Poker odds give you the probability of winning any given hand. Higher odds mean a lower chance of winning, meaning that when the odds are large against you it’ll be a long time until you succeed. They are usually displayed as a number to number ratio and indicate the potential return on investment; for example, odds of nine to one (9:1) means that for every $1 wagered you’ll be paid $9.

Before you can begin to understand poker odds, you’ll need to learn how to calculate ‘outs’. Outs are the cards that can help you improve your hand and make it more valuable than what you believe your opponent has. There are 52 cards in a deck and two of those will be in your hand when starting playing, with a further four cards exposed from the flop and turn. That means that of the 46 cards that remain unseen, there are 9 potential winning cards or ‘outs’. That equates to odds of 4:1 for getting one of the cards, or outs, you need.