Equity is a percentage that indicates how often your hand or range is ahead of your opponent's hand or range at showdown. In this video you will learn how to calculate your equity and which factors will influence it.
Introduction to equity
In this video you will learn What equity is How to calculate your equity And what influences your equity.
Your equity is a percentage which indicates how often your hand or range will be ahead at showdown. This value is always between 0% - Never - --- And 100% - meaning that you always win. The equities of all players involved in the hand always add up to 100%. This means that equity is a way to evaluate your hand compared to villain’s hand or range.
So how do you calculate equity? Take a look at the following example:: You are holding Aces and you are all-in pre-flop against deuces. To determine your equity, you need to do a simulation of all possible ways the board can run out. This means you need to find all possible combinations of community cards that have not been dealt yet. The results of all possible showdowns are then counted and set into relation to each other. The percentage of showdowns at which you win is your equity. Since there are 1.7 million different combinations, it’s impossible to do this calculation by hand. That’s why there are special tools that can do this for you. One of them is PokerStrategy.com Equilab. There you simply enter all known cards – in this case it’s aces and deuces. This allows the software to calculate your equity. In this example, your equity is 82.22%. You will win in 82% of the cases if you are all-in with aces against deuces pre-flop.
However, you need to pay attention to the board. Your equity changes once the first community cards have been dealt. This happens because your equity does not only depend on villain’s hand or range, but also on the cards on the board. Again, you are holding aces and you are all-in pre-flop. Villain has deuces again. Your preflop equity is, as you know, 82% to 18% in your favor. Now the flop is being dealt and villain makes a set – three deuces He now has the better hand and there are hardly any cards in the deck that can change that to give you the better hand. This is represented through your equity which has dropped to 9% - you will win this hand in less than 1 out of 10 runs. Fortunately for you, the turn actually brings one of your two remaining aces to turn the hand in your favor. This almost seals the deal and villain has virtually no chance to win this hand. Your equity is 98%, you will win in almost all cases. The river brings another ten. You have the better full house and win the hand. Looking at your equity over the course of the hand you can see how each new card influenced the equity of your hand.
In past examples you always determined your equity against villain’s specific hand, but in most cases you don’t know the exact hand and have to assume a certain range for villain. In this example, hero has a pair of sixes. Villain has a range of ace-ten-offsuit or better Your hand has 54% equity against this range pre-flop. Now you assume a different range for villain, for example any pair, sevens or better. Now your equity changes quite drastically, even though your own hand stayed the same – a par of sixes. Now you only have 19% equity. This means that one hand can have several different equities depending on villain’s range. The strength of your specific hand is called “absolute hand strength”, a pair of sixes in this case. However, if you compare the strength of your hand to a certain hand or range that villain has, this is called "relative hand strength“. This relative hand strength is what you should base your decisions on at the table.
Let's take a look at a few examples for typical situations and the corresponding equity percentages: You know the first one already: aces versus deuces, or to put in more general terms, a pair versus a higher pair. With that you always have roughly 82% equity. What about a situation in which you have a pair versus two overcards? Take sixes versus ace-king as an example. Think about this for a moment and try to estimate your equity. (short break…) As you can see, it’s 54%.
Next example: Two overcards versus two undercards: What’s your guess for your equity in such a scenario? It’s 62% percent. The next hand is an example for one overcard versus one undercard, ace-deuce versus king-trey. Your hand has 61% equity in this example, making it slightly worse than in the last example.
Now let's take a look at a few examples of equity in which there are already cards on the board. You hold six-seven of clubs and the flop comes down ace-jack-deuce with two clubs. Villain has ace-king, which means that you have a flush draw while he has top pair. What would be your guess for your equity in such a spot against villain’s hand? You will win in 37% of the cases. Here’s another example of a draw on the flop versus top pair. This time you have an open-ended-straight-draw. What’s your equity in this case? It’s slightly worse than in the previous example, you only have 34%.
In this spot you have two overcards on the flop and villain hit top pair with his eight-nine. What’s your equity? You are a 24% underdog.
To summarize: Your equity indicates how often your hand or range is ahead of villain’s hand or range at showdown. The way the board runs out has a great influence on your equity. Your equity depends on villain’s range. Last but not least you should always consider your relative hand strength and base your decisions on it.