Poker and Aces

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And it just keeps getting worse, as the famous “right back at you” between Tom Cruise’s character and Grady Seasons went in The Color of Money. There will be times on the poker flop when you are likely in trouble, but there will be plenty of times on the turn when you should know without a doubt that you are mortally wounded. You look down and see A-A, so you raise and get three callers. You are against two pretty good hands: J-9 and 6-6.

If the flop comes as shown in the figure below, you’ll be a slight underdog.

Poker Club Qeen

 

Aces are great, but only until you see the flop

 

If the turn is an Eight or a Queen, you are drawing dead, as the best you do is make trip Aces. If the turn is the 6, you are also drawing dead because you cannot beat a flush or a full house. The random hand is long gone, of course. The best you can hope for is a blank, such as the 4. The table below shows the percentages with this turn of events.

Hold ’Em Hand Results

Hand Percentage of Money Won
Flop (T-Q-3) Turn (4)
A-A 44.7% 64.5%
J-9 51.2% 33.2%
6♥-6 4.1% 2.4%

The double draw now has one shot to hit either a straight or a flush, so it has its customary 1/3 chance to make. The pair of Sixes is still waiting for another Six, and you’re praying hard for a blank on the river. The only real way you could be in trouble is if someone made two pair playing any two suited cards or a semi-quality hand like QTs. The meek shall inherit the Earth, but only after the brave leave it to them in their wills. Get in that pot!

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