Outs and Probability – Part 2

The important case study in the end of lesson 6 shows us that some draws just are not worth pursuing. Any straightdraw when there are 2 of a suit in the flop is a considerable drawback for your hand. And any straight OR flushdraw to a flop with a pair in it similarly devalues your hand. This is because you can no longer be sure you are drawing to the nuts (nuts signifies the unbeatable hand).

The best draw

Drawing to the nuts is the best draw situation you can be in, but choosing to fold hands where you have a good draw but not for the nuts is wrong also. The case with the 67 and the 899 flop with a suit is a definite no-no. But in other situations where people already have a strong hand or a good draw you might be in for a big pot if you hit your draw and the other misses, so you have to weigh good with evil in these situations.

You do not want to be dominated though, and this can be hard to avoid sometimes if you managed to get yourself involved in a big pot and flop a draw. Let us say that you for some kind of bizarre reason ended up in a 7 way pot with J10s four bets preflop. Now the flop comes 2 of your suit. What do you do? Well, you won’t be drawing for the nuts with your J high, but you cannot fold either since the pot is as big as it is. All you can do is call, call and call hoping you will hit your draw while at the same time pray that no one has got a higher flushdraw. It might work out for you, but would you not want to be sure you are drawing for the nuts instead while someone else might be on a lower flushdraw? I know I would, and the lesson on hand selection preflop should be helpful in this matter.

Considering other situations

Ok, now let us consider other situations where you need to hit an out to win. First of all I have to point out that if you do not flop top pair, two pairs, a set or a good draw I would probably recommend 99 percent of the times that you throw your hand away. Yet there are situations where you can be almost forced to call a bet on the flop hoping you can improve on the turn (and maybe even on river). These are situations where you have invested a lot in the pot preflop and now the pot is so big that you got the right odds to stay in for another card.

Let us assume you got AKs and the pot is large,, I mean REALLY large, but the flop has come something like 2, 6,10. Now people start betting and you got nothing. Well, you can try to stay in hoping to catch an A or K on the turn or river. In order to do that we have to consider your outs. There are 3 Aces and 3 Kings as outs giving you 6 all in all. The chance of hitting one of these on the turn or river is 24 %.

This might sound all right in a big pot, but what should be holding you back is that now the chance of you drawing dead is much bigger than when you are drawing for a 5 card hand. People might already have two pairs,, one might already have a set, someone might pick up a draw and so on. Add that it is very likely that other players are holding quite a few of your outs in such a big pot and preflop betting. In the end it all comes down to one sad but true conclusion. Your great preflop hand has missed the flop completely and you might as well be holding a pair of bus tickets now. At least they are useful in another way.

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