In poker, “outs” refer to the number of cards in the deck that can improve a player’s hand to a winning one. Specifically, outs are the cards that, if drawn on future streets (the turn or the river), would complete a drawing hand and potentially make it a winning hand. Knowing the number of outs you have can help you calculate your odds of improving your hand and make informed betting decisions.

## What are outs in poker?

Here are some common examples of drawing hands and their corresponding outs:

**Open-Ended Straight Draw**: If you have four consecutive cards and need one more to complete a straight, you have 8 outs (four cards of each rank that would complete the straight).**Flush Draw**: If you have four cards of the same suit and need one more to complete a flush, you have 9 outs (there are 13 cards of each suit in a standard deck, and you already have four).**Inside Straight Draw (Gutshot)**: If you have a four-card sequence with a missing card in the middle (e.g., 4-5-7-8 and you need a 6), you have 4 outs (the missing 6s).**Overcard Draw**: If you have two undercards to your opponent’s pair and need one of your overcards to pair up, you have 6 outs (there are three remaining cards of each of your overcards in the deck).**Set (Three-of-a-Kind) Draw**: If you have a pair and need one more card of the same rank to make a set (three-of-a-kind), you have 2 outs (there are two remaining cards of that rank in the deck).

To calculate your odds of improving your hand on the next card (the turn) or the subsequent card (the river), you can use the concept of “outs” and the Rule of 2 and 4. The Rule of 2 and 4 provides a rough estimate of your chances:

- On the turn (one card to come), multiply your number of outs by 2 to get your approximate percentage chance of improving.
- On the river (two cards to come), multiply your number of outs by 4 to get your approximate percentage chance of improving.

Keep in mind that poker is a game of incomplete information, and the actual cards on the turn and river are unknown. Outs are a way to assess your hand’s potential strength based on the cards you need to complete it, but they are not a guarantee of success. It’s crucial to consider the betting action and your opponents’ possible hands when making decisions based on your outs and pot odds.