Can You Count Cards in Poker to Win the Game?

Can you count cards in poker?  

You can count cards in poker but not in the same way as in blackjack. You don’t count cards to gain an advantage over the house in poker, but to make profitable decisions against other players. If you want to win money in the long run, counting cards in a poker game is a good idea.

 Since counting cards is possible in Texas Hold’em, let’s discuss how you can use this technique to your advantage.

can you count cards in poker

How You Can Count Cards in Poker

If you’re in a hand that goes to the flop, you will ultimately need to decide whether to continue playing the hand. If someone bets, do you call? Do you raise? 

Every decision is based on the possibility that you can win the hand. You need to reason out your equity by counting cards and also figure out your opponent’s likely equity as well.

How well does your range match up against your opponent’s range?  Knowing how well your hand range is compared to an opponent’s can help you decide what to do with your cards.

Let’s say your opponent opened in early position on a KJ3 rainbow board. This could mean they have over card, straight draw, second pair, or even a bluff. You’ll need to think about previous hands they have played. Did they check a draw? Maybe they only bet when they hit the flop. 

So How Can You Count Cards In Poker to Figure out the equity?

Now that you’ve got the basics out of the way, learn how to actually calculate equity and convert it to a percentage.

Calculate Hand Equity

Poker card counting is a method to determine your share of the pot depending on how strong your hand is. You can use this technique in order to find out what your chances are against opponents as each street changes and hands start off weak but then turn into winning ones at the end or vice versa.

As you assess your pre-flop hand equity, be sure to factor in the strength of your hole cards. With a strong starting hand, you can expect to see more flops and have better odds of winning post-flop hands. The next best hands are the Sequential cards with similar suits in terms of odds since they can probably form open-ended straights or flush

When you get to the flop, it is important that you know what your pot equity is. Say for example if you have a J♦J♠ hand and an 8♥7♠Q♥ on your board, then there are better odds of you winning when playing against one opponent than if you were up against two or more opponents because they could be holding A-Q which would beat your pair of jacks.

One of the most important factors in this game is pot equity. Your outs, or cards that can win you a hand on their own with no help from other players are just one part of it. For example, if your tight opponent bets into youon a 8♥7♠Q♥ flop, they are likely at least holding a Q. Aggressive players might also be comfortable betting an 8 or 7 here, or possible draws. 

can you count cards in poker

Are There Any Card Counting Programs Specifically for Poker?

You can find a lot of poker software that calculates the likelihood for various hands.

An example is ProPokerTools’ Odds Oracle, which does Texas Hold’em and Omaha calculations with just one click. It’s great to be able to simulate different scenarios and get an idea about how your hand compares.

This tool not only assigns specific cards to the two or more poker players and a community board, but it also has an odd-oracle recreation of various situations. This means that you can have your player’s hand range from 5% on up with this type of card assignment during full ring games. In addition, you can combine ranges or include rank spans on each hand.

The odds are always changing, and the best way to keep up with them is by using a chart. Odds Oracle even has interactive hand stats for you so that if it’s your turn or flop, you can see what percentage of straight outs, flush draws, etc.

The only thing that you can rely on when it comes to card counting is yourself. Even though software for cash games are not available, there are plenty of resources online which allow aspiring gambler to calculate their pot odds by themselves. Click To Tweet

Once they have a feel for what works and what doesn’t work in terms of probability, then they will be able to pull off some successful gambling skills at WSOP live tournaments.

can you count cards in poker

Poker Card Counting FAQ

I’ve put together a list of the most common questions people have about card counting and how to answer them.

What are outs in poker?

Outs are known as the undealt cards a player needs to create or improve their hand. If a player is trying to create a flush draw, they will require 9 outs for them to emerge on the turn or river.

Can you apply card counting in Poker?

Counting cards is a technique used to calculate the odds of winning based on the number of outs required to build a hand and speculation on the range of cards an opponent may be playing.

What is hand equity?

Hand equity is a measure of your chances of winning the pot, depending on the strength of your hand in each street. By understanding your pot equity, you can get a clear picture of your odds for victory.

How do you know whether your draw is good enough to continue?

You need to know the odds of drawing out on a flop. For example, each out you have after the flop is about a 4% chance of hitting. After the turn, your odds are cut in half to about 2% as a rule of thumb. So if you have 8 outs for a straight draw, then you have roughly a 32% of hitting after the flop and 16% if you missed the turn. 

When you have a flush draw on the flop with overcards, there are 9 outs to hit your hand plus 6 more for an overpair. Assuming your overcards could win, you would be favored here with a 60% chance of hitting after the flop. Though if you miss the turn, those odds drop to 30%. 

One of the toughest parts about poker is that your opponent can be blocking some of your outs, and he could have a better hand than just an overpair. That’s why it takes so long to master.

This game is one that takes years to master, but even if you played for thousands of hours you will still find new things to learn about the strategy every day. You need to keep practicing and learning all the time if you want to be a successful player.

If you’re looking to get into poker, but don’t know what games work or not and are tired of wasting money on the tables for trying out new things, then investing in a coaching website is a great option. Click To Tweet

Final Thoughts

For sure you’ve seen people counting cards in poker before. If not, this is how it works: all the unseen hands are taken and then broken down into groups of winning potential or outs (they are commonly known as “outs”). Once the odds are known for any given hand, it helps you to make better decisions.

Good luck at the tables!