Learn Common Texas Hold’em Odds and Start Winning
Contrary to what some poker strategists tend to preach you don’t need to memorize lists of odds and perform complex mathematics to be a winning Hold’em player.
However, there are some simple odds and probabilities that you should know well when you’re drawing to a hand or want to prevent your opponents from doing so.
If you figure that your draw will be the best hand if you hit it, just compare the odds of you hitting that hand to the odds the pot is giving you to decide if you’re making a mathematically sound play.
The odds below are separated into pre-flop and post-flop sections and while some are essential some were thrown in for fun. You will run into this situation often at the table so get into the habit of comparing the actual odds of making your hand against the pot odds you’re receiving.
- 1 Learn Common Texas Hold’em Odds and Start Winning
- 1.1 More on Hold’em odds
- 1.2 Preflop Texas Hold’em Odds
- 1.3 Odds of connecting with the Flop in Hold’em
- 1.4 Odds On the Flop in Texas Hold’em
- 1.5 Odds of hitting a hand by the river from the flop
- 1.6 All-in One-on-One in Texas Hold’em
- 1.7 Just-for-Fun Texas Hold’em odds
- 1.8 More Hold’em odds references
More on Hold’em odds
No Texas Hold’em probability has any context without comparing it to the odds the pot is giving you.
The most important part of Hold'em independent of playing your opponents is arguably comparing pot odds to the odds of improving your hand. Let me show you how to do that and why you need to.
In no-limit games you should often also consider the implied odds if you feel you have a strong read on a hand.
The concept of implied odds is one of the most poorly understood and poorly cited ideas in poker, usually used to justify a decision you shouldn't have made. What are they and when can they actually be useful?
If you’d like to see, on average, how every Texas Hold’em hand plays out long-term against random opponents, you can check out my calculations at the following page. This tells you a hand’s overall strength in relation to every other hand.
A list of every single two-card starting hand in Texas Hold'em along with its long-term winning percentage against 1-8 other players holding random cards. This essentially ranks every hand by strength.
Preflop Texas Hold’em Odds
Bold text = most common playing decisions and thus most important to commit to memory.
If I recommend that you memorize a vital statistic it will be bolded and you will run into it frequently playing Texas Hold’em. In parenthesis, the probability will be expressed in percentages to the nearest tenth.
These odds won’t really affect your game strategy, but it’s interesting to see how rare certain premium cards are. It’s also important to realize that many players overvalue random suited cards or a single, which are dealt relatively frequently. However, the odds that these hands will improve are much less frequent.
Probability of being dealt:
- Any pocket pair: 16 to 1 (5.9%)
- Two suited cards: 3.25 to 1 (23.5%)
- A-K (Big slick – suited or offsuit): 81.9 to 1 (0.9%)
- Any single ace: 5.7 to 1 (15%)
- Pocket Aces: 220 to 1 (0.5%)
- Pocket Aces or Kings: 110 to 1 (1%)
Odds of connecting with the Flop in Hold’em
This is where true strategy and comparing pot odds to the actual odds of hitting a better hand come into play. I’ve listed the most essential common situations of what you’re looking to hit on the flop. It’s a wise idea to try to commit the approximate values to memory so you can quickly make pre-flop decisions at the table.
• Hitting another kind of your pocket pair (making a set): 7.5 to 1 (11.8%)
• You will pair at least one of your unpaired hole cards: 2.1 to 1 (32.4%)
• Hitting two or more of your suit when you hold suited cards: 7.5 to 1 (11.8%)
• Hitting a flush on the flop with suited hole cards: 118 to 1 (0.8%)
• You will hit two pair on the flop with unpaired hole cards: 49 to 1 (2%)
Odds On the Flop in Texas Hold’em
The flop is the turning point of a Hold’em hand. This is where you’re going to make your biggest and most expensive decisions. Knowing the odds of improving your hand after the flop is one of the most important things to remember in Hold’em.
These Hold’em odds, combined with the reading of your opponent(s), will entirely shape whether you continue with a drawing hand or how you make it an incorrect play for your opponent(s) to draw out on your made hand.
This is especially where “outs” come into your line of thinking and how all of these Texas Hold’em odds are generated. For example, if you have 4 cards to a flush you have 9 outs to make your hand on the turn. There are 13 cards per suit and you have 4 of them.
There are 9 unknown cards left that could complete your flush so you have 9 outs out of 47 total unknown cards (52 cards in the deck – your 2 cards and – 3 more on the flop). This is how Texas Hold’em odds are calculated. 9/47 = 19.1, or a 19.1% chance to hit your flush on the turn.
Straight and Flush Draw Odds
Drawing to open-ended straights and flushes, or fear of your opponents doing so, is one of the most common scenarios in Hold’em. Again, compare the following odds to the pot odds you’re receiving in order to calculate if it is correct to continue your draw.
On the flop, when you have:
• Four cards to a flush, you will complete it on the turn: 4.2 to 1 (19.1%)
• An open-ended straight, you will complete it on the turn: 4.9 to 1 (17.9%)
• A set, you will complete a Full House or Four of a Kind on the turn: 5.7 to 1 (14.9%)
• Two pair, you will complete a Full House on the turn: 10.8 to 1 (8.5%)
Note that the figures above also apply on the turn to calculate odds for the river since you have the same 1 card to come.
Odds of hitting a hand by the river from the flop
The following set of odds is the likelihood to complete these hands by the river on the flop, so with 2 cards to come.
On the flop, when you have:
• Four cards to a flush, you will complete it by the river: 1.9 to 1 (35%)
• An open-ended straight, you will complete it by the river: 2.2 to 1 (32%)
• A gutshot straight draw, you will complete it by the river: 5.1 to 1 (17%)
• Two pair, you will complete at least a Full House by the river: 5 to 1 (17.7%)
• Three of a kind, you will complete at least a Full House by the river: 2 to 1 (33.4%)
• One pair, you will complete at least three of a kind by the river: 10.9 to 1 (8.4%)
• An open-ended straight flush draw, you will complete at least a straight by the river: 0.9 to 1 (54.1%)
• An open-ended straight flush draw, you will complete it by the river: 10.9 to 1 (8.4%)
All-in One-on-One in Texas Hold’em
This comes up most often in tournaments when only two players are involved and one of them is all-in. When all of your money goes in preflop against one opponent no further decisions need to be made and the cards will be dealt to the river to determine a winner.
Preflop matchups when played to showdown:
• Larger pocket pair vs. smaller pocket pair (AA vs. KK): Larger pair is at least an 80% favorite
• Pocket Aces vs. unpaired cards (AA vs. KQ): Pocket Aces are at least an 80% favorite
• Pocket Pair vs. overcards (QQ vs. AK): Pocket pair is at least a 52% favorite (commonly referred to as a coin flip)
• Pocket Pair vs. one overcard (JJ vs. A10): Pocket pair is at least a 66% favorite
• Overcards vs. Undercards (AK vs. Q10): Overcards are at least a 57% favorite
• One overcard (A3 vs. J10): Overcard is at least a 50% favorite
• Better kicker (AK vs. AJ): Better kicker is at least a 70% favorite
Just-for-Fun Texas Hold’em odds
These statistics probably won’t affect your game in the slightest, but it’s interesting to know what some of the extreme odds are in Hold’em.
• If you’re holding a pair, the flop will bring you four of a kind about 1 in 119 tries, or 0.84% of the time.
• The odds are 70.5 to 1 (1.4%) that no one at the table has an Ace or a King at a 10-handed table.
• The odds are 87,897 to 1 (0.01%) that you will not be dealt an Ace or a pair for 50 hands.
• You will be dealt pocket Aces four consecutive times 1 in 2,385,443,281 times. Expressed as a percentage, it will happen 0.00000004% of the time.
More Hold’em odds references
- Cardplayer’s Texas Hold’em odds calculator
- Wikipedia’s formula-based Hold’em odds
- Hold’em odds and probabilities in print