odds & how many outs you have ?
It’s easier than you think
First subtract the number of outs from the total number of unseen cards. Which is 47 after the flop, or 46 after the turn. You start with 52 cards in the deck and subtract the cards you’ve actually seen on the board and in your hand.
So, to calculate the odds of making a flush draw on the turn, you subtract your outs from the unseen cards.
46 – 9 = 37
And the odds against your drawing to the flush you need are simply the ratio of this total, to the number of your outs. In this example, the pot odds are 37 to 9 or just over 4.1 to 1 against you. So, if you get pot odds of 4.2 to 1 or more for your flush draw, you make the call.
I hope the example can help you understand that many other factors can come into play with the understanding of pot odds, and outs.