How to Calculate Drawing Odds in Poker
Understanding how to count outs and calculate the odds of drawing a winning hand is a fundamental aspect of becoming a successful Texas Hold’em player. Though learning the math needed to correctly determine your odds of catching the winning cards on the turn or river may seem daunting to some, it’s really only a case of knowing basic arithmetic.
Knowing the odds or percentages of possibly making your hand gives you a better idea as to whether you should continue playing the hand or fold your cards if the odds are not in your favor.
The first requirement following three cards hitting the board on the flop, is to count the number of outs, or cards needed that can turn your hand into a winner. Once you know the outs, you can determine the likelihood or percentage of drawing a winning hand.
For instance, let’s say you’re holding K-10 and the flop comes Q-3-J. You are looking at an open-ended straight that requires either an Ace or 9 to make your hand. Since there are four 9’s and four Aces in the deck, you have 8 possible outs to hit the winning hand.
There are a number of different drawing hands that you can memorize. The most common situations that you are going to find yourself in after the flop include ended straight draws, gut shot straight draws, flush draws, open ended & flush draw and pocket pair to hit trips. Below is a chart that shows the different number of outs for each of these situations.
|Open Ended Straight Draw||8|
|Gut Shot Straight Draw||4|
|Open Ended Flush Draw||15|
|Pocket Pair to a Set||2|
The formula to use post-flop to determine the approximate odds or percentage of catching your Ace or 9 to hit the straight and win the hand is to multiply the number of outs by 4 after the flop. In this case 8 x 4 = 32%. This means that over the long haul in this situation, you will make your straight by the river roughly 1 out of every 3 times.
If the turn card doesn’t reveal an Ace or 9, you now must multiply your outs by 2, giving you only a 16% likelihood of making the straight. Your odds lessened in half following the miss on the turn card.
The Rule of 4 and 2
This Formula is called the rule of 4 and 2. The rule states:
When waiting for you card on the flop for both the turn and river multiply your outs by 4.
When waiting for your card on the flop for the river multiply your outs by 2.
When waiting for your card on the turn for the river multiply your outs by 2.
Putting it Together
Now that you know the odds calculation based on the number of outs available, you can determine the pot odds according to how much money is in the pot. This will enable you to figure out if it is mathematically worthwhile to continue playing the hand.
In other words, you don’t want to be attempting to win a hand in which the odds are not favorable because there is not enough money in the pot to make the risk of continuing with your 32% or 16% chance of winning profitable. To learn when to chase runner runner read this article.
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