Texas Holdem Expected Value Hand Charts; 9 Players

Texas Holdem Expected Value Hand Charts 9 Players

Below is a table of Texas Holdem starting hands, ordered by their Expected Value (EV) in a 9 player holdem game.
These statistics were produced by using millions of hand histories to compute the following results.
The below chart is very interesting because you can see the EV change as your position changes along the table. Youll also notice how some hands become profitable once you have a favorable position.

The Best Texas Holdem Hands by Winning Percentage

If youve ever played Texas Holdem you already know how important starting hand selection is.

Ive found that lack of hand strength knowledge is the #1 reason that beginning poker players lose.

The problem is that most starting hand guidelines are all based on opinion and there certainly isnt a shortage of those.

What if there was a way to rank Texas Holdem hands simply by strength and winning percentage?

What if you could take opinion out of the equation?

Thats what I developed in these charts and what you can use to make better decisions at the tables. Each one is based on simulations of at least 10 million hands.

These numbers tell you the exact long-term winning percentage of every hand in Holdem against specific numbers of opponents holding random cards.

Heres the bottom line:

I believe that long-term average winning percentage is the perfect way to rank starting hands in Texas Holdem.

No arbitrary bias, no adjustable strategy; simply the raw metrics of the game.

Why random cards?

One interesting key you should keep in mind is the simulations I ran to get these numbers are based on opponents holding random cards.

Why random cards? Because thats the only way to run a fair simulation without bias.

You and I might realistically know that pocket Aces are almost never going to play to a showdown against 7-2 offsuit, but if you try to limit simulations to hands that are likely to meet youve introduced opinion to data.

If Im just giving opinions I can make an opinion-based starting Holdem hand chart and be done with it.

Thats been done to death and Im not terribly interested in repeating it.

These charts wont tell you, Play this hand and not this one, but theyll rank which hands win more than others statistically. Youll learn why hands are as strong as they are.

Thats pretty powerful, right?

Printable PDF of all my hand rankings

This is an 8.5 x 11-inch PDF of every Holdem hand strength chart Ive calculated. Ive also formatted it as a color-coded heat map so you can easily see which class any given hand is in by its cell color.

It is sized to print perfectly on one sheet of paper, making it handy to live in front of your monitor and serve as a non-verbal guilt-maker for playing that 4 - 3 with a black rating.

Note: If sitting in front of your monitor and next to you mouse it can also serve as a dried hummus catcher, coaster, and scrap paper for writing random phone numbers down when your phone wont let you switch to Notes during a voicemail. I know it happens to you, too.

Click the image below to view/download the PDF.


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Holdem Starting Cards

The following chart contains every 2-card possible combination you can be dealt in Texas Holdem. The hands are arranged by largest hole card with a separate section for pocket pairs.

Each hand will be followed by its long-term winning percentage (out of 100) against a specific number of opponents holding random cards. I believe that is the most logical way to rank overall poker hand strength.

It may be obvious, but look at how every starting hand wins less against more opponents. Statistics are telling you why you need to isolate with premium hands.

Every Texas Holdem Poker Hand by Winning Percentage

These charts show the average winning percentage (its equity) of every Holdem hand at showdown. To find a specific hands ranking look it up by its largest card. Unless noted, unpaired cards are unsuited. Suited cards add an average winning percentage of 3-4%.

Average Winning Percentage (out of 100) with Pairs


Winning Percentage with Ace-x

Winning Percentage with King-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
KQ (suited) 63 47 38 33 28 25 23 20
KQ 61 44 35 29 25 21 19 17
KJ 61 43 34 28 24 20 18 16
K10 60 42 33 27 22 19 17 15
K9 58 40 30 24 20 17 14 12
K8 56 37 27 21 17 15 13 11
K7 55 36 26 21 17 14 12 10
K6 54 35 25 20 16 13 11 10
K5 53 34 25 19 15 13 11 10
K4 52 33 23 18 15 12 11 9
K3 51 32 23 18 14 12 10 9
K2 50 31 22 17 14 12 10 9

Winning Percentage with Q-x

Winning Percentage with J-x

Winning Percentage with 10-x

Winning Percentage with 9-x

Winning Percentage with 8-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
87 (suited) 48 34 27 22 19 17 15 14
87 46 31 23 19 15 13 12 10
86 44 29 21 17 14 12 10 9
85 42 27 19 15 12 11 9 8
84 40 24 18 13 11 9 8 7
83 38 22 16 12 10 8 7 6
82 37 22 15 11 9 8 6 6

Winning Percentage with 7-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
76 (suited) 46 32 25 21 18 16 14 13
76 43 29 22 17 14 12 11 10
75 41 27 20 16 13 11 10 9
74 38 25 18 14 11 10 9 8
73 37 22 16 12 10 8 7 6
72 35 20 14 11 9 7 6 5

Winning Percentage with 6-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
65 (suited) 43 30 24 20 17 15 14 13
65 40 27 20 16 13 12 10 9
64 38 25 18 14 12 10 9 8
63 36 23 16 13 11 9 8 7
62 34 21 15 11 9 8 7 6

Winning Percentage with 5-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
54 (suited) 41 29 23 19 17 15 14 13
54 38 25 19 15 13 11 10 9
53 36 23 17 14 11 10 9 8
52 34 21 15 12 10 9 8 7

Winning Percentage with 4-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
43 (suited) 38 26 20 17 15 13 12 11
43 34 22 16 13 11 9 8 8
42 33 21 15 12 10 8 7 7

Winning Percentage with 3-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
32 (suited) 35 24 18 15 13 12 11 10
32 31 20 14 11 9 8 7 6

How I calculated these hand strength numbers

The incomparable PokerStove desktop application may look like a relic from the Windows 95 days, but its actually invaluable for running large-scale Texas Holdem calculations. It still works on Windows 10 and its quite easy to use once your eyes recover from the last-millennium GUI.

I manually set each Holdem hand to player 1 and run separate Monte Carlo calculations of at least 10 million hands for each one against 1-8 opponents.

The results look like this for each hand, which shows how often the hand won the simulation:

An example PokerStove hand strength calculation setup for pocket Aces against 8 players holding random cards.

I then rounded each result to the nearest percentage point and put them into a table, which is what you see above and in the PDF.

The detailed results of the simulation, which shows games simulated and how each hand fared in terms of equity (winning percentage). The 34.619% for pocket Aces was rounded up to 35%, which youll find in the complete charts.

Texas Holdem starting hands best to worst

This chart will give you the rank of Texas Holdem hands from best to worst.

This can serve as an easy list of all hands sorted by strength rather than separated by biggest starting card.

I am including all 13 pocket pairs and 78 unique non-paired starting hands for a total of 91 hands.

Those 78 hands could be counted a second time as suited starting hands win slightly more often, but Im omitting suited cards to be more concise.

Keep in mind that these are not recommendations or rankings for playing starting hands in real-life scenarios. This is simply ranked raw data of which Texas Holdem hands win most against random opponent cards.

Poker Hand Strength Chart

Poker RankingStarting hand# of opponents
Texas Hold'em Winning Percentage at Showdown

Why is poker hand strength important?

Understanding poker hand strength is one of the first key concepts new players should learn and veterans should never forget.

Recreational players (often called simply recs these days) miss this basic building block of Texas Holdem, playing starting hands based on hunches, tilt, intoxication level, or personal grudges. If youre playing online without the aid of a HUD (as I always do), this concept becomes even more essential to keep in mind. Be better than that. Ill help you with these Holdem hand charts.

You cannot be a winning Texas Holdem player without knowing the value of starting hands relative to each other

3 observations on Texas Holdem hand strength

  • Every hand in Holdem wins less often when played against more players.

That sounds obvious, right?

Yet players routinely slowplay their top starting hands pre-flop like pocket Aces and Kings. By doing this youre literally inviting your winning percentage to go down.

  • Mediocre hands are all a jumble of mediocre winning percentages.

Some of the most common hands that many Holdem players stick with like KQ, J-10, or Q-J all have similar middling winning percentages.

They all have similar unremarkable hand strength, meaning that unless you have position, lots of experience, or a good read youre probably better off not playing them at all.

  • Winning poker hands are more about how you play them than the numbers.

Take, for example, the poker percentages of AK, one of the few extremely powerful hands in Texas Holdem. Technically, it wins less than a middle pocket pair like 7-7.

Aside from all-in heads-up tournament situations A-K is a much stronger hand in real-life scenarios because real-life hands arent random hands staying in to showdown. Big Slick would have (should have) eliminated those weaker random hands pre-flop.

Poker winning percentages arent everything

Average poker winning percentages, which is what hand strength is based on, certainly arent everything, but its half of the pre-flop puzzle.

If you can have a general set of starting hand guidelines (i.e. what youll play from what position) that are rooted in hand strength you can make more automatic pre-flop decisions.

That will free your mind up to actually start playing your opponents and the specific table situation.

Once youve mastered starting hand discipline you can make deviations to your rules and play a wider range of hands.

Holdem hand rankings reinforce essential concepts, even if you dont pay careful attention to the numbers. Limit the number of opponents with your strongest hands and realize just how few starting hands are dominant by the numbers.

If only one thing sticks with you from these charts make it that even the best hands in Holdem have pathetic value against several opponents. Still want to slowplay those Aces pre-flop?

How many starting hands are there in Texas Holdem?

Strangely, the number of starting hands in Texas Holdem is somewhat subjective and the answer depends on how broad you want define the results. The commonly accepted number is 169. Here are some key numbers on starting hands:

Poker Hands Odds Outs for Hold'em

Poker strategy is a game that s deeply rooted in mathematics and percentages. Sure there are other poker skills like bluffing or reading people but the foundation of poker is math. Fortunately you don t need a genius-level IQ to excel at poker because there are plenty of poker tools to make things easier for yourself. Here are some of the most important poker hands odds and poker outs that you should know before entering any online poker rooms or poker tournaments.

Common Hold'em Odds

There are a number of basic poker hands odds that you should know when you are just starting to play Hold em.

These numbers will give you a foundation to build your online poker game. There s always going to be more advanced poker math that you can learn but this is a great way to get started for a positive online poker experience.

The following poker odds chart illustrates on average how many poker hands it takes for something to happen. For instance poker players get pocket aces an average of once every 221 poker hands.

331-1Odds of getting dealt ace-king of spades (or any specific suit)
221-1Odds of getting dealt pocket aces
118-1Odds of flopping a flush with suited hole cards
81-1Odds of getting ace-king (including suited and non)
74-1Odds of flopping a straight with connected cards J-T through 5-4
54-1Odds of suited cards (jacks or better)
41-1Odds of getting one of the top five pairs (AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT)
24-1Odds of getting suited connectors
16-1Odds of getting a pocket pair
8-1Odds of hitting a set on the flop with a pocket pair
5-1Odds of getting connected cards (consecutive rank like 3-2, 8-7, Q-J)
3-1Odds of making a pair on the flop with any two cards

Common Hold em Match-Ups

When you re playing Texas Hold em you want to get your money in the middle when you have the best poker odds. Sometimes you will get unlucky and lose a pot where you technically had the best chance but over the long term you ll always end up a winner if you consistently get your money in good.

Because poker players tend to play strong poker hands like pocket pairs and ace-king suited you ll see certain poker hand match-ups more often than others.

The chart below looks at the various poker hand match-ups that tend to happen quite frequently:

Match-upApproximate Odds (in percentage)Example
Higher pocket pair vs. lower pocket pairAt least 80% favoriteAA vs. JJ
Pocket pair vs. overcards55% favoriteJJ vs. AK
Pocket pair vs. overcard and undercard70% favoriteTT vs. Q8
Pair pair vs. overcard and one of that pair90% favoriteKK vs. AK
Two high cards vs. two lower cards65% favoriteJT vs. 87

Common Poker Outs

A poker out is simply any card that makes your poker hand. For instance if you had a straight draw with 9-8 on a 7-6-2 flop then you d have eight poker outs: 5s-5h-5d-5c or 10s-10h-10d-10c.

Poker players use their poker outs to calculate what percentage they have to make the hand and win the pot. In the above example a poker player would have a 31.5% probability to make the straight by the river.

This can be used to decide when to call. For instance if your opponent makes a huge overbet than 31% doesn t really warrant a call but if they only make a min-bet then that s generally an easy call.

You want to have a lot of poker outs. Of course some of your poker outs won t actually be poker outs. For instance if you have king-queen of diamonds vs. someone who has ace-ten of diamonds then you are drawing dead to the flush (because the ace-high plays).

Here s a chart of the various poker outs situations you might run into:

Calculating the Turn and the River

Once you understand the poker outs that are available to you with one card to go you can then start thinking about the turn and the river.

Most of the time the poker odds are roughly double when you have two cards to go but here s a complete poker odds chart. As you can see, the poker odds chart displays your exact poker odds for every available amount of poker outs:

Poker Outs Chart
Outs% 2 Cards to Come% 1 Card to Come

We recommend printing the poker odds chart and using it as a source of reference. It should come in very handy.

How to Calculate Your Own Outs

Of course you don t need to memorize a poker odds chart if you can just calculate your own poker outs. Fortunately it s not that difficult.

All you have to do is figure out just how many cards will improve your poker hand.

For instance if you have 5d5c and you need to improve to a set or quads, the math is quite simple:

  • Standard 52-card deck minus your two hole cards = 50 cards
  • Of those 50 cards you have two cards that can improve your poker hand: Either the 5s or the 5c.

That means there are 48 cards that won t help you and two cards that will. Therefore you have 2 poker outs.

You might correctly point out that other players in the game may have folded one of the fives but that s ignored for the purposes of calculating poker odds.

Here s a slightly more advanced poker hand:

You have king-jack of diamonds on the turn of a Ad-5s-2d-9s board. The other poker player hit a pair of aces and you need to improve to a flush. How many poker outs do you have?

First of all you need to reduce the deck down to 46 cards because you have two cards and there are four cards on the board. There are 13 cards of each suit, but you have two cards in your poker hand and there are two more cards on the board.

That means there are nine diamond cards in the deck that will make your flush and win the poker hand. Meanwhile there are 37 cards that, by default, will help the opposition. That means you are 37-9, or more simply, 4-1 to win. That means you ll only pull it off 20% of the time so hopefully you don t have to pay much to see the river.

You can always use this math to calculate your poker odds. Here s an extremely simple reference chart to the make-up of the standard 52-card deck:

52Cards total
20Broadway cards (4 aces, 4 kings, 4 queens, 4 jacks, 4 tens)
13Cards of each suit (spades, diamonds, clubs, hearts)
8Cards that can complete an open-ended straight
4Cards of each rank (for example AsAhAdAc or 5s5h5d5c)

Should You Call? Basic Pot Odds

When people are just starting to play poker they often get stuck on the decision of whether to call a particular bet or not.

Most new poker players make this decision based entirely on what cards they think the other person is holding but more experienced poker players will also calculate the poker odds. The standard formula is referred to as pot odds. Pot odds is basically about deciding whether you are getting a good enough price to call.

For instance if you have to call $1 to potentially win a $100 pot then you are going to call every time regardless of your poker hand because it s simply too cheap to fold (and your opposition might be bluffing once in every 100 poker hands).

On the other hand if you have to pay $75 to win a $175 pot then it s not a good proposition to call with a weak poker hand.

This is particularly helpful when you are on draws.

For instance if you are on a straight draw where you have eight poker outs to hit on the river than your poker odds are 38-8, or simplified, 6-1. That means you ll get there just under 20% of the time.

Let s say the pot has $90 in it and the other person just made a bet of $10.

That s generally an easy call because your odds of hitting are 6-1 and you were just given odds of 10-1 on a call (if you call the pot is $100). That means you only need to be successful once every 10 times and with your poker hand you should be successful once every six times. The poker odds are in your favor.

Now if your opponent bet $100 that would be a much dicier proposition. Suddenly you are risking $100 to win $200 and the odds are 200-100, or simplified, 2-1. Since you re only 6-1 to make your hand you should probably fold.

Of course pot odds are just a guideline and you re totally in your right to make a crazy call because you are a 100% certain your opponent has specific hand. It s usually not correct to play this way but it can work out for some people.

What Are the Odds Behind the Best Hold em Hands?

There are five poker hands that are widely considered to be the best in Hold em. Those poker hands are pair of aces (AA), pair of kings (KK), pair of queens (QQ), pair of jacks (JJ) and AK usually in that order. These poker hands are widely considered the power five in Hold em and most of the time you ll be playing these poker hands every time those cards are dealt to you.

There are a large number of poker odds and tips for playing the best poker hands in Hold em and we ve actually broken in down in the following standalone articles about each poker hand:

Common Questions About Poker Odds

Are Straight Draws or Flush Draws Better?

This is a weird one but you actually have slightly more poker outs with a flush draw once you re one card from completing:

  • Flush draw: 9 outs
  • Straight draw: 8 outs

It makes sense when you think about it. An open-ended straight draw has a total of 8 cards that complete it (ranked cards on both the high and low) while a flush draw is any one of the nine remaining cards of your suit.

This is only odd because flushes are ranked higher than straights in the official Hold em hand rankings.

The reason is that straights are actually easier to start (it s more common to be dealt connectors than suited cards) but flushes are easier to finish once you ve gotten four of them lined up.

Don t sleep on straights, however. They are significantly easier to disguise and rivering a deceptive straight can be a grade-A way to win huge poker pots.

Do I Have to Be a Math Genius to Play Hold em?

No, you don't have to be a poker odds wizard. Math is certainly a fundamental part of Hold em and poker in general but there are plenty of successful poker players that excel in reading people and making well-timed bluffs over calculating their equity in marginal situations.

Interestingly there are other poker players who incorporate the math aspects of the game without even thinking about the poker odds. They might say they go by "feel" when considering a call but there's a good possibility they will take into account the fact they are calling a small bet or a big one.

In general you just want to minimize your risks and maximize your profits. That s not exceptionally hard to understand.

Should I Only Play Aces?

No. As you can see above you ll only get aces on average once in every 221 poker hands that you play. That s simply not frequent enough to be profitable.

In addition, other bettors would be able to easily categorize you as an extremely conservative poker player and would either fold immediately or attempt to suck out on you with a smaller poker hand and win a huge pot.

Poker is a situational game and it s all about reading people and adapting as you go.

What s the Best Draw in Poker?

The best draw in poker would be an open-ended straight-flush draw with over cards. An open-ended straight-flush draw with over cards is one of the only draws where you re actually a favorite to win by the river.

Straight flush draws are usually played extremely aggressively by experienced poker players because there s a possibility your opposition might be on a smaller draw and you would have them dominated.

In general straight flush draws in poker are monsters and should be played accordingly.

What are Outs in Poker?

Poker outs are simply the cards that will complete your poker hand and (hopefully win you the pot).

Sometimes you ll know for sure that your poker outs will win you the pot while other times it won t be as clear.

For instance if you ve got ace-king suited and are one card from completing the nut-flush (with no pairs on the board) then you can rest assured that if you hit your card then you will win.

What Are Drawing Hands vs Made Hands in Poker?

Made hands in poker are poker hands that are likely to hold up without any help from the board. A good example would be pocket aces. It can improve but there s also a good chance it will be just fine without any help from the board.

A drawing hand in poker is something like 8-7 suited because it gives you the chance to hit both straights and flushes.

Generally you want to be seeing cheap flops with your drawing hands and hopefully hit something good so that you can stack your opponent.

What are the Best Odds in Poker?

If you can somehow get others drawing to one out, you re doing pretty good.

In most situations where your opponent is dead to one out, you ll be pretty close to a 98% favorite. There s not a poker player on earth that wouldn t take those poker odds on a regular basis.

Generally that s rare, however, and your opponent will usually have at least a few poker outs.

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