In the example above, our flush could well end up being best if we hit a diamond. But if our opponent either already has a flush, or has any other diamond (a very strong possibility, as our opponent could be semi-bluffing here), then the diamonds don’t help us at all. In fact, our flush is probably good one-third of the time or less; we’ll count our “nine” outs as more like three, and even that might be generous.
Our straight draw fares even worse. Not only do we have the same issues with a flush beating us, but now any ten has us beat! We could still count our straight outs as a single out – hey, you never know.
All totaled, that gives us about four outs worth of chances to win, with 46 cards left in the deck. To make a call then, we’d need about 10.5-1 odds…making the 4-1 we’re receiving not nearly good enough. While discounting our outs is rarely this easy, it’s a process every good poker player should go through when considering their hand’s chances of winning.
While you can do all of this math in your head, sometimes a helping hand can come in handy.