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Learning to count outs

Learning to count outs

Learn to count absolute and relative outs in a simple and practical way.

by Academia   |   comments 0
Thursday, April 2 2020

We know that poker is a game of people, logic, psychology and also mathematics . Based on this, it is important, for the success in this sport, even at the lowest levels, the basic knowledge of the mathematics inherent to the game.

In this article, I will teach the reader how to calculate their outs in a simplified way, differentiating between those that are absolute and those that are relative .

Initially, we should understand that outs are nothing more than cards that serve to improve our game. For example, if we have two diamond cards in hand, and two more come in the flop, there are nine cards remaining in the deck for us to make our flush. So, we have 9 outs to get that game right.

Well, now that we know what outs are, it is necessary to distinguish them between absolute outs and relative outs .

Absolute outs are nothing more than those in which, if we get our hand, we are sure that we will win. For example, we have KQo and the flop is 2JTr. In this case, we have 8 outs for the nuts (best possible game), which are the four 9s in the deck, plus the four A. If any of these cards appear, we make the best possible game and we are sure that we will win the hand, or , in the worst case scenario, we tie if any opponent also has KQ. So, in this example, we have 8 outs.

Following the example above, I will explain relative outs, which are nothing more, than cards that CAN make our game enough to overcome the opponent . On the same 2JTr flop, we have KQ. We already know that the 9 and A are absolute outs, but the three Q and three K, MAY, OR NOT, be enough to beat opponents. In this case, these outs should only be counted as relative, and not absolute, as we are not sure which top pair will be enough to win the hand .

Now that we know how to differentiate outs, we start to learn how to count them. So that there is no confusion at this point, we will calculate our equity, based only on absolute outs.

We followed the same example, holding KQo on the 2TJr flop. As we have already seen, we have 8 outs. To calculate our equity, and to know the percentage (%) of times we will hit the desired hand, we must, on the flop, multiply our number of outs by four. So, in our example 8 x 4 = 32, or 32% . This percentage is the number of times we will hit our hand, already counting the opening of the river. Now let's assume that the turn is a 4, meaning an insignificant card for our hand. To know the percentage of times we will hit our hand, from the turn to the river , instead of multiplying by 4, we will multiply by 2. So, 8 x 2 = 16, or 16% .

Correct counting of outs is simple, practical and vital to the success of any player, at any limit. I hope that, with this article, I have helped the reader with another topic. If there are any doubts, just leave a comment, it will be a pleasure to help in the learning process.
Daniel Dornelles