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Texas Hold 'em Hole Cards Odds

Have you ever played a game and said, "Why does he always get the good hole cards?" or "That guy always gets pocket rockets!" Well, neither of those are true. That guy just simply knows how to play them well whenever they do come up. And so the question is, how often do they come up?

Your odds of getting pocket Aces are 220 to 1 against. You can see why you may experience a dry spell of pocket rockets, as statistically you may not be dealt one for several games! The odds of getting dealt any pocket pair (Deuces through Aces) 16 to 1 against (which seems more reasonable, yet it could be only once every half hour in a live game). However, your odds of getting a "good" pocket pair (which I'm defining as Ten through Ace) is only 43.2:1.

Below are the odds for some popular, desireable hands. If you want to determine the odds for a specific hand, you can use our Texas Hold 'em Pocket Calculator.

Hand Odds
AKs 331 : 1
AA 220 : 1
AKs, KQs, QJs, or JTs 81.9 : 1
AK 81.9 : 1
AA, KK, or QQ 72.7 : 1
AA, KK, QQ or JJ 54.3 : 1
AA, KK, QQ, JJ, or TT 43.2 : 1
Suited cards, Jacks or better 54.3 : 1
Suited cards, 10 or better 32.2 : 1
Suited connectors 24.5 : 1
Connected cards, 10 or better 19.7 : 1
Any 2 cards with rank at least Queen 19.1 : 1
Any 2 cards with rank at least Jack 10.1 : 1
Any 2 cards with rank at least 10 5.98 : 1
Connected cards 5.38 : 1

Let's take a better look at the mathematics behind these calculations.

There are 1,326 different possible starting hands. However, for this analysis, let's say the suits do not matter (for now). In Texas Hold 'em, it doesn't matter if your pocket Aces are Spades and Clubs instead of Diamonds and Hearts, as all suits are equal. This is unlike some card games where each suit has a different weight, such as Bridge. Since the particular suit does not matter, it increases your odds.

Ignoring the particular suits, there are 169 different possible starting hands, derived by looking at the three main types of hole cards: pocket pairs, suited cards, and unpaired offsuit cards. There are 13 different pocket pairs (22 thru AA), 78 suited hands (23s thru AKs), and 78 offsuit hands (23o thru AKo). 13 + 78 + 78 = 169

Each of those three types of hole cards have different odds associated with them. Let's review each type in depth.

Pocket pairs are the easiest one to understand and the example we are all most familiar with. For pocket Aces, you could have:

  1. Ace of Spades and Ace of Clubs
  2. Ace of Spades and Ace of Hearts
  3. Ace of Spades and Ace of Diamonds
  4. Ace of Hearts and Ace of Clubs
  5. Ace of Hearts and Ace of Diamonds
  6. Ace of Clubs and Ace of Diamonds

Therefore, you have six possible combinations of pocket Aces, or any other pocket cards.

Now let's look at the different types of suited pocket cards. If you want hole cards of suited Ace-King, it does not matter if they are Spades, Clubs, Hearts or Diamonds. This makes the math very easy. There are only four possible ways to get Ace-King suited:

  1. Ace of Spades and King of Spades
  2. Ace of Clubs and King of Clubs
  3. Ace of Hearts and King of Hearts
  4. Ace of Diamonds and King of Diamonds

So this leaves the offsuit non-paired pocket cards still to be examined. To get an offsuit Ace-King, there are twelve different possible ways to get this:

  1. Ace of Spades and King of Clubs
  2. Ace of Spades and King of Hearts
  3. Ace of Spades and King of Diamonds
  4. Ace of Clubs and King of Spades
  5. Ace of Clubs and King of Hearts
  6. Ace of Clubs and King of Diamonds
  7. Ace of Hearts and King of Spades
  8. Ace of Hearts and King of Clubs
  9. Ace of Hearts and King of Diamonds
  10. Ace of Diamonds and King of Spades
  11. Ace of Diamonds and King of Clubs
  12. Ace of Diamonds and King of Hearts

Let's look at an example to put this all together. The chances of getting Ace-King suited is 4 successful chances out of 1,326. This gives an odds of 330.5:1.

Now that you understand the statistics behind determining what pocket hand you will be dealt, are you wondering what the odds are of getting a specific hand? Click here to use our Texas Hold 'em Pocket Calculator. This link provides you a very useful tool to analyze the odds of getting one or more pocket cards.


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