PreFlop Hand Comparisons
To get an idea of the value of your texas holdem hand, you need to know how it would stand up against other hands. You can calculate your pot odds preflop quite easily but the problem is that you have no factor to weigh against it. 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 vs 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.
Pocket Pair vs. Smaller Pocket Pair
(ex. KK vs. 66)
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.
Pocket Pair vs. Two Overcards
(ex. 77 vs AK)
This is the typical coin flip situation, typically 55% vs. 45% in favor of the pocket pair. Note a hand like Jack-Ten suited vs. a small pocket pair (55 or lower) actually has the edge because the pair does not interfere with Jack-Ten's straight making ability.
Pocket Pair vs. Two Undercards
(ex. QQ vs. T8)
80% to 20% in favor of the pocket pair. The two undercards actually vary between 14% and 23%. That's based on the suits and if the two overcards interfere with their ability to make a straight.
Pocket Pair vs. One Overcard and One Undercard
(ex. TT vs. K9)
70% to 30% in favor of the pocket pair. It also helps the over/over hand by 1% or so if it is an Ace and a 2,3,4, or 5, because in those cases the pocket pair doesn't interfere with your straight chances.
Pocket Pair vs Same Card and One Overcard
(ex. JJ vs. AJ)
Almost the same as the above scenario, 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 vs Same Card and One Undercard
(ex. AA vs. AK)
This is the worst situation you can be in. Uber-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%.
Two Overcards vs. Two Undercards
(ex. KQ vs. JT)
This one often surprises beginners. It's typically 65% to 35%. If the undercards are significantly far enough away from the overs and suited without matching an overcard's suit, it can reduce the advantage to as much as 60% to 40%.
Overcard & Undercard vs. two middle cards
(ex. A9 vs. QJ)
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.
1st and 3rd Highest vs. 2nd and 4th Highest
(ex. KJ vs. QT)
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 for the guy with the highest card.
Dominated with same high card
(AQ vs AT)
Usually the person with the high kicker wins 2 out of every 3 times, but as the kickers get lower, the edge starts to disappear because of split pot possibilities.
Dominated with same low card
(KT vs. AT)
The dominated hand has at best around 40%, if it's a suited connector vs. 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.
(87 vs 87)
If it's suited vs. offsuit, the suited cards gain a 2.5% edge. In any other case, it'll be 50%-50% (surprised?).
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