Increasing your Odds at Online Poker

Two of the biggest tools a poker player needs to have in their arsenal are good strategy and bankroll management. However, these can only help a player so far. Players need to increase the odds in their favor as much as possible. Understanding how odds work will make it much easier for players to play poker effectively and with the best chances to win.


Outs are something every poker player should keep in mind. New poker players typically have a vague idea that they need to keep them in mind, but rarely have enough knowledge to know why. The best poker players keep this in mind on every hand. Being on a flush draw will get every player excited, however if you go in blindly betting big you can be setting yourself up for a big loss.

Calculating your outs can be very simple. In the most simple explanation, your 'outs' are the number of cards that can improve your hand. For example, if you have a 2, 3, and 4 in your hand, you're hoping the next cards are an Ace and 5, or a 5 and 6. If you are on a flush draw, then you can also consider all cards of the same suit to be outs as well. Betting big when you only have a very small number of outs is a calculated risk. However the community cards can give you a clue as to what your opponent is looking for as well. It is wise for players to keep in mind that a good “out” is one that increases the likelihood that you will have a better hand than your opponent.

Hand Odds

When it comes to trying to calculate the odds of getting a specific hand out of your possible outs, you have to remember that you can only truly calculate this based on the cards that are visible. If you're playing against opponents who have reliable tells, you can sometimes have a good guess as to the strength of their cards.

To calculate your outs in the most simple manner, consider that 1 deck has 52 cards. Subtract your 2 pocket cards, leaving 50. Subtract any community cards on the table, ignore any cards that other players are holding. You can only consider cards that are face up. If 4 cards are face up on the table, this leaves you with 46 cards. If 9 of these will give you winning cards, your odds are 37 to 9, or 4 to 1. You are 4 times more likely to lose this pot than you are to win.

Should I Bet?

Now that you have a good idea what hands are and how to calculate them, now you need to know how to use them. Looking at the odds, the example hand gives you 4 to 1 odds. That means it is likely that you will lose 4 times before you win. To make a wise and profitable bet, you want better odds than that. For example, if the pot is $90, and your opponent bets $10, you can win $100. To call their bet, you will be betting $10 that you can win $100. The bet you want to take is the one that will eventually leave you in profit. For example- you take the 4:1 bet, and 4 times you lose. You would be down $40. But the one time you win, you will be up $100. That $60 profit, and always the bet you want to make.


This can be quite a bit of math to do in a very short amount of time. There is a shortcut for calculating these odds. First you need to count the outs you have. If 6 cards will give you the winning hand after the flop, you multiply that by 4. The math shortcut is 6 x 4, which gives you a 24% chance. The same shortcut after the turn is to multiply by 2. 6 x 2 gives you a 12% chance of hitting the winning card. While it may not be the most exact math, it's close enough to give players a good idea of the likelihood of their cards turning up quickly. Some of the more complicated outs have longer odds- such as looking for a 3 of a kind is 22 to 1. An inside straight is 10.5 to 1. If you have a pair in your hand and you're looking for another pair or 3 of a kind, the odds you're facing are 8.2 to 1. Players skilled in math can get very exact with their calculations, but this guide is enough for the average player to have a leg up on the typical opponent.