How counting cards work

Counting cards poker is a controversial strategy that is particularly useful for beginners looking for guidance. Here you calculate probabilities in the game. Counting cards poker is an additional strategy that can be used while playing poker and that can be great fun. Let’s have a look on how to count cards.

Look at poker cards systematically

It’s always about finding probabilities. So, probability calculation is the basis of counting cards poker. Knowing the likelihood of a card being played will help you better evaluate and target your hand.

Counting card methods in Poker

The method of counting cards can be used in poker. The general concept is we want to keep track of which cards are staying in the deck so we can gauge our chances of making a winning hand with the later cards. The first important skill is to be aware of the exact number of cards that can help us.

The point is to determine how likely it is that you will get a very strong hand with your hand. To do this, it is important to determine how many cards from the deck could help you, the so-called outs.

Let’s say you hold 8, J while the board has K,3, 8. With another 8 you would have three of a kind and with a jack, you would have two pairs. Since there are already two eights and one jack face up, there are still 2 eights and 3 jacks that could help you get a strong hand. A poker deck consists of 52 cards. Minus the 5 open cards, there are still 47 cards that are invisible to us. So, the probability that we come across a card that is beneficial for us is 5:47 or 1: 9.4. In other words, the card we need only comes in one out of 9 cases.

The second factor to consider when counting card in poker is the odds. These indicate how high your stake is in relation to the pot. The rule of thumb is: “Use your chips only in relation to your probability of winning”. In other words, if the pot has a value of 90 and you had to bet 10 to stay in it, this would be close to the limit in our example, but still acceptable. In principle, counting cards poker can provide a good orientation for your betting behavior. However, you should never rely on mathematics alone, always think logically and, above all, read your opponents. Odds and outs are just one of the many poker strategies.

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