Definition of Dirty Outs

When a player has an inferior hand, relative to the player’s opponents, an out is a winning opportunity. In other words, an out is any potentially dealt card that improves the hand to the point that it is superior to the other hands.

A player does not always know if a potential card is an out. A dirty out is any potential card that may or may not provide an out. The opposite of this is a clean out, which is guaranteed, or at least highly certain, to provide an out.

Meaning of the term Dirty Outs in the game of pokerIn any given poker hand, there can be a wide range of dirty outs. One dirty out may have near-certain odds while another is highly unlikely. From this perspective, the near-certain dirty out is labeled a clean out to differentiate it.

A player often needs to count outs in order to make a decision. The significance of dirty outs is that, depending on the situation, it may be wise to discard them. Often, a dirty out is as good as a non-out when it comes to a decision.

Counting outs is an integral part of calculating pot odds or implied odds, a key component of decision-making in poker. If a player factors in none, some or all dirty outs, that has a significant effect on the calculated odds.

One of the most common types of dirty outs is a card, based on knowledge of the board, that could improve the player’s hand, but improve the opponent’s hand even more. In this scenario, the player should disregard the out.


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