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Betting before the flop: The most important poker odds you need to know about

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If you’re like a lot of casino players at Prism, you love our video poker games. We offer loads of variations that simulate a real-world experience. But here’s the thing about our video poker machines. You’re not playing against other players. Unlike other online poker sites that pit you against other poker players from around the world, you’re playing against the house.

Your goal is to make the board. So at most of our poker machines, you’ll automatically win if you have a certain hand or anything better (in many cases, all it takes are two Jacks, but it depends on the machine).

While you don’t have to worry about being bluffed out of a hand by other players, you don’t have the opportunity to bluff other players out of the hand yourself. That’s why live poker or player-vs-player poker sites are so popular. While you won’t automatically get paid by holding a certain hand, you have the opportunity to win big money even if you’ve got a beatable hand thanks to the power to bluff.

If you’re thinking about playing poker against other players, you need to know about odds. In Texas Hold’em, knowing how your hand stacks up to another player’s hole cards is key. And it’s important pre-flop, before you’ve had the chance to see the community cards.

So we’ve gone through some common hands that you might consider playing if you’re dealt them. While you won’t know what other players are holding (remember, their cards are hidden, just like yours), these odds will help you gauge whether they’re safe to play against other potential threats.

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A pocket pair against a smaller pocket pair

We’re talking about a hand like QQ against 55. In this case, you’ve got an 80% vs. 20% chance of winning if you’re holding the bigger pair.

A pocket pair against two over cards

In this situation, let’s assume that you’re holding something like 66. The over cards can be anything, but in this example let’s assume the other guy is holding AK. This one is pretty much a coin toss because the pocket pair has a 55% chance of winning and the two overs have a 45% chance of winning.

A pocket pair against two undercards

This one is like the previous one. You’ve got a pocket pair (let’s say 10/10). Your opponent has two cards, which isn’t a pair (let’s say 8/6). But they are undercards, meaning they’re lower than your pair. You have an 80% chance of winning in this situation, which is way better than the coin toss we described above.

A pocket pair against one overcard, one undercard

What if you’ve got a pocket pair, but your opponent has one card higher than yours and one lower? That changes the odds a bit. It’s not quite a coin toss, but it’s not exactly as good as 80%. Here, your odds of winning are 70%.

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A pocket pair against one overcard and one identical card

The odds for this one are actually about the same as the one we just described. The pocket pair is favored to win 70% of the time.

A pocket pair against one undercard and one identical card

The odds of winning with the pocket pair in this situation jumps to about 85%. The low-value of the other cards brings your odds up, so you can play confidently.

Two overcards against two undercards

We’re looking at a 65% chance of winning for the overcards in a situation like KQ vs. 10/9.

One overcard and one undercard against two middle cards

If you’ve got Ace/10 facing off against a KJ, you might think that it’s a bit of a coin toss. But the odds are actually in favor of the overcard winning. The guy with the Ace would have a 60% shot at victory vs. the guy with the King, even though the kicker is lower.

1st highest and 2nd lowest against 2nd highest and lowest card

What if your cards sort of step around the other guy’s? So one of your cards is the highest, but the other is the 2nd lowest? For example, you’ve got A/10 and the other guy is sitting with Q8. Well, you’re looking at odds of around 65%.

Remember, these are all pre-flop odds. Everything changes the second the first community card hits the felt, and with each card after that. Still a bit confused by all these odds? Remember, the video poker games at Prism are much easier to play. We’re not bluffing, so give them a try.

Antoine Foxx

33 year old male. Has visited Las Vegas several times as well as other great gambling places. Always having a good time. After having a little girl, he couldn’t travel as much so he started enjoying online gaming. Antoine is always looking for something different and interesting. Part time rock star but full time computer geek, he never seems to guarantee a balanced life. Enjoys Cajun food a lot!