While playing poker it is important for your call to be right, this depends on you having the correct pot odds. To calculate the pot odds you need to take the total cards remaining in the deck as compared to the number of cards that are beneficial to your game. These cards that are advantageous to you are known as the ‘outs’. Calculating these can be tricky but is vital.
Know what you need to bet
Before getting into the details of counting outs, understand your competition. Mastering this skill takes a lot of effort and experience but you can learn how to do so quickly by trying you read your opponents hands during bets that you are not participating in. Practice the skill of hand reading and avoid missing out on the plenty of learning time available to you during live games.
Observing your opponent when you are not involved is ideal because you are not under any kind of pressure, which can often cloud judgment. Sharpening the skill of hand reading when you are not under pressure it great for a better game when the pressure is really on. Remember to always practice and its will just make your skill get better.
Counting your out as a half out
Although you are likely to improve at putting your opponent on various hands, it is not possible to always know the cards he is holding. Precisely for this reason it is safest to count some outs as half outs.
For instance, it is best to count a half out in case you flop a straight draw when there is a flush on board. If it is a typical straight draw then you usually have 8 outs that can hit your straight. Counting in some outs as half instead of full outs will give you an estimate of the size of the pot before you call a big bet. Calling half outs will also help your keep away from negative value situations, which can sometimes be challenging to overcome.
Considering hidden outs
Hidden outs is a situation that arises frequently. This is quite a common situation especially when a flopped two small pair is put against a big overpair. You should always keep hidden outs in your mind when you get small pairs on the flop or eve in case you have a big overpair and think your opponent has a small flopped two pair.
Finally, counting outs is a skill that is usually acquired over time with practice. The more you practice the better your skill will get. There are two important things to remember when it comes to counting outs, firstly master the art of setting the opponents on a range of hands and secondly, ensure you count your outs accurately. Counting outs properly means including half outs, overcards and hidden outs when necessary. If all this is done, putting more chips into your pot and calculating pot odds is always easier as you have a fair idea of what to expect.