Count your outs

Count your outs

Imagine you’re in the big blind and get to see a free flop with 5s 2d. The flop comes 7d 8d Jh, and the action gets checked around. The turn is a 9d; you check, and the player in the first position moves all in! Everyone folds to you, and you go into the tank.

Before you make a decision, you begin to count your outs. You’re getting 4-1 to call, and you reason that you have nine outs to a flush (any diamond), and three additional outs to a straight (the remaining sixes). That’s 12 outs, more than enough to make the call, right?

Not so fast! When we have outs that aren’t to the nuts, we have to discount those outs. This isn’t an exact science; we don’t have absolute knowledge of which cards will improve us to the best hands, and which only cause us to lose with a second best hand. But a little reasoning can help us make some educated guesses and come up with a better estimate of our chances.

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