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How to Calculate Odds in Poker

Knowing the odds in poker is to be able to calculate the mathematical probability of getting a winning hand versus the possibility of failing to get the desired hand. Learn some of the basics of this vital skill to win big in your next game.


  • Step 1: Know that the two-four rule applies to your opponent. If you have two queens, your chance of getting a queen on the turn is two in 47, or 4 percent. Four times two outs means you have an 8 percent chance of hitting your queen on the river. Your opponent with two aces also has the same chance of catching his other ace.
  • Step 2: Know that you'll pick up two aces, or pocket aces, pre-flop, about once out of every 220 hands. You can also study up on other typical odds for a given hand to give yourself every advantage.
  • FACT: In 2003, amateur poker player Chris Moneymaker won the Main Event at the World Series of Poker. He was the first person ever to quality for the event through an online poker site.
  • TIP: The number of cards that can complete your hand are known as the number of "outs."
  • Step 3: Use the two-four rule for a rough estimate of hitting the hand on either the turn or the river. Multiply the number of cards that can complete your hand by two if you'll just see the turn card or multiply the outs by four if you see the river.
  • Step 4: Figure the odds of catching your flush. Two cards are in your hand and three are in the flop for a total of five cards that you can see, leaving 47 unseen cards. Since you need one of the remaining nine hearts, you have a 9 in 47 chance -- 19 percent -- of getting a flush on the turn -- the draw of the fourth card.
  • Step 5: Find your odds of completing that flush on the river. After the turn, there are still nine remaining hearts and 46 cards left unseen, so your odds are now nine in 46, or 19.5 percent.
  • Step 6: Know what you need to make your desired hand. In Texas Hold 'Em, if you're holding two hearts and there are two hearts in the flop, that leaves nine remaining hearts to make your flush, since there are 13 cards of each suit in the deck.

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