Bad beats in poker are not as rare as they may seem at first glance. Each starting hand in Hold’em has a certain chance of winning against any of your opponent’s combinations. However, the difference between the odds of winning these hands is rarely very large. Only the strongest pocket combinations have an advantage over the weakest combinations by more than 2 times.
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In order for one of the hands to have a 2 times higher chance of winning in poker than the other, it must consist of a higher pair of cards than the opponent’s pair. The odds of winning don’t just depend on the pair and the seniority of the cards in it. Some pocket cards have more potential to win by showdown than others.
For example, single-suit cards have a slight advantage over multi-suit cards of the same value. This is due to the former’s ability to make a flush, a strong hand that will turn out to be a winning hand in most cases. Also valuable in Texas Hold’em are combinations consisting of connectors – cards that differ from each other by one rank. For example, 9 and 10. These hands have the potential to turn into a straight – also a very strong combination.
The chance of a hand improving to a straight also depends on its value. For example, an AK hand can be completed with only three cards, 10JQ, to make a straight. Cards 67, on the other hand, have more options for improvement – 34567, 45678, 56789, 678910.
It’s not hard to guess that single-suit connectors in poker have an even better chance of winning than just connectors or two single-suit cards. They can turn into a straight, a flush, or even a straight flush.
The strength of weak single-suit connectors is quite often overestimated by players new to poker. In fact, cards like 56s have only a 33% chance of winning against any opponent’s spectrum. However, they have the advantage that as the number of opponents increases, those odds don’t drop as dramatically as, for example, pocket pairs. That’s why the One-Hand Connectors are a pretty good hand when forming a multipot.
Senior unpaired cards like AK have a good chance of winning, but they are not a complete hand, so they lose to any weak pair. However, these connectors have good potential against multiple players. For example, in a hand against three opponents with pocket pairs of TT, J J, and Q Q, AK’s showdown hand will win 30% of the hand.
However, AK is extremely difficult to play in the multi-top. The fact is that if you don’t hit the flop, it’s very risky to continue the hand. Even if the flop helped, it is possible that one of your opponents will make a set with a pocket pair.
An important factor in determining the strength of a pocket hand is the rank of the cards it contains. The higher the value of these cards, the more likely they are to be the highest kickers, or form the best pair or other combination in poker.
Weak Aces are starting hand combinations consisting of an Ace and one low value card. For example, A3, or A7. These cards are also often overrated by beginners. Even though A2 has a 57% chance of winning against connectors like KQ, the odds of winning remain the same against any other medium strength card. And if the hand is against an opponent with any pair, the chance of winning with a weak ace is reduced to 30%. If these aces are also one-sided, the probability of winning increases slightly, by about 2% compared to multi-sided cards.