A Poker Odds Guide: How to Make Use of Outs and Pot Odds

Poker odds are a key factor which determine just how well things can turn out for you during a game. They are important since you will rely on them to work out how likely you are to win a particular hand.

In order to be able to calculate them accurately, you will need to take a number of factors into account. These include pot odds and outs.

But what exactly are they and how do they all come together to enable you to work things out? We examine these all important factors right here in our concise poker odds guide.


This term refers to cards which can improve your hand. One of the most common examples which occurs in poker games is when a player needs just one more card to achieve a flush, i.e, a combination of five cards of the same suit, irrespective of their ranks (numbers).

In such an instance, at the flop stage (the second stage) of a Texas Hold Em game, the player may have an ace of spades, and a queen of spades, while two cards in the same suite with values of 1 and 4 ,may be on the table.

Under such circumstances, all that player would need would be another card belonging to the suite of spades, no matter what its rank is, to get a flush.

To calculate the probability of their being able to do so, they will need to examine the remaining cards which have not been dealt.

Hence the player will first need to subtract their own cards from the deck:

52 - 2 = 50

Because three cards are placed on the table during the flop round in Texas Hold' Em, they will also need to subtract those as well:

50 - 3 = 47

Now out of the 47 cards which are left, 9 are going to belong to the suite of spades. This is because each suite has 13 cards (and four of those have already been dealt in this case).

That means that 38 cards (47 - 9) will belong to other suites and will be of no use to the player.

Placing those values as a ratio will give you: 38:9.

Or when reduced further: 4:1 (approximately).

Pot Odds

This term refers to the ratio which represents the size of the pot and a bet. For example, if a pot is $90 and another player bets $10, the value of the pot increases to $100.

The player who is on their way to getting a flush of spades will need to also place a bet of the same value as well.

Hence the ratio representing the size of the pot and the bet in this case will be: 100:10 or 10:1.

Using Out and Pot Odd Values

The main importance of these values in poker, is their ability to enable you to make the best choice as to whether you should call a bet or fold. Now if you were to be in the exact same circumstances as that player facing pot odds of 10:1 and a 4:1 chance of getting a flush, you would need to simply compare both values.

If the values for the former are higher than your chances of completing your hand, then you will be able to go ahead and bet. If not, folding might be the preferable option. Does that mean that you will be able to expect a guaranteed win? No, it doesn't. Afterall, it is a game of probabilities.

And that brings us to the end of our concise poker odds guide which we hope you have found helpful.