What Is Poker Equity & How Does It Work? | Advanced Poker Strategy

This video is about poker equity, what it is, how it works, and how it can be used to make better poker decisions. Equity is a pain to grasp, especially for those unskilled at math. For me, anything to do with numbers or percentages, calculating equity versus ranges, etc. is extremely challenging. Fortunately, there is still a way for us non-math geniuses to use equity to our advantage and that’s what this video is about.

Article Version: https://automaticpoker.com/strategy/u…

Additional reading on this topic
Basics of Equity and more: https://automaticpoker.com/how-to-pla…
The definition of draws: https://automaticpoker.com/poker-basi…
Online poker tools: https://automaticpoker.com/resources/
C-betting strategy: https://automaticpoker.com/strategy/c…
Levels of poker thinking: https://automaticpoker.com/strategy/p…

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of trying to figure out this equity business, lets define what it is. Equity is any player’s chance of winning a given poker hand by the river. Once you get to the river, equity no longer matters since there are no more cards to come and the winner is already established.
Put another way, equity is how much of pot is owned by each player on the current street. Basically, your chance to win were the money all-in right now. If there are two players in a $10 pot and each has 50% equity, then each “owns” $5. If they got all-in a million times, no one wins, no one loses.

Now determining your approximate equity takes a bit of practice, but isn’t as hard as it sounds. I am including a link to an article I wrote that covers the basic fundamentals of poker, including equity. If you are unsure what we are talking about it, go check it out before continuing.

One way to use equity is to try and make sure you get all-in with more equity more often than your opponents do. That’s the obvious answer but there’s so much more to it than that. Just knowing your exact equity, while helpful, is only one tiny piece of the puzzle. The type (emphasize) of equity you have also influences how profitable your post-flop lines will be over the long term.

All you need to be able to do is understand that there are really only two types of hands with any value after the flop. Either you have a made hand and connect directly with the board, or you hold a draw, which needs specific cards to come on the turn or river, in order to improve.

For the purposes of this video, let’s talk about made hands or draws that have a lot of equity versus ranges but aren’t the nuts. More specifically, common made hands like top pairs or common draws like flush draws or open ended straight draws.

Once you categorize whether you have a made hand or a draw, we can optimize our lines based on how the equity of each type of hand changes as streets progress.

Put simply, made hands tend to maintain their equity very well over multiple streets while draws tend to fluctuate drastically.. either your draw gets there and your equity increases goes way up, or your draw doesn’t get there and your equity goes way down. So, let’s redefine made hand and draws based on the math of the equities:

Made Hand
A hand with stable equity with the progression of streets and variable equity across ranges.
A hand with variable equity with the progression of streets and stable equity across ranges.

Overall, understanding how equity works in poker all comes down to the relationship between how made hands or draws play out versus opponent ranges. Among the concepts you must master to win at poker is to develop our sense of how to approach post-flop play using equity and ranges as a tool to optimize your lines based on the information at hand. By adjusting your lines according to the makeup of those ranges, you can maximize your profit while also simplifying the decision-making process.

Note: I do not claim ownership of any video content shown in this video. The content is only use for educational purposes.