word type: noun

  1. Poker slang describing cards a player can hit to make a hand. For example, if a player needed one club to fall to make a flush, any clubs remaining in the deck are "outs." Outs are used when calculating poker odds such as pot odds and implied odds.

Rule of Four and Two

A quick and dirty way to calculate your chances of hitting your hand after the flop is known as the Rule of Four and Two. To figure out the probability of making your hand if you see both the turn and river, multiply the number of outs by four. So, if you have a pocket pair and are looking to make three of a kind, you will have about an 8% chance to make that set by the end of the hand (two outs times four). If you want to determine your chances with only one card to come (whether you are going from the turn to the river or you are going from the flop to the turn but are not counting on seeing the river), you multiply the number of outs by two. Thus, in this same example, you would have a 4% chance to make your hand. These probabilities are not exact, but they are close enough to allow you to make proper pot odds calculations.

You Should Also Know...

One or more of your outs may give somebody else a better hand, so take that into consideration when evaluating your odds. For instance, if you have 4d-5d and the flop is 6h-7h-Ks, you have eight outs to hit an open-ended straight draw. Should you make that straight when the 8h falls on the turn, you would be in big trouble if someone else has two hearts in the hole, as they will have just made a flush.

Related Terms

Pot Odds, Equity, Draw, Backdoor