Any card that after revealing may improve your hand is called an out. Obviously, before you start counting the outs, you need to learn the combinations of poker, so start with this topic, if you have not studied it. After you have learnt the hands ranking, you have to learn how to read the cards on the table and see what are the possible hands you can form later, what are the chances to improve it. In order to do that, see the simple statistics below that shows the most popular situations in which you may be involved after the flop.
Two end straight draw – 8 outs; one end straight draw – 4 outs; a flush draw – 9 outs; two end straight draw and flush draw – 15 outs; two cards to full house – 6 outs on the flop, 9 on the turn (add one more out which will help you form a four of a kind); one card to a set on the flop – 2 outs.
Two end straight draw – you have 4 cards in sequence. For example: your pocket cards are 8 of spades and 9 of hearts; the flop is 6 of hearts, 7 of clubs and 2 of spades.
One end straight draw – you need only one card to form a straight. It may be an inside straight draw (when you miss a card in the middle). For example: your pocket cards are 8 of spades and 9 of hearts; the flop is 6 of hearts, 10 of clubs and 2 of spades.
Flush draw – you have 4 cards of one suit. For example: your hand is 8 of spades and 9 of spades; the flop is 6 of spades, king of clubs and 2 of spades.
Two end straight draw and flush draw – you have two ended straight draw as well as flush draw. For example: your pocket cards are 8 of spades and 9 of spades; the flop is 6 of spades, 7 of spades and 2 of hearts.
Two cards to a full house – you have a three of a kind i.e. 3 cards of the same rank. For example: your pocket cards are 8 of spades and 8 of hearts; the flop is 8 of diamonds, 7 of spades and 2 of hearts.
One card to a set – you have a pocket pair. For example, your pocket cards are 8 of spades and 8 of hearts; the flop is 6 of spades, 7 of spades and 2 of hearts.
The more time you spend exercising how to calculate the outs, the easier this procedure will become. Any card that will help you to form a high combination is considered an out. But be careful and do not count those outs which may help your opponent to form a better combination. For example, if you have a two ended straight draw and the flop revealed two cards of one suit, you have only 6 outs since the two cards that will complete your straight will complete the flush of your opponent with a flush draw. Once calculating the outs is not a problem for you any more, you are ready to move to the next stage.