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.

King of Clubs King of Diamonds vs Seven of Spades Seven of Diamonds

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.

King of Diamonds Ace of Hearts vs Seven of Spades Seven of Diamonds

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.

Seven of Spades Nine of Diamonds vs King of Clubs King of Diamonds

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.

Seven of Spades Ace of Hearts vs King of Clubs King of Diamonds

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.

Seven of Spades Seven of Diamonds vs Seven of Clubs King of Clubs

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.

Two of Clubs King of Spades vs King of Clubs King of Diamonds

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!

Seven of Spades Nine of Diamonds vs King of Diamonds Ace of Hearts

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%.

Nine of Diamonds Ace of Hearts vs Jack of Diamonds Queen of Spades

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.

Nine of Diamonds Queen of Spades vs Jack of Diamonds Ace of Hearts

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.

Jack of Diamonds King of Clubs vs Queen of Spades King of Diamonds

Dominated

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.

Seven of Spades Queen of Spades vs Seven of Diamonds King of Clubs

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.

Seven of Diamonds Eight of Clubs vs Seven of Spades Eight of Spades

Tied

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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