When you play poker, knowing how many outs you have to a better hand is a fairly simple concept. Unfortunately, many less experienced players either don’t realize the benefits of going one step farther in calculating pot odds, or they find the process to be too mentally straining to even bother.
In reality, calculating pot odds is extremely easy, if you know the short-cut. We’ll get back to that soon enough. First, let’s define the value of calculating outs and pot odds.
An “out” is any card remaining in the deck that can improve your hand. Of course, that card may no longer be in the deck, but if it is unseen, we must assume it’s still a viable out.
For example, you have Kc-Jc and the flop brings Qc-9s-2c. How many outs do you have?
We’ll start with the gut shot straight draw. You need any 10 to hit the Straight. There are four 10’s left in the deck, so that’s 4 outs.
You also have a flush draw, which is even better. There are 13 Clubs in all, and you have four of them, leaving 9 more in the deck. That’s another 9 Outs.
A King would give you the over-pair, which in Texas Holdem is a fairly strong hand. You have one King, so there’s three more in the deck. There’s 3 more outs.
All told, you have 16 outs to a better hand. Now to find out how pot odds work into this equation…
“Pot Odds” is a basic term that applies to the odds of you winning the pot. Knowing your pot odds will help you to make the right call, bet or raise, or when to fold to an opponent’s raise.
For your convenience, we’ve devised a complete chart depicting the percentage-based pot odds for up to 17 outs on the turn and river. Scroll down below the chart to learn a simple short cut to calculating pot odds.
Short-Cut To Calculating Pot Odds
There’s a very simple way to calculate pot odds on the turn that is close enough to accurate; usually falling within 1 percentage point of the exact pot odds. If you have 10 or more outs, the equation will come out a little higher; 1.6% higher for 10 outs and 4.2% over with 17 outs. But that’s still pretty close.
The idea is to multiply your number of outs by 4.
Let’s say you have a flush draw with 9 outs.
9 x 4 = 36% pot odds
The actual pot odds are 35%, just one point off from the short-cut value.