If you read the first part of this series, you should now be able to calculate outs and odds like a pro.

Let’s now consider an example from the first part of this series: you have two spades in your hand and two came out on the flop, giving you a flush draw.

As you probably know by now, a flush draw has 9 outs, so you will need to consider the combined odds of completing your flush if you want to make a big move into the pot. How can you find out?

Combined odds are calculated in a different way from single odds. You need to calculate the chances of NOT hitting your card in order to find out the chances of it happening.

Let’s take it step by step:

– The Turn: You have 9 outs and a total of 47 unseen cards.

Since only 9 cards are good out of these 47, it follows that the remaining 38 will NOT help your hand, so let’s find out the odds of that happening: 38/47 = 0.80

– The River: you still have 9 outs, but now only 46 unseen cards (since one was used in the turn), which means there are now 37 cards that will not help you make that flush.

Therefore the percentage odds of not hitting your card in the river are 37/46 = 0.80

– The Combination: multiply both results to get the combined odds of your NOT hitting a spade in either turn or flush: 0.80 (turn) x 0.80 (river) = 0.64.

This means you have a 64% chance of not completing your flush.

– The Last Step: If you have a 64% chance of not hitting a spade, it follows that you have a 36% chance of making your flush in either the turn or the river.

This is because out of a total 100% of possibilities 64% are against you, so you subtract 100% – 64% to find 36%, which are the favorable outcomes.

Summary: if you have 9 outs your chances of hitting any of them in the turn are 19.1%, on the river they are 19.6%, and on both turn and river they are 36%.

If you are playing online, there is no reason not to use a poker odds table to help you out. Here is one we have compiled for you:

Percentage Odds for Catching an Out

 

Outs                        Turn (%)                         River (%)                           Turn or River (%)

 

1                              2.1                                 2.2                                     4.3

 

2                              4.3                                 4.3                                     8.4

 

3                              6.4                                 6.5                                     12.5

 

4                              8.5                                 8.7                                      16.5

 

5                              10.6                               10.9                                     20.4

 

6                              12.8                               13.0                                     24.1

7                              14.9                                15.2                                    27.8

 

8                              17.0                                17.4                                    31.5

 

9                              19.1                                19.6                                     35.0

 

10                             21.3                                21.7                                    38.4

 

11                             23.4                                23.9                                    41.7

 

12                             25.5                                26.1                                    45.0

 

13                             27.7                                28.3                                    48.1

 

14                             29.8                                30.4                                    51.2

 

15                             31.9                                32.6                                    54.1

 

16                             34.0                                34.8                                    57.0

 

17                             36.2                                37.0                                    59.8

 

18                             38.3                                39.1                                    62.4

 

19                              40.4                               41.3                                    65.0

 

20                              42.6                               43.5                                    67.5

 

If you are playing live and don’t have a calculator handy, here is an easy rule to get an estimation of your odds: time the number of your outs by 2 to get an approximation of your odds for the river, and by 4 to get a rough combined percentage for turn and river.

For example, if you have 10 outs, you have roughly 10 x 2 = 20% odds of catching your card in the turn. The exact percentage is 21.3% – and 10 x 4 = 40% odds for catching your card on either turn or river. Not a bad approximation for the real percentage of 38.4%.

This is a very convenient way to approximate your odds, just keep in mind that for a higher number of outs the combined odds can become too optimistic.

If you have 17 outs – certainly a very good position to be in – your rough estimate would put you at 17 x 4 = 68% combined odds, when the reality is a more sober 59.8%.

Golden Rule of Rough Odds:

  • ROUGH POKER ODDS ON THE TURN = OUTS X 2
  • ROUGH COMBINED ODDS FOR TURN AND RIVER = OUTS X 4

And now that calculating hand odds is fast becoming second nature to you, let’s take a look at what is probably one of the toughest concepts in poker: pot odds.

The Golden Rule for Pot Odds

BET IF THE HAND ODDS ARE BETTER THAN THE POT ODDS

To make your pot odds comparisons easier, we have added a table with hand odds in odd format rather than percentage format:

Odds for Catching an Out

 

Outs                                               Turn                                           Turn or River

 

1                                                     47.6 :1                                          23.3 :1

 

2                                                     23.3 :1                                          11.9 : 1

 

3                                                     15.6 : 1                                          8 : 1

 

4                                                      11.9 : 1                                         6 : 1

 

5                                                      9.4 : 1                                           4.9 : 1

 

6                                                      7.8:1                                             4.1 : 1

 

7                                                      6.7 : 1                                           3.6 : 1

 

8                                                      5.9 : 1                                           3.2 : 1

 

9                                                      5.2 : 1                                           2.9 : 1

 

10                                                     4.7 : 1                                          2.6 : 1

 

11                                                     4.3 : 1                                          2.4 : 1

 

12                                                     3.9 : 1                                          2.2 : 1

 

13                                                     3.6 : 1                                          2.1 : 1

 

14                                                     3.4 : 1                                          1.9 : 1

 

15                                                     3.1 : 1                                          1.8 : 1

 

16                                                     2.9 : 1                                          1.8 : 1

 

17                                                     2.8 : 1                                          1.7 : 1

 

18                                                     2.6 : 1                                          1.6 : 1

 

19                                                     2.5 : 1                                          1.5 : 1

 

20                                                     2.3 :1                                           1.5 : 1

 

We hope you have enjoyed our series on “Poker Odds made easy.” Stay tuned for future articles on other aspects that can increase your poker success!