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Poker Equity

Equity in poker is simply the amount of money a player will win in the long run because of the odds of winning a particular hand.

If there is $100 in the pot, and you are a 70% favorite to win, you would have $70 in equity.  A simple poker math calculation is to multiply the pot by your chances of winning to find your equity. For example, $100 X .7 = $70. 

Poker Equity Explained

Example 1

Poker /Equity Example

The most basic way to determine poker equity is to put your opponent on a range of hands.

We are playing a $1/$2 No-Limit holdem cash game on PokerStars. A player in early position makes it $6; we are on the button and find J♦ J♣. We re-raise to $18 and are called by the original raiser. Assuming we know enough about this player we can put him on a range of hands. 

We can rule out the best starting hand since we did not get 4-bet, thus we can narrow his range to:

  • pairs: 2♠ 2♣ - T♠ T♣ against which we have 81% equity
  • suited aces: A♠ 2♠ - A♠ J♠ against which we have 68% equity
  • suited connectors: 2♠ 3♠ - K♠ Q♠ against which we have 76% equity
  • suited broadways J♠ K♠, J♠ A♠, Q♠ T♠, K♠ T♠ against which we have 66% equity

Against this entire range of 33 different hands, we have about 77% equity.  Using the equity formula we have ($39 x .77) $30.03 of equity in this hand.

The pot is $39, and the flop comes:  A♣ Q♣ 6♥

Keeping the same range in mind, our equity changes given the board to about 65% or ($39 x .65) $25.35

Figuring out exact equity in a live setting is a difficult thing to do.  Away from the table you can use software like PokerStove or Equilab to see equity. You can put your hand against a single hand or a range of hands. Spending enough time with this program will make it easier to calculate equity in a live game. 

Example 2

Keeping with the same hand as described above we can start adding and subtracting poker equity based on our perceived range

Let's say our opponent has checked to us. We decide to bet $25 for two reasons:

  • We want to get value from hands that are on draws
  • We gain fold equity from hands that we are behind e.g. Q♦ T♦ since Aces are in our 3bet preflop range

Let's say our opponent will only continue with top pair or better, flush draws, and some broadways. We gain equity and can add that to our absolute equity. To make it simple we will say he is folding on this board 70% of the time. This is known as taking into account fold equity.

Example 3

We are playing a $1/$2 No-Limit Holdem cash game on PartyPoker. We have the A♣ 3♣ and call a raise of $6.

The pot is $15, and the flop comes:  T♣ Q♦ 5♣

Without knowing our opponent’s hand we know we have 9 outs to the nut flush. There is a 35% chance we will make that hand by the river. So we can determine our equity is ($15 x .35) $5.25 for our drawing hand.

Try out equity calcs at the 'welcome lounge' beginner tables on PartyPoker.

Equity Charts

The following chart displays how often a given hand is likely to hold playing against 1, 2, 3, or 4 players.

Hand Equity In Multiway Pots

Odds of winning against 1, 2, 3 or 4 random hands
Hand 1 2 3 4
AA 85% 73% 64% 56%
KK 82% 69% 58% 50%
QQ 80% 65% 54% 45%
JJ 78% 61% 49% 40%
TT 70% 58% 45% 36%
99 72% 54% 41% 33%
88 69% 50% 38% 29%
77 66% 46% 34% 27%
66 63% 43% 32% 25%
55 60% 40% 29% 22%
44 57% 37% 26% 21%
33 54% 34% 24% 19%
22 50% 31% 22% 18%
Hand 1 2 3 4
AKs 67% 51% 41% 35%
AKo 65% 48% 39% 32%
AQs 66% 49% 40% 34%
AQo 65% 47% 37% 30%
AJs 65% 48% 39% 32%
AJo 64% 46% 35% 29%
ATs 65% 47% 37% 31%
ATo 63% 44% 34% 28%
A9s 63% 45% 35% 28%
A9o 61% 42% 31% 25%
A8s 62% 44% 34% 27%
A8o 60% 41% 30% 24%
A7s 61% 43% 33% 27%
A7o 59% 39% 29% 23%
A6s 60% 41% 31% 26%
A6o 58% 38% 28% 22%
A5s 60% 41% 32% 26%
A5o 58% 38% 28% 22%
A4s 59% 40% 31% 25%
A4o 56% 37% 27% 21%
A3s 58% 39% 30% 25%
A3o 56% 36% 26% 20%
A2s 57% 39% 29% 24%
A2o 55% 35% 25% 20%
Hand 1 2 3 4
KQs 63% 47% 38% 33%
KQo 61% 44% 35% 29%
KJs 63% 46% 37% 31%
KJo 61% 43% 34% 28%
KTs 62% 45% 36% 30%
KTo 60% 42% 33% 27%
K9s 60% 42% 33% 27%
K9o 58% 40% 30% 24%
K8s 59% 40% 31% 25%
K8o 56% 37% 27% 21%
K7s 58% 39% 30% 25%
K7o 55% 36% 26% 21%
K6s 57% 38% 29% 24%
K6o 54% 35% 25% 20%
K5s 56% 37% 28% 23%
K5o 53% 34% 25% 19%
K4s 55% 36% 27% 22%
K4o 52% 33% 23% 18%
K3s 54% 36% 27% 22%
K3o 51% 32% 23% 18%
K2s 53% 35% 26% 21%
K2o 50% 31% 22% 17%
KQs 63% 47% 38% 33%
KQo 61% 44% 35% 29%
KJs 63% 46% 37% 31%
KJo 61% 43% 34% 28%
KTs 62% 45% 36% 30%
KTo 60% 42% 33% 27%
K9s 60% 42% 33% 27%
K9o 58% 40% 30% 24%
K8s 59% 40% 31% 25%
K8o 56% 37% 27% 21%
K7s 58% 39% 30% 25%
K7o 55% 36% 26% 21%
K6s 57% 38% 29% 24%
K6o 54% 35% 25% 20%
K5s 56% 37% 28% 23%
K5o 53% 34% 25% 19%
K4s 55% 36% 27% 22%
K4o 52% 33% 23% 18%
K3s 54% 36% 27% 22%
K3o 51% 32% 23% 18%
K2s 53% 35% 26% 21%
K2o 50% 31% 22% 17%
Hand 1 2 3 4
QJs 60% 44% 36% 30%
QJo 58% 41% 33% 27%
QTs 60% 43% 35% 29%
QTo 57% 40% 31% 26%
Q9s 58% 41% 32% 26%
Q9o 56% 38% 29% 23%
Q8s 56% 39% 30% 24%
Q8o 54% 35% 26% 21%
Q7s 55% 37% 28% 23%
Q7o 52% 33% 24% 19%
Q6s 54% 36% 27% 22%
Q6o 51% 32% 23% 18%
Q5s 53% 35% 26% 21%
Q5o 50% 31% 22% 17%
Q4s 52% 34% 26% 21%
Q4o 49% 30% 21% 16%
Q3s 51% 33% 25% 20%
Q3o 48% 29% 21% 16%
Q2s 50% 32% 24% 20%
Q2o 47% 28% 20% 15%
Hand 1 2 3 4
JTs 58% 42% 34% 29%
JTo 55% 39% 31% 25%
J9s 56% 40% 31% 26%
J9o 53% 37% 28% 23%
J8s 54% 38% 29% 24%
J8o 52% 34% 26% 20%
J7s 52% 35% 27% 22%
J7o 50% 32% 24% 18%
J6s 51% 34% 25% 21%
J6o 48% 30% 21% 17%
J5s 50% 33% 25% 20%
J5o 47% 29% 21% 16%
J4s 49% 32% 24% 19%
J4o 46% 28% 20% 15%
J3s 48% 31% 23% 19%
J3o 45% 27% 19% 15%
J2s 47% 30% 23% 18%
J2o 44% 26% 18% 14%
Hand 1 2 3 4
T9s 54% 39% 31% 26%
T9o 52% 36% 28% 23%
T8s 53% 37% 29% 24%
T8o 50% 34% 25% 20%
T7s 51% 35% 27% 22%
T7o 48% 31% 23% 18%
T6s 49% 33% 25% 21%
T6o 46% 29% 21% 17%
T5s 47% 31% 23% 19%
T5o 44% 27% 19% 15%
T4s 46% 30% 23% 18%
T4o 43% 26% 19% 14%
T3s 46% 29% 22% 18%
T3o 42% 26% 18% 14%
T2s 45% 29% 21% 17%
T2o 42% 25% 17% 13%
Hand 1 2 3 4
98s 51% 36% 29% 24%
98o 48% 33% 25% 20%
97s 50% 34% 27% 22%
97o 47% 31% 23% 18%
96s 48% 32% 25% 20%
96o 45% 29% 21% 17%
95s 46% 30% 23% 19%
95o 43% 27% 19% 15%
94s 44% 28% 21% 17%
94o 41% 25% 17% 13%
93s 43% 28% 21% 17%
93o 40% 24% 17% 13%
92s 42% 27% 20% 16%
92o 39% 23% 16% 12%
Hand 1 2 3 4
87s 48% 34% 27% 22%
87o 46% 31% 23% 19%
86s 47% 32% 25% 21%
86o 44% 29% 21% 17%
85s 45% 30% 23% 19%
85o 42% 27% 19% 15%
84s 43% 28% 21% 17%
84o 40% 24% 18% 13%
83s 41% 26% 20% 16%
83o 38% 22% 16% 12%
82s 40% 26% 19% 16%
82o 37% 22% 15% 11%
Hand 1 2 3 4
76s 46% 32% 25% 21%
76o 43% 29% 22% 17%
75s 44% 30% 23% 19%
75o 41% 27% 20% 16%
74s 42% 28% 22% 18%
74o 39% 25% 18% 14%
73s 40% 26% 20% 16%
73o 37% 22% 16% 12%
72s 38% 25% 18% 15%
72o 35% 20% 14% 11%
Hand 1 2 3 4
65s 43% 30% 24% 20%
65o 40% 27% 20% 16%
64s 41% 29% 22% 18%
64o 38% 25% 18% 14%
63s 39% 27% 20% 17%
63o 36% 23% 16% 13%
62s 38% 25% 19% 15%
62o 34% 21% 15% 11%
Hand 1 2 3 4
54s 41% 29% 23% 19%
54o 38% 25% 19% 15%
53s 39% 27% 21% 18%
53o 36% 23% 17% 14%
52s 38% 25% 20% 16%
52o 34% 21% 15% 12%
Hand 1 2 3 4
43s 38% 26% 20% 17%
43o 34% 22% 16% 13%
42s 36% 25% 19% 16%
42o 33% 21% 15% 12%
Hand 1 2 3 4
32s 35% 24% 18% 15%
32o 31% 20% 14% 11%

Getting a hand heads-up is critical for getting hands to hold up and avoiding bad beats.

Poker Equity in the Long Run

Poker players over the world are always wondering how good or bad they are running.  A good scientific way to determine how good or bad you are running is to look at how much equity you have in hands you were all-in with. Once all the money is in there is nothing left to do to adjust your equity for better or worse.

Let's look at an example of several hypothetical all-in hands:

  • J♠ J♦ vs.9♥ 9♣ Pot size: $37 Equity: $30.34 Won: $0.00
  • Q♠ Q♦ vs.Q♣ J♣ Pot size: $11.60 Equity: $10.34 Won: $11.60
  • A♠ A♥ vs. A♦ 7♦ Pot size: $16.40 Equity: $15.22 Won: $17.30
  • K♠ K♣ vs Q♦ Q♠ Pot size: $22.10 Equity: $18.13 Won: $22.10

Total Equity: $74.03          Amount Won: $51.00

As you can see despite winning 3 out of 4 hands as a significant favorite, our one loss puts us below our expected equity (This is a good example of how a small sample size can lead to misleading information). 

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