Explanation of Out
An out is any card in the deck which will complete our hand. By counting the number of outs we have on a given street, we can produce a rough estimate regarding our pot-equity. See the glossary entry under equity for more detailed information on how this can be done.
Example of Out used in a sentence -> A flush draw often has 9 outs.
How to Use Out as Part of Your Poker Strategy
When counting outs it’s important that we only acknowledge outs that give us the best hand with a high frequency. Outs which often make dominated hands are referred to as “tainted outs”. Here is a quick Hold’em example.
There are clearly lots of different ways we can make a straight or flush on the turn, 15 cards to be exact (try counting them). However, it would be a bad idea to use all of these outs when making estimations regarding our equity.
The problem is that most of the outs we have counted make hands that will be dominated with an extremely high frequency. Aside from the straight flush outs we can’t rely any of our straight or flush outs being could. When making pot-equity estimates it’s usually a good idea to either ignore or discount tainted outs. “Discounting” outs means counting a fraction of the out instead of counting the full out itself. We would only count a minute fraction of a heavily dominated out.
Once we have an estimate regarding the average number of outs which will definitely give us the best hand we can proceed to the equity glossary entry to learn how to use our outs to make estimates regarding our equity.