## Guide to calculating the number of outs, improvement odds and pot odds

Poker, as you may not yet know if you are a beginner, is more a game of strategies and calculations than chance. So if you are one of those who count on the goodwill of Lady Luck to be able to fill your pockets in poker, know that you will soon be stunned and filled with frustration due to an accumulation of losses money during your games. On the other hand, if you are willing to sacrifice time to learn how to determine the odds in poker, particularly through calculating the number of outs, calculating improvement odds and calculating pot odds, you will be able to often wearing a broad smile as is the case with the few lucky winners of this circle game. Probability and mathematical calculations are fundamental in poker because such knowledge helps one know when it is wise to call or fold after the flop, in this case on the turn or the river.

### The importance of mathematics and probability in poker

If mathematics was always your pet peeve at school, you will unfortunately have to love it to be able to win money at poker. This circle game also requires the luck of being a fine psychologist and mathematician. But rest assured, it’s not about having a knack for math either. It's more about knowing how to carry out some quick calculations to know what your chances of winning are based on the card draws that are made. The probabilities that these calculations make it possible to determine are valuable decision-making tools, which combined with the PT4 or HM3 trackers can help you quickly master the art of playing poker.

## How to calculate your number of outs in poker?

If you have consulted our poker glossary, you certainly know what an out is. As a reminder, this is a card that gives the player the opportunity to improve his hand. For illustration: if a player's two cards are A♣ 8♣ and after the flop, the cards 2♣ 6♣ K♥ have been placed on the table, the latter has a flush draw of clubs. For those who don't know what a draw is, it is simply an incomplete hand. We therefore speak of a draw when we need a single card to improve our hand. Continuing our example, the player can improve his hand to have a flush with the club cards of 3♣, 4♣, 5♣, 7♣, 9♣, 10♣, J♣, Q♣ and K♣. These cards therefore correspond to **9 outs** given that there are 13 clubs cards available in a 52-card deck, and four of them are known to the player.

This other example will allow you to better understand the calculation of outs: if a player has a 10♦ and a 9♠ in his hand and the flop consists of the cards Q♣, J♥ and 2♥, the latter will therefore need to a king or an 8 to improve your hand into a straight. The 52-card deck contains four king cards (K♦, K♠, K♣, K♥) and four eight cards (8♦, 8♠, 8♣, 8♥), this player thus has **8 outs** given that each of these cards has the possibility of helping him improve his hand.

### Calculating the improvement odds or the probability of obtaining an out

Now that you know how to determine your number of outs, the next step is to learn how to translate that number into a percentage. Knowing how to convert the number of outs into a percentage is important, because this calculation gives a better overview of the chances of improving your hand. The probability of hitting or obtaining an out, also called the improvement rating, is calculated very simply, but in different ways during a move.

### Calculating the improvement odds on the flop

When the flop occurs, the player still has two cards to see, notably on the turn and the river, to improve his hand. The percentage calculation in this case is done as follows:

**P = number of outs x 2 x 2**

Or just

**P = number of outs x 4**

In our previous example for which the player has 8 outs, the calculation of the percentage will give: * P = 8 x 4 = 32*. In other words, this player has a 32% chance of hitting an out on the turn or river so that his hand moves to a straight.

### Calculating the improvement rating on the turn

When the move takes place on the turn, this means that the player only has one card left to see, in this case on the river to improve his hand. The percentage calculation in this case is done as follows:

**P = number of outs x 2**

Still returning to the example of 8 outs, we obtain for this player a probability of 16% of having a straight on the river, the calculation being done as follows: * P = 8 x 2 = 16*.

In addition to helping to know much more simply the probabilities of hitting an out in each round of the table, calculating the percentage of improvement in the odds allows you to realize something quite interesting. Indeed, the greater the number of outs a player has, the greater the chances of him improving his hand.

As you may have noticed, calculating the improvement rating is very important since it allows you to know in real time your chances of finishing ahead of your opponents at the final showdown of the cards. However, it should be noted that calculating the improvement rating allows you to make a judicious action decision only in part since the number of outs determined may be biased, your opponents possibly having some of the cards improving your hand . The calculation of the improvement rating thus finds its full usefulness when it is associated with the calculation of the pot rating which is explained in the following lines.

## How to calculate pot odds?

The mathematics of poker also involves calculating pot odds. For those who are wondering what it is, well the pot odds are an important decision-making element in poker in the sense that it allows us to establish the relationship between the size of the pot and a player's stake. To put it simply, the pot odds help the player know if they should call a raise or not, depending on the bet they will have to make in relation to the total amount of the pot.

Now let's look at calculating the friend's odds, which is not rocket science. All you have to do to determine the pot odds is divide the player's bet by the total pot amount. For example, if the pot size on the flop is €75 and your opponent who has to speak first bets €25, the pot odds designated by the initials **CP** will be calculated as follows:

*CP = €25: €100*

*PC = 1:4*

The ratio obtained represents an odds of 4 to 1, or a percentage of 20%.

### The benefit of integrating the mathematics of poker

“Why bother with all these calculations to play poker? ”, this is probably the question you will ask yourself if you are not very fond of mathematics. Well, imagine that the answer is quite simple: it’s to win. Indeed, when you integrate these mundane principles and calculations, you will be able to make judicious action decisions as we emphasized at the start of the article. These decisions are: knowing when to fold and knowing when to call.

More concretely, here is how to avoid being fleeced by making an informed decision based on calculations of probabilities and odds.

**When the improvement rating is lower than the pot rating**: you must file, that is to say you sleep. If you persist in discovering the next card, you will lose money unnecessarily.**When the improvement rating is greater than the pot rating**: in this scenario you must call or even outbid by raising.

### Good to know about poker odds

We can't say it enough: knowing how to perform the calculations explained in this article is a must for playing poker. Indeed, they will help you make informed poker decisions. If you are a newbie, understanding all of this will most certainly not be easy when you first start. But with a lot of practice, you will be able to do these quick calculations very quickly and easily.

In poker, there are certainly a few other concepts to discover, notably **implied odds** which will increase your pot odds if you think you can safely make your opponent commit more money when you hit your draw. We advise you to take it step by step and gradually add more concepts and parameters to your game.