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Hit Poker Definition

Hitting a Flop - Hit the River

by Jesse Knight
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Hit The Flop
Hit - To catch a card or a series of cards that you need.


When a player attempts to complete a poker hand, he will need to hit one or more cards in order to do so. The cards that he can hit which will cause him to win the pot are frequently referred to as his “outs.” The more outs that he has, the better the chance he has to hit one of them, and the more frequently he will end up winning the pot.

If you catch a card that helps your hand, it can be described as “hitting” regardless of whether or not that card ultimately causes you to win the hand or not. For example, if you spike an ace on the turn, it can be sad that you “hit” an ace. Even if the card that hits is not helpful to your hand, it can still be said that you hit it. In this context, to hit a card simply means to catch it, and nothing concrete is assumed about the final outcome of the hand. In addition to “hitting” a card that you are drawing to, you can also “hit” a hand. For example, if you hold two suited cards, and flop three more of the same suit, you have “hit” a flush on the flop.

Sometimes, when you are a long shot or have only a few outs to win the hand, and you catch, it can be described simply as “hitting.” Similarly, if you have been getting lucky over a period of time and have been catching more than your fair share of cards, it can be generally described as “hitting.” If you catch the only card possible for you to win the pot, it can be described as “hitting a one outer.” If your opponent has hit his only card, it can be said that you “got hit by a one outer.” If you are frequently hitting your hand, it is often described as “running good.” Conversely, when you are not hitting, it is known as “running bad.”

In the short run, you may be either lucky or unlucky hitting cards. In the long run, the percentage of time that you hit will be directly related to the quality of the draws that you are taking and the number of outs that you have. Since you can’t do much about short term luck, you should focus your attention on long run results. This means that you should be selective about the draws you choose to take, regardless of how lucky or unlucky you have been over the short run.

When selecting which draws to take, you should consider the value of your hand, or your pot equity. The goal is to only take draws that will be profitable over the long run, while avoiding unprofitable ones. A majority of the drawing situations that you face will be unprofitable, so you have to have some discipline when selecting which draws to take. Some of the bad draws you avoid will end up hitting, but you should not second guess yourself. Avoiding bad draws is essential if you want to win over the long run.

Great players tend to be very good at being selective and avoiding bad draws. Conversely, bad players tend to take a lot of very bad draws. Since bad players draw far more frequently than good players, they will end up hitting a much greater number draws over the long run. But the cost of chasing those draws will far exceed the profit made on the few that are hit. Consequently, the players who hit the most frequently often end up losing the most money. As you can see, playing profitable poker is not about hitting as many draws as possible, but instead is about making quality investments with the chips that you have in front of you.

It is common for a short stacked player in a tournament to push all in if the flop “hits” any part of their hand.

Usage: Hit A Flush, Hit One Of My Outs, Hit An Ace, Hitting This Month

Previous Poker Term: Heads Up
Next Poker Term: Hit and Run

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