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Basic Odds For Preflop Hand Matchups in Poker

9 March 2005, By:
Newer players are often confused about odds with certain hands and believe that they should've won the pot.

Here's a list of a few head-to-head hand matchups and the odds of each player winning the pot.

Underpair against two unsuited, non-connecting overcards (AJo vs. 66): 66 will win 55% of the time.

Underpair against two suited, connecting overcards (AKs vs. 66): 66 will win about 52% of the time.

Overpair against an underpair (KK vs. 88): KK will win about 81% of the time.

Overpair against two smaller suited connectors (KK vs. 87s): KK will win 77% of the time (surprising to many newer players).

Two overcards against two connecting smaller cards (AK vs. 76o): AK will win only about 62% of the time (also surprising to many newer players).

Pair against one overcard and the third card of that rank (88 vs. A8): 88 wins 70% of the time. The odds are about the same when two hands share a card (for example: 98o vs. 87o); the hand with the higher second card will also win 69-70% of the time.

Finally: hand like AK vs. AQ in which both hands have the same highest card: AK will win about 74% of the time (this is a good situation to be in in a tournament with AK- just make sure you're not up against a pair unless you're willing to gamble).

Hopefully, these quick odds will help you with your tough decisions. May your WSOP dreams and WPT wishes become true!

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