Sunday, July 15, 2007

The dirty little secret of Hold'em

I read this in a Hold'em book. Can't remember the exact one and it would take for freaking ever to find it in my stash. Here it is. Statistically speaking, Straights are MORE likely to come in Hold'em than three of a kind. This is because it is a lot easier to make five straight cards out of seven (two hole cards and the five on the board) than it is out of just five cards like in five card draw. Yet in Hold'em the hand rakings still reward Straights more than Trips even though they are more common. So there ya go.


Ryan said...

That feels right, but I'd love to see the math behind this. Is it the idea that seven random cards will make a straight more often than they will make trips? What % of the time in each case? How close is it?

I've also herad it said that "flushes are more common than straights" in hold'em. That's based on the fact that people tend to play any two suited cards way more than they will play any gapped cards, though, and that *any* four-to-a-flush hand is a 9-outer, while many straight draws are gutshots and therefore not seen to the river (by people other than Martin).

Anyway, just verifying that it's "seven random cards" math on trips vs. straights, and not some "tendency of hold'em" thing like flushes vs. straights. Assuming so, it would be interesting to play a night of "true odds" hold'em; have trips beat a straight, and see if it ever comes up. It certainly does feel unfair when you flop a set and lose to a straight.

But then again, it feels unfair to me if I lose after flopping anything but pure air, and even air losses are a little annoying...

Sushi Cowboy said...

It was a purely mathematical analysis of probability. Now granted, it probably did not account for gutshots and the likelihood of someone seeing a hand to the river. My takeaway from the blurb was that if you take any random seven cards from the deck, you could make straights more often than trips. The percentage difference was not large as I recall either but the extra two cards were enough to tip the scales.

Playing true odds night would be mind numbing. If you have a non-paired, no flush possible board and you have the nut straight with someone betting into you...eeek! You don't know if you are throwing money into a chop of throwing it away.