Counting Outs in Texas Hold’em

For those new to Texas Hold’em, the term ‘out’ refers to a card that will dramatically improve your hand.  

For example, if you are holding 10c-Jc and the flop comes 2d, Ks, Ah, you have four ‘outs’ that will make you a ‘nut’ straight: Qh, Qs, Qd, Qc.

Here is a more complex hand:  You are holding Ad-10d and the flop comes 10s, 7d, 2d. With this example any diamond will give you a ‘flush’ and any 10 will give you ‘top-set’ which will also be a tough nut to crack.  With their being nine Diamonds in the deck plus a 10c and 10h you have eleven ‘outs’ in this case scenario.

Now, each ‘out’ has a mathematical chance of arriving and often as a player your job is to assess the cost of a ‘call’ weighed-up against potential profitability should one of your ‘outs’ arrive.

To calculate those all-important odds of improving your hand, here is a simple Cashdrop Casinos guide:

  • On the flop, when there are two cards (a turn and river) to be revealed each ‘out’ has an approximate 4% chance of arriving. That is true for the first ten ‘outs’ but if you have more, each additional one thereafter has an additional 3% probability.

So, 9 outs equates to c36% while 12 outs equates to c46%.

  • At the ‘turn’, with just one card to come (the river card), each ‘out’ has an approximate 2.2% chance of arriving.

Therefore those nine ‘outs’ can now be calculated to be in the region of 20%. Or looking back to the eleven ‘out’ Ad-10d situation, a player has about a 43% chance of improving his hand when there are two cards to come and, with one card to come, just 24.2%.

These figures are ‘rules of thumb’ close approximations but could prove invaluable to both novice and experienced players.

1 Comment
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    Hold'em shark at

    I’ve played Hold’em for quite a while now – have to say, learned something today. Nice little summary, ty CDC

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