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Hand rankings

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  • Hand rankings

    Hi people, I´m a beginner player and I hope to use this forum to clear some doubts of mine that might appear and soon be able to contribute around here

    So, one of my first problems when I tried to study the game seriously was : Which hole cards are the best? I was soon introduced to some rankings that already exist : Sklansky I guess the most famous, Todd Mummert´s, Phil Hellmuth´s, the Chen formula that allows power ranking, ranking based on statistics of real games.

    I know that even in pre-flop there are a *lot* of variables to observe and to become familiar with, like position, previous reading, raises ... but isolating just this one variable - our initial cards, is there one ranking that is "correct"?

    What should one try to get when using such a chart? I think the idea is to know purely how many worse and better hands there exist compared to yours. Additional information might change all of that and a "bad" hand (ranked low) might become a good hand. But I would like to know what´s the mathematical correct ranking, the one that describes the solution to the simple problem: Given two cards, what are the odds that this hand is the winning hand considering an additional random set of 5 cards (flop+turn+river) and N pairs of random cards that compete against you? Rank this cards from the highest to lowest.

    I could rely on Sklansky´s ranking? I hope I made myself clear. Thanks in advance,

  • #2
    Hi Dunecat, May I first say that you are very welcome here at PSO! If you are a beginner as you say, I would strongly suggest using the hand ranking chart that you would have seen in the Core Course which you have passed. Generally, all the experienced players agree that these are the starting hands that will offer you the best chances. There is a beginners training series by professional Spacegravy and in Part 1 he makes recommendations for starting hands for different positions and blind levels. It's well worth watching! Again, it's great to see you here! Why not drop an introduction into the New Members section and let us know a little about how you got started playing poker and how you came across PSO. Wishing you every success at the tables. Raiser umbup:


    • #3
      Hi Dunecat and welcome!

      i agree that if your just starting out playing poker your best off using the starting hand chart fm PSO.

      you will notice that as you progress and learn you will probably open up your game (or not).
      play with the chart next to your pc and take your time to learn. if you play no limit hold em, stick to the chart in the beginning!! this way you will have the best chance because it lists the better starting hands for every postition.

      i would also advice to follow some live training sessions. when you register as a participant you can NOT play at the same table as the instructor but you will be able to ask questions in chat and there are a lot of people willing to help you.

      hope to see you in a live training and good luck at the tables!


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies ... yes, of course I forgot to add the PSO ranking but my main doubt remains.

        You both said the PSO chart would be the best to start. My question is then : what are the underlying assumptions in its construction? What are the underlying assumptions in Sklansky´s or some other, for example? Since they are different, there are only two options: they were made based on different assumptions and/or for different uses or some of them are simply wrong.

        For example, some rankings give the best hands as : AA, KK, QQ, AKs, AK, JJ (PSO), others as AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AKs (Sklansky) and so on... It´s a big step to say that AK is a better starting hand than JJ, so, what´s going on here?
        Was that problem already studied as a mathematical problem in no limit holdem and any of these rankings is its solution?


        • #5
          Hi Dunecat,
          My poker calculator said @ 9 player table everyone all in pre flop.
          Percentage chance of winning. against 8 unknown hands
          10 10=19.5%
          72os= 6%

          Hope this Helps
          Last edited by chuckkky; Tue Dec 20, 2011, 07:56 AM.


          • #6
            Hi Dunecat,

            My understanding of the charts is ..

            The underlying assumsume of these charts is that the Hands with the highest chance of winning are at the top.

            The Chart assumes that you don't realy know how to read a table in terms of other players, your image, your position and some relies on the "strenght" or % chance that that these are winning hands based on 1000000000000's of projected hands (ok so i made that number up).

            One tool you can use as well as the charts is Pokerstove, which will let you put in your holdings as well as a range of hands for other players. the program plays out random hands and gives you a % chance for this hand to win against the range.

            Of course for this to be useful you need to have some idea of the kind of hands your oppenants may be playing.

            more help can be found in this video


            Grade b
            I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill

            13 Time Bracelet Winner


            • #7
              Yes, it is something like that I want to know. I´ll download that software. For now, I just want the ranked list of hands. I believe that although the magnitude of the odds change with the number of players, the order of the list wouldn´t. You, guys don´t have any chart of that kind in mind, at least for the best hands ?



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