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:: Explaining Outs ::

The simple explanation would be that outs is the number of cards left in the deck that can make your hand the winning hand. Knowing how many outs you have with each hand can be critical to success in Texas Holdem Poker. Following are some tips on how to calculate your number of outs.

For example, if you're holding an ace and you suspect someone has a pair of kings then you would have three outs ... the three other aces in the deck.

Outs Example Aces

Of course, if you were also holding a card lower than the kings which had matched up with a card on the board giving you a lower pair then another one of those would give you trips. So in that situation you would have five outs ... the three remaining aces and the two remaining undercards.

Outs Example Aces Tens

Then again, if you suspect your opponent of holding Big Slick (AK) then drawing an ace doesn't really do you any good which would leave you with only two outs.

Outs Example vs Big Slick

As you can see, calculating your outs can get somewhat tricky, but over all it is fairly straight-forward.

Here are some things to watch out for when calculating your outs:
1. If you suspect one of your opponents is on the flush draw and you need to draw say ... an ace ... the ace that would give him his flush draw is no longer an out for you.

Outs Example Ace

2. The same thing goes for ... lets say you are drawing for an open ended straight and your oponent is looking for a flush, that limits your outs to only six cards as opposed to the normal eight for an open ended straight while he still has his normal nine outs. Watch out!

Outs Example

Once you've figured out how many outs you have you can go to my Post Flop Odds page and see what your percentage chance of hitting one of your outs would be which is invaluable for figuring out how much your hand is worth betting. For more on that you can continue on to my Pot Odds Theory page.

Some common outs:
Gutshot Straight - 4 outs
Open-ended Straight - 8 outs
4 card flush - 9 outs

* Standard Disclaimer: (In case you decide to gamble away your car, house, boat, life savings etc... and then want to blame me) This site is maintained by me and all tips, odds and articles are only my opinion and are not guaranteed to be accurate. Poker is gambling and you make your own desicions as to how to play the game regardless of what you read here or anywhere else and you are responsible for checking your own facts before getting in over your head. Gamble at your own risk ... You have been warned.