
Progress Publishing Co. 

Poker Outs in Texas Holdem Poker 
Poker Outs in Texas Holdem poker
*******************************************************************
Poker Outs in Texas Holdem Poker
The importance of poker outs
How to calculate poker outs
The types of poker outs
Full outs
Partial outs
Hidden outs
Poker outs and poker odds
*******************************************************************
Poker outs in Texas Holdem Poker
Definition: Poker outs are the cards in the deck, which can improve a poker hand. For ex. if a player has two suited cards and two out of three cards on the flop are of the same suit, then a player has a flush draw. A fourth card of the same suit on the flop or on the river is obviously one of his poker outs, which improves a player’s hand from a flush draw to a flush. If a poker player has two overcards on the flop, then one or more of these cards on the turn or river will improve his hand giving him a top pair on the turn or river. Thus, in this case those cards are his poker outs.
The importance of the poker outs concept in Texas Holdem poker
The concept of the poker outs derives its importance from introducing mathematics into a poker player’s decision making process. When a poker player knows the exact number of his outs he has a clear picture of what is the probability and the odds are of improving his hand on the turn and by the river. When he’ll compare those odds with the payout by the pot expressed by the “pot odds”, a poker player will have a precise idea of how profitable his betting will be on a longterm basis. The poker outs concept removes guessing and an emotion from a poker player’s decision on what to do – check, bet, call, fold, raise etc…  and substitutes them with the mathematicsbased solution.
How to calculate poker outs in Texas Holdem poker
Calculation of the poker outs number is a simple and fast process. All you have to do is to see what kind of a hand or a draw you have on the flop (or turn) and then estimate the number of the cards among unseen 47 (46 on the turn) cards that can improve your hand. That number is your poker outs. For ex. if you have two suited cards and the flop shows two out of three cards of the same suit, then you obviously have a flush draw. There are 13 cards total of the same suit in the deck. Since you have two cards and there are two more cards on the flop then 9 more cards of the same suit are still in the deck. Thus, in this case you have 9 poker outs that will improve your hand to a flush. If for ex. you have QJ and the flop is “rainbow” (the cards of different suits) 982, then you have a “gutshot” straight draw. Four 10s will improve your hand and give you a straight. Three Qs and three Js will give you a top pair with a decent kicker. Thus the total number of poker outs in this case will be 4 tens, 3 Queens and three Jacks or a total of 10 outs etc… The table below gives the number of poker outs for some of the common situations.
Table 1
Draws 
Number of poker outs 
Odds on the flop Approximate numbers 
Straight draw 
8 outs 
odds 5 to 1 
Straight draw and an over card 
11 outs 
odds 3 to 1 
Straight draw and a pair 
13 outs 
odds 5 to 2 
Gutshot straight draw 
4 outs 
odds 11 to 1 
Gutshot straight draw and an overcard 
7 outs 
odds 6 to 1 
Gutshot and two overcards 
10 outs 
odds 7 to 2 
Gutshot and the flush draw 
12 outs 
odds 3 to 1 
Flush draw 
9 outs 
odds 4 to 1 
Straight flush draw 
15 outs 
odds 2 to 1 
Flush draw and a pair 
14 outs 
odds 7 to 3 
Two overcards 
6 outs 
odds 7 to 1 
Types of poker outs in Texas Holdem poker
Not all poker outs were created equal. The difference between them is to what degree they improve a poker player’s hand. That degree ranges from assuring the best hand and winning the pot to giving only a second best hand and possibly losing the pot and to just helping a player to split the pot despite having initially an inferior hand. Since the poker outs may provide drastically different results in terms of the eventual outcome of a poker round, they should not be counted the same way – their effect on a poker hand and the possible eventual outcome should be taken into a consideration. Otherwise, in some cases the number of outs will be overestimated leading to unjustified action on the part of the player. If, on the other hand, the number of outs will be underestimated, a poker player will be playing too tight missing many lucrative opportunities.
Full outs in Texas Holdem poker
Full poker outs are those cards that improve a poker player’s hand to the best possible hand – the poker “nuts”. For ex. if a player has Ad7d and a flop is 10d5dJc, then 9 diamond cards will give a player Ace high diamond flush, which will be the “nuts,” if the board will not be paired. Thus a player in this example has 9 full outs.
Partial outs in Texas Holdem poker
Partial poker outs are those cards, which improve a poker player’s hand but won’t guarantee him the best hand. In the previous example 3 Aces will improve a hand to a top pair, but since a “kicker” is a weak 7, the top pair probably will not be the best hand especially if the action indicates a possibility of another player holding an Ace. In this case 3 Aces are the “partial” outs. They should not be counted as full outs. It will be more realistic to assign them a value of a half an out.
Hidden outs in Texas Holdem poker
Hidden poker outs are those that are not obvious for a poker player. The reason is that they do not give a player the best winning hand but instead just help him to split the pot. For ex. a player has A4, an opponent has A10 and the board on the turn is AQ96. There are obvious three full outs – three 4s – that give a player the nuts. There are also hidden outs – three 9s and three 4 let the player to split the pot. For obvious reason these hidden outs should not be counted as full outs. Here is another example when hidden outs counterfeit an opponent hand. Suppose a poker player QJ, his opponent Q6 and the board is Q86. A poker player has obvious 3 full outs – 3 Jacks to beat an opponent’s two pairs of Queens and 6s. However, there are three hidden outs – three 8s, which will counterfeit an opponent’s two pair. A player will have two pairs of Queens and 8s with a Jack kicker to win the pot.
Poker outs and poker odds in Texas Holdem poker
As long as you know the number of outs it is easy to calculate the odds of improving your poker hand. For ex. if you have a flush draw on the flop you have 9 outs out of 47 unseen cards. Nine cards will help your hand, while 479 = 38 cards won’t. That means that the odds of making a flush on the turn will be 38 to 9 or roughly 4 to 1 against it. Table 1 above gives you the odds for some common situations.
Copyright Progress Publishing Co.
Selected References:
David Sklansky Mason Malmuth Holdem Poker  Phil Hellmuth Jr Play Poker Like the Pros 
Ed Miller David Sklansky Small Stakes Holdem Poker  Doyle Brunson Super System  A Course in Power Poker 
David Sklansky The Theory of Poker  Dan Harrington Harrington on Poker 
Lee Jones Winning Low Limit Texas Holdem Poker  John Vorhaus Killer Poker 
Ken Warren Ken Warren Teaches Texas Holdem Poker Gide to  Bobby Baldwin Bobby Baldwin's Winning Poker Secrets 
Tom McEvoy Shane Smith Beat Texas Holdem Poker  T J Cloutier Tom McEvoy Champiomship Texas Holdem Poker 