Equity in poker
If you are just starting to get into the fascinating game of Poker, it is essential to know the concepts. You’ve probably been reading information and watching videos on how to play, and it all seems new to you, but we’re here to provide you with relevant information, like in this case the meaning of the word Equity.
The funny thing is that you’ve probably seen how it works, without knowing specifically what it was. Remember a game on YouTubeor other channels, when you know all the hands the players have, it shows how likely it is that each hand can win the pot, that’s what equityis.
Simply put, it represents the odds you have of winning a hand, against the rest of the players, in a given situation, which is key to decision making during the game. Sounds very profitable, doesn’t it?
Let’s try to make it even clearer, “equity” is about fairness, and this advantage is expressed as a percentage. What you also have to bear in mind is that it is a value that is volatile and changes as the hands are formed, from preflop to flop and all the way to the river.
How interesting it sounds, doesn’t it? Now let’s understand a little more about the role of equity in poker:
Once you understand what equity in poker is, you’re probably wondering, And how do you calculate the percentage of times you will win the jackpot in a given context and at a given time?. Calculating equity always involves comparing the hands, or hand ranges, of the players involved in a hand. The variable of what is our hand, or range of hands in our strategy, we know. However, the part about estimating what hands your opponent has is a variable that is 100% subject to personal interpretation, as no one plays with their cards face up. In short, these probabilities will only be known exactly once all players involved in the hand show their cards.
Now let’s recap what we have been explaining about equity in poker:
- Equity in poker represents the odds you have of winning a hand in a given situation.
- Remember that online poker is a game of incomplete information, since we do not know for certain what hand our opponents have, what we do have are estimates of our equity, based on the ranks of our opponents.
- For each player profile we can consider a different range when dealing with a given situation.
- While there is no trick or shortcut to learning how opponents play, the ability to figure out “what an opponent has” is a skill whose accuracy will be directly proportional to our experience as poker players and our reading of the game.
While the concept may be a little complicated at first, you don’t have to worry, there is no need to do complicated mathematical calculations in your head, and like any skill that improves with experience, it won’t be long before you know these facts by heart.
What we can recommend are great tools such as the Poker Stove, Free Poker Calculator or equity calculator that help us to calculate the equity in poker in simulated situations. Equity calculators allow you to enter the community cards on the flop (and turn if necessary) and know which hand is the favourite to win in a given situation, so we recommend you familiarise yourself with their use, especially if you are just starting out.
To find out more about how to calculate equity in poker, read on to learnthe logic behind all the decisions you make. Remember, learning and internalising these concepts will make you a better poker player.