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Counting Outs

Fortune Jack Poker

Your outs is the number of unseen cards that will give you the best hand if you hit any one of them on the next card. A quick method to calculate the approximate chance of getting the best hand is to multiply your outs by two and add one. This gives you the percentage chance of hitting one of your outs on the next card.

Example #1 (Flush Draw)

Your Hand
Ace of DiamondsSeven of Diamonds
The Flop
Four of DiamondsSeven of SpadesThree of Diamonds
Your Outs
King of DiamondsQueen of DiamondsJack of DiamondsTen of DiamondsNine of Diamonds
Eight of DiamondsSix of DiamondsFive of DiamondsTwo of Diamonds

With 9 unseen diamonds, you have 9 outs. Probability of hitting one of the 9 cards on the next card = (9 x 2) + 1 = 19. 

You have about a 19% chance of hitting a diamond on the next card. This implies an 81% chance that you will not hit a diamond on the next card. So the odds are 81 to 19 which approximates to about 4 to 1 odds.

Example #2 (Gutshot Straight Draw)

Your Hand
Queen of HeartsKing of Spades
The Flop
Nine of SpadesSeven of SpadesTen of Diamonds
Your Outs
Jack of SpadesJack of HeartsJack of ClubsJack of Diamonds

In this example, you must hit a Jack to make a straight. With 4 unseen Jacks, you have 4 outs. Probability of hitting one of the 4 cards on the next card = (4 x 2) + 1 = 9%.

You have about a 9% chance of hitting a Jack on the next card. This implies a 91% chance that you will not hit a Jack on the next card. So the odds are 91 to 9 which approximates to about 10 to 1 odds.

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