Preflop Hand Comparisons
To get an idea of the value of a Texas holdem hand, you need to know how it would stand up against other hands. Preflop pot odds calculations can be pretty easy but you still need a factor to weigh against those odds. This often leads to tough decisions in the blind positions whether a bad hand is worth calling a raise because of the odds offered. Below are a list of the common groupings of hands versus other hands along with the percentage so your have a better idea of when to call with garbage. The percentages expressed are the chance of one hand winning against another if they go all the way to the showdown.
Pair versus Pair
80% vs. 20% in favor of the bigger pair. It varies based on distance from each other (because then they interfere with straight-making). If they are close (AA vs. KK), it gives strength to the higher pocket pair. Having the similar suits also gives strength to the higher pocket pair.
Pair versus Two Overcards
This is your typical coin flip situation, typically 55% vs. 45% in favor of the pocket pair. Note a hand like Jack-Ten suited against a small pocket pair (55 or lower) actually has the edge because the pair does not interfere with Jack-Ten's straight making ability.
Pair versus Two Undercards
Around 80% to 20% in favor of the pocket pair. The undercards vary between 14% and 23%. It's based on the suits and if the two overcards interfere with their ability to make a straight.
Pair versus Overcard/Undercard
About 70% to 30% in favor of the pocket pair. It also helps the over/under hand by 1% or so if it is a low ace (five or lower) in those cases where the pocket pair doesn't interfere with a straight.
Pair versus Same Card and One Over
Almost the same as the above scenario, it's 70%-30% to 65%-35% in favor of the pocket pair. The pocket pair's advantage can end up as low as 60% if it's against middle-suited connectors.
Pocket Pair versus Same Card and One Under
This is the worst situation you can be in: super dominated. It's around a 85% to 15% chance in favor of the pocket pair. Even if the pocket pair is up against a suited connector, it is at best 80% to 20%. The absolute worst case scenario in holdem is the example, where K2o is 22-1 to win!
Overcards versus Undercards
This one often surprises new players. It's typically 65% to 35%. If the unders are significantly far enough away from the overs and suited (and without matching any overcard suits), it can reduce the advantage to as little as 60% to 40%.
Over/Under versus Two In-Between
This is usually around 60%-40% in favor of the overcard/undercard. It can reduce the advantage to 52% to 48% with a middle-suited connectors that don't share a suit with the over/under and where there is no straight interference. Something like A2o vs 89s.
Alternating (High/3rd versus Low/2nd)
Varies from a 70%-30% to a 60%-40% advantage for the 1st/3rd hand but mostly just falls around a typical 2 to 1 edge to the player with the highest card.
Usually the person with the higher kicker wins 2 out of every 3 times or better, but as the kickers get lower, the edge starts to disappear because of split pot possibilities.
Same Low Card
The dominated hand has around 40% at best if it is a suited connector against two unsuited cards without poor straight potential. Otherwise it's 2 to 1 in favor of the higher hand. If the low cards are really low (A3 vs. A2), there is a significant chance of a split pot, which would give an edge to the dominated hand.
If it is suited versus offsuit like the example, then the suited cards gain a 2.5% edge or so. In any other case, it'll be...um...50%-50%, believe it or not. Pair against pair or other match-ups without similar suits are each 2.17% to win (the chance of a flushy board), with a 95.65% chance of a tie.
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