The PokerNews Quiz: Counting Outs and Casting Doubts

We’ve all learned about “counting outs” in hold’em, an early exercise in estimating hand strength before all of the community cards have appeared.

Say the board reads {10-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{3-Spades} and you hold {6-Spades}{5-Spades}. Your hand likely isn’t best at the moment, but with eight “outs” to make a straight (the 4 sevens and 4 deuces) you can calculate your chance of improving to the best hand, thereby helping you decide whether or not to continue.

In that example your outs are all “clean” — that is, all eight would improve you to an unbeatable straight. But say the board was {K-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{3-Spades} instead, meaning a third heart could possibly fill an opponent’s flush. Two of your eight outs — the {7-Hearts} and {2-Hearts} — become “dirty” outs or “partial” outs, since they don’t necessarily give you the unbeatable “nuts.”

There are other situtations in hold’em, too, when cards that improve your hand may or may not ensure you have best holding at showdown. You might want to count them as “outs,” but can you count on them to give you the best hand?

What follows are eight multiple-choice questions about hold’em situations, all of which ask you to count your outs, but to use care not to include the ones that raise doubts. (Be wary of better draws and pairing boards!)

Get six right to earn a passing grade, and when done look at the “Top results” to see how you did compared to others. If you’re logged into your PokerNews account, your username will appear. If you don’t have one, click here to get an account.

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