Understanding Pot Odds

Outs In order to understand pot odds, you must know the expected pot size and the number of outs you have. Knowing how your opponent plays will help you determine the expected pot size and the number of expected outs you have. Without knowing each of these factors, you would not be able to figure out proper pot odds, and thus have a difficult time making the correct decision at the poker table.

This section is on outs; how to identify them and how to count them. It is important that you develop a thorough understanding of outs before you read the next chapter on pot odds. What is an out? An out usually refers to a card that could come in a future round to improve a hand to the best hand. For the hand that is behind, the number of outs is the sum of all cards that can make the hand that is behind improve to the best hand.

If you were behind in the previous round, and you receive an out on the next card, then you are now ahead. A non-out is the opposite of an out. A non-out is a card that will not turn your hand from a loser into a winner, instead, a non-out keeps your hand in the same relative rankings as the previous round. If you were behind in the previous round, and you receive a non-out on the next card, you are still behind.

Outs will be considered as all cards that help a hand, whether it means improving your poker hand or keeping your hand ahead of other hands. If you are behind, an out will improve your hand from a losing hand to a winning hand. If your hand was already ahead, an out will not hinder the hand. Non-outs will be considered all cards that are bad for your hand,

whether your hand is ahead or behind. If you are behind and you receive a non-out on the next card, it means you did not improve relative to the other hands. Your hand could actually improve in ranking, but if the other hands improve at the same time, then you are still behind. In situations like that, the card would still be a non-out, not an out. The concept of outs and non-outs is helpful in that it helps you figure out the chances of winning a hand. When you know the expected pot size, how our opponents play, and the number of outs you have, then you would have enough information to make a proper decision.

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