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Figuring out equity in your head, during a hand, w/out PokerStove (newbie question)

1. Figuring out equity in your head, during a hand, w/out PokerStove (newbie question)

Newbie question here.... I've been doing a lot of postmortems lately on individual hands, using PokerStove to figure out my equity, posting them, etc. A lot of times the results don't surprise me at all, but often it does. I'm curious how people figure out equity (just roughly I mean) when you're playing a hand? If you don't have a read on your opponent, and you're just trying to get a ballpark idea of your equity before you play the rest of the hand, is there a way to crunch the numbers and come up with it w/out the luxury of PokerStove?

Here's an example. Keep in mind it's a math question here, not a strategy question.

On the flop I have A K, there are 3 other opponents, and the board is K 8 3. With TPTK, no draws, and a safe board, it's not surprising that my equity is (apparently) 70% w/ the three other villains at 10%. Great, I'm a big favorite, no s--t. But is it feasible to come up with that 70% number on the fly while you're playing? I mean, is there a simple formula people use? I guess I'm asking in part because although I understand why certain hands dominate others, I kinda get how PStove gets it's #s, I don't how to come up with them w/ out software like this.

Again, I'm talking about coming up w/ rough estimates here and not about strategy. Am I just not good w/ numbers or is there something I'm missing.
2.  07-23-2010 12:14 AM supa Join Date Feb 2010 Posts 3,336 Location At the bar drinking whisky with an "e" My opinion here doesn't count for much because I really don't know the answer, but I'm gonna try anyway. Pokerstove gets its info by running a certain senario millions of times and giving a average of times hand1 beats hand2 in the form of a percentage. It would be impossible to do that in your head on the fly. The way to understand your equity in any given situation is to practice using stove vs villains range enough to make it second nature. Hypothetically, if every time you had AK this same board flopped you would know you we're a 70% favorite because you practiced it and seen it enough times. So it's a matter of running all of your ranges vs all of villains ranges enough times to know what your equity is in any given situation. “Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all” Put hero on a goddamn range part II- The 6max years Originally Posted by d0zer start using your brain more and vagina less Originally Posted by kingnat Members who's signature is a humorous quote about his/herself made by someone who is considered a notable member of the FTR community to give themselves a sense of belonging.
3.  07-23-2010 12:32 AM rowhousepd Join Date Jun 2009 Posts 259 Location Philadelphia, PA Huh, so it's just a matter of having a lot general scenarios (like TPTK on rag board, or let's say a set w/ 4 flush on board, etc., common scenarios like that) committed to memory? at least more or less to memory? Any good players out there find this to be true as well? Though I realize you don't have to be rainman to win, I guess I'm feeling a bit math-challenged these days and wondering if other folks out there are able to do things with their brain that I'm missin'.
4.  07-23-2010 01:19 AM JKDS Join Date Feb 2008 Posts 4,293 Location Chandler, AZ Your equity is determined by how many hands you beat, how often you hold, how many hands we lose too, and how often we catch up. Its 2 handed on the same K83r flop. We hold AK and shove the flop. Villain calls with exactly KQ, 88, and 33. What is our equity against that range? WHY???? Ignore fold equity.
5.  07-23-2010 01:28 AM Penneywize Join Date Jan 2005 Posts 1,977 Originally Posted by rowhousepd On the flop I have A K, there are 3 other opponents, and the board is K 8 3. With TPTK, no draws, and a safe board, it's not surprising that my equity is (apparently) 70% w/ the three other villains at 10%. Can't believe no one has mentioned it yet but this makes no sense at all. Are you assuming random hands for your opponents? What ranges are you putting them on? Did you raise, flat a raise, or 3-bet preflop? Are your opponents loose, nitty, weak/passive, etc? Do you at least know their preflop VPIP and PFR stats? These questions are essential to determining your equity against your opponents' ranges.
6.  07-23-2010 01:52 AM Icanhastreebet Join Date Dec 2009 Posts 1,410 Location IRC, Come join me! In your example did you give each of your opponents a calling range? AK cannot be 70% v 3 ppls calling ranges.
7.  07-23-2010 01:52 AM Icanhastreebet Join Date Dec 2009 Posts 1,410 Location IRC, Come join me! Oh and the simple answer is lots of practice
8.  07-23-2010 02:01 PM bhaley66 Join Date Sep 2009 Posts 173 Location washington Use stove hundreds of times, and get a feel for how the results come per situation. Also, you need a range to use pokerstove, so how are you going to get an answer assuming random opponents, and random ranges? 1)note your common situations 2)put opponents on ranges 3)enter into pokerstove to get results 4)do hundreds of times w/different situations 5)remember and use in play
9.  07-23-2010 04:28 PM Imthenewfish Join Date Apr 2010 Posts 1,107 Originally Posted by rowhousepd On the flop I have A K, there are 3 other opponents, and the board is K 8 3. With TPTK, no draws, and a safe board, it's not surprising that my equity is (apparently) 70% w/ the three other villains at 10%. I still don't see how you got 70% without telling us the villains' ranges
10.  07-23-2010 04:45 PM NightGizmo Join Date May 2010 Posts 788 Originally Posted by JKDS Your equity is determined by how many hands you beat, how often you hold, how many hands we lose too, and how often we catch up. Its 2 handed on the same K83r flop. We hold AK and shove the flop. Villain calls with exactly KQ, 88, and 33. What is our equity against that range? WHY???? Ignore fold equity. This is a great example. If you can put your opps on a solid range, you can figure out where each hand lies in relation to your own holding. In this example: KQ: 8 combos that you beat 33+88: 6 combos that beat you So, 8/(8+6) = 57% equity. It's approximate (the actual stove result is an even 50% due to the fact that the sets crush you more than you crush the KQ), but it's also doable at the table when you get good at estimating combos.
11.  07-23-2010 06:09 PM supa Join Date Feb 2010 Posts 3,336 Location At the bar drinking whisky with an "e" I know we don't have enough info but why are giving villain such a narrow range. @ 2nl (don't know ops stakes) QQ, JJ, is almost always continuing and TT, 99, AQ, AJ, are gonna stick around enough to exploit them too. But I think ops original question is being over looked. JKDS gave a great explanation of what equity is but how do we do that on the fly? I still think that practice with a tool like pokerstove is the best way to get comfortable with understanding our equity vs any given range. No? “Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all” Put hero on a goddamn range part II- The 6max years Originally Posted by d0zer start using your brain more and vagina less Originally Posted by kingnat Members who's signature is a humorous quote about his/herself made by someone who is considered a notable member of the FTR community to give themselves a sense of belonging.
12.  07-23-2010 06:43 PM JKDS Join Date Feb 2008 Posts 4,293 Location Chandler, AZ Originally Posted by supahaole I know we don't have enough info but why are giving villain such a narrow range. @ 2nl (don't know ops stakes) QQ, JJ, is almost always continuing and TT, 99, AQ, AJ, are gonna stick around enough to exploit them too. But I think ops original question is being over looked. JKDS gave a great explanation of what equity is but how do we do that on the fly? I still think that practice with a tool like pokerstove is the best way to get comfortable with understanding our equity vs any given range. No? Obv i dont think thats actually anyones continuing range, but its a good exercise for figuring out our equity. Ya, pokerstoving things alot will get u a good feel...but only if you really understand why pokerstove says what it says. If you do understand, and you know your equity against every possible hand, then you can easily determine what your equity is without needing pokerstove if you really wanted to. Honestly, i dont really ever care what my equity is...and i rather just know that im beating so and so in villains range and behind so and so and hes folding so and so and raising so and so etc. @nightgizmo: yup thats exactly why. KQ will suck out about 12% of the time, and we'll almost never improve against 33 or 88. So really its 8*88% : 6+8*12% which is about 50%:50%
13.  07-24-2010 08:02 PM HarleyGuy13 Join Date Sep 2008 Posts 1,371 Location Oregon Wow seems to me everybody is busy patting themselfs on the back for pointing out that he doesn't have his opponent on a range. The example is just an example. So the answer would be something like "Well first we put our opponent on a range. Then we figure out how often we get beat.............." Rowhouse I wish I had the answer for you but I don't. Hopefully Spoon or somebody who actually knows will jump in soon and give you the math. "You start the game with a full pot o’ luck and an empty pot o’ experience... The object is to fill the pot of experience before you empty the pot of luck." Originally Posted by XxStacksxX Do you have testicles? If so, learn to bet like it
14.  07-24-2010 08:12 PM JKDS Join Date Feb 2008 Posts 4,293 Location Chandler, AZ Originally Posted by HarleyGuy13 Wow seems to me everybody is busy patting themselfs on the back for pointing out that he doesn't have his opponent on a range. The example is just an example. So the answer would be something like "Well first we put our opponent on a range. Then we figure out how often we get beat.............." Rowhouse I wish I had the answer for you but I don't. Hopefully Spoon or somebody who actually knows will jump in soon and give you the math. LOL at not reading the thread and insulting everyone in it. Good job sir, good job.
15.  07-24-2010 08:47 PM supa Join Date Feb 2010 Posts 3,336 Location At the bar drinking whisky with an "e" Originally Posted by HarleyGuy13 Wow seems to me everybody is busy patting themselfs on the back for pointing out that he doesn't have his opponent on a range. Originally Posted by supahaole ...I think ops original question is being over looked. JKDS gave a great explanation of what equity is but how do we do that on the fly? I still think that practice with a tool like pokerstove is the best way to get comfortable with understanding our equity vs any given range. No? This is me patting myself on the back for pointing out that I understood ops question. Originally Posted by JKDS Ya, pokerstoving things alot will get u a good feel...but only if you really understand why pokerstove says what it says. If you do understand, and you know your equity against every possible hand, then you can easily determine what your equity is without needing pokerstove if you really wanted to. Honestly, i dont really ever care what my equity is...and i rather just know that im beating so and so in villains range and behind so and so and hes folding so and so and raising so and so etc. Now I'm patting JK on the back for giving a well thought out answer to said question. Look at me. Now look at him. Now back at me. I'm on a horse. “Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all” Put hero on a goddamn range part II- The 6max years Originally Posted by d0zer start using your brain more and vagina less Originally Posted by kingnat Members who's signature is a humorous quote about his/herself made by someone who is considered a notable member of the FTR community to give themselves a sense of belonging.
16.  07-24-2010 08:50 PM HarleyGuy13 Join Date Sep 2008 Posts 1,371 Location Oregon Point(s) well taken! I should have read deeper my sincere apology! "You start the game with a full pot o’ luck and an empty pot o’ experience... The object is to fill the pot of experience before you empty the pot of luck." Originally Posted by XxStacksxX Do you have testicles? If so, learn to bet like it
17.  07-24-2010 08:53 PM supa Join Date Feb 2010 Posts 3,336 Location At the bar drinking whisky with an "e" Originally Posted by HarleyGuy13 Point(s) well taken! I should have read deeper my sincere apology! Graciously accepted. @JKDS- Got any popcorn left? “Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all” Put hero on a goddamn range part II- The 6max years Originally Posted by d0zer start using your brain more and vagina less Originally Posted by kingnat Members who's signature is a humorous quote about his/herself made by someone who is considered a notable member of the FTR community to give themselves a sense of belonging.
18.  07-24-2010 08:57 PM Imthenewfish Join Date Apr 2010 Posts 1,107 Originally Posted by supahaole Graciously accepted. @JKDS- Got any popcorn left? i got som box candeys
20.  07-25-2010 01:53 AM JKDS Join Date Feb 2008 Posts 4,293 Location Chandler, AZ Im pretty stumped on how to quickly respond and change your thinking via a forum post alone. Hit up IRC and ask why Ok, I know that TPTK on a dry board vs 3 opponents is about ~70% ... and I know one of the villains has an average range and two of them are super nits ... so my equity is really got to be less than 70% ... probably more like 60% maybe ... I can't be sure (since I don't have PokerStove embedded in my brain) but it's definitely less ... so now if I bet, two will probably call, which give means my implied odds are ... this isnt great thinking.
21.  07-25-2010 04:18 AM NightGizmo Join Date May 2010 Posts 788 JKDS was just creating a hypothetical situation, purely as an exercise to teach a concept. His example shows what you can actually do at the table. Also -- please erase from your memory the erroneous thought that "TPTK has 70% equity vs 3 opponents". You will never use that in any at-the-table calculation ever. Instead, you will use the same process you always use: figure out a range and then calculate equity. The only difference is that at the table, you use mental shortcuts to estimate your equity. I know the next question: "What shortcuts?" Well, it depends. It depends on what works for you as a shortcut. For some people, they can quickly juggle a bunch of different numbers in their head and spit out an answer. For others, they can mentally sort the different hands in a range by strength, and then combine them to get an estimate of strength ("he has 8 dominated pairs and 6 sets, those end up canceling each other out to break even"). Maybe you just plug values into PokerStove, but before you ever hit the "Evaluate" button, you try to get your own estimate and see how close you get, then eventually just get good at intuitively knowing the equity. Bottom line: whatever works for you, use it. It's one of those things that doesn't have a single, one-size-fits-all solution, because what works for some people will seem impossible to others that can still get the same results using different methods.
22.  07-25-2010 01:07 PM Tasha Join Date May 2010 Posts 304 Location At the far end of the table So what happens during live games? Do the top players know hundreds of equity values from memory or is equity not used as much when making decisions?
24.  07-25-2010 09:13 PM Imthenewfish Join Date Apr 2010 Posts 1,107 Originally Posted by Tasha So what happens during live games? Do the top players know hundreds of equity values from memory or is equity not used as much when making decisions? only the top live players that are also the good/professional online players really have a lot of equity values memorized imo
25.  07-26-2010 12:32 AM bhaley66 Join Date Sep 2009 Posts 173 Location washington Originally Posted by Tasha So what happens during live games? Do the top players know hundreds of equity values from memory or is equity not used as much when making decisions? I would assume that top players in live games, don't necessarily have to know equity values, but would think that they are putting their opponents on ranges, and comparing their strength to their ranges; i.e. how many combinations in their opponents ranges do they beat/how many of their opponents hands are strong drawing hands, etc?
26.  07-26-2010 01:03 AM Imthenewfish Join Date Apr 2010 Posts 1,107 Originally Posted by bhaley66 I would assume that top players in live games, don't necessarily have to know equity values, but would think that they are putting their opponents on ranges, and comparing their strength to their ranges; i.e. how many combinations in their opponents ranges do they beat/how many of their opponents hands are strong drawing hands, etc? i thought a lot of good live players didn't know how to put people on ranges Last edited by Imthenewfish; 07-26-2010 at 04:57 PM.
27.  07-26-2010 04:46 AM bhaley66 Join Date Sep 2009 Posts 173 Location washington I have no way of telling for sure, but I find that highly unlikely...
28.  07-26-2010 12:40 PM Tasha Join Date May 2010 Posts 304 Location At the far end of the table Originally Posted by bhaley66 I would assume that top players in live games, don't necessarily have to know equity values, but would think that they are putting their opponents on ranges, and comparing their strength to their ranges; i.e. how many combinations in their opponents ranges do they beat/how many of their opponents hands are strong drawing hands, etc? So why don't online players do the same thing? Is it because equity can be used to calculate EV?
29.  07-26-2010 01:50 PM Phil_Ivey_Fan Join Date Jul 2010 Posts 2 Originally Posted by Tasha So what happens during live games? Do the top players know hundreds of equity values from memory or is equity not used as much when making decisions? i think that the top players have too much experience and probably have hundreds of equity values from memory but tnote that they are playing live, hense there are a number of other things which are important for the game, like reading your oponent, being able to bluff and so on. http://secretdepoker.com/
30.  07-26-2010 02:53 PM Belt Join Date Feb 2007 Posts 98 Location Istanbul I want to simplify your example and calculate the equity only against one opponent for you to get a feel of it. Rest is up to you... Here is how I do it at the table if needed: First you have to have a range for your opponent. Say you bet the flop and got raised, and you put him on QQ, 88, 33, KQ, K8s. QQ -> 6 combos (he needs another Q to win, his equity is ~9%, 0.5 combo beat you, you beat 5.5) 88 -> 3 combos (you have almost 0 equity, 3 combos beat you, you beat 0) 33 -> 3 combos (you have almost 0 equity, 3 combos beat you, you beat 0) KQ -> 8 combos (he needs a Q to win, his equity is ~13%, 1 combo beats you, you beat 7) K8 -> 1 combo (you need an A to win, your equity is ~13%, given that this is a tiny part of his range, we can ignore this 13%, 1 combo beats you, you beat 0) So, there are 21 commbos in his range, 8.5 of them beat you and you beat 12.5. Your equity is 12.5/21 =~ 60% And if we put it in stove: Text results appended to pokerstove.txt 20,790 games 0.040 secs 519,750 games/sec Board: Kd 8c 3s Dead: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 60.055% 59.81% 00.24% 12435 50.50 { AhKh } Hand 1: 39.945% 39.70% 00.24% 8254 50.50 { QQ, 88, 33, KQs, K8s, KQo } Last edited by Belt; 07-26-2010 at 02:55 PM.
31.  07-26-2010 02:54 PM Donachello Join Date Dec 2009 Posts 1,228 Location TROLOLOLOLOL The fact is that you're probably never going to get the exact numbers. Sure you can assign a range and then calculate the # of combos by using the rule of 16 combos per non PP hand and 4 combos per PP minus the # of combos that have blockers in your hand and on the board. Then it's a simple division problem to figure out your equity. However, doing all of these steps during full tilt's 15 second time bank is not usually going to be very easy to accomplish unless you're extremely good at quick math in your head. So the real answer is pretty much just what yaawn said. Practice. Eventually you'll learn certain common numbers but a lot of the time you'll just have to ballpark things since ranges are never set in stone and may even be wrongly assigned. [00:29] dc, why not check turn behind [00:30] daven [00:30] on my hand? [00:30] yep [00:30] because I am drunk [00:30] nice reason [00:30] no further questions [00:30] ^^Lol Problem officer...?
33.  07-27-2010 08:15 AM rowhousepd Join Date Jun 2009 Posts 259 Location Philadelphia, PA Originally Posted by Belt So, there are 21 combos in his range, 8.5 of them beat you and you beat 12.5. Your equity is 12.5/21 =~ 60% So once you narrow down the hands in the villain's range, you think about the math in terms of combos?
34.  07-27-2010 09:50 AM Belt Join Date Feb 2007 Posts 98 Location Istanbul Originally Posted by rowhousepd So once you narrow down the hands in the villain's range, you think about the math in terms of combos? Yes, I beleive this is the easiest way to calculate equity without stove. But I also beleive that one would very very rarely need this kind of calculation during the hand. In other words, while it's good for practice/analysis, it's unnecessary during the gameplay.
35.  07-27-2010 01:54 PM bhaley66 Join Date Sep 2009 Posts 173 Location washington Originally Posted by rowhousepd From what most of you guys said, it sounds like if the villain's range contains hands that, for the most part, the hero is a big favorite over, the equity is high. But when his range consists largely of hands that crush the hero, the equity is probably bad. Is this more or less accurate? Correct, but emphasis on for the most part because of drawing hands... Have you read Hand Combinations yet? I think this thread in particular will help out with a lot in understanding the responses about combinations.
36.  07-27-2010 07:45 PM rowhousepd Join Date Jun 2009 Posts 259 Location Philadelphia, PA No, I hadn't read it ... yet. thanks!
37.  07-29-2010 08:31 PM FTR Bad Beat Join Date Jul 2010 Posts 40 Just use sense and don't worry so much about the numbers. Think of the hands beating you at that point and which hands could draw to beat you. 38 unlikely K8 unlikely. etc.
38. How Did You Figure Out Equity?

Originally Posted by Belt
I want to simplify your example and calculate the equity only against one opponent for you to get a feel of it. Rest is up to you...

Here is how I do it at the table if needed:

First you have to have a range for your opponent. Say you bet the flop and got raised, and you put him on QQ, 88, 33, KQ, K8s.

QQ -> 6 combos (he needs another Q to win, his equity is ~9%, 0.5 combo beat you, you beat 5.5)
88 -> 3 combos (you have almost 0 equity, 3 combos beat you, you beat 0)
33 -> 3 combos (you have almost 0 equity, 3 combos beat you, you beat 0)
KQ -> 8 combos (he needs a Q to win, his equity is ~13%, 1 combo beats you, you beat 7)
K8 -> 1 combo (you need an A to win, your equity is ~13%, given that this is a tiny part of his range, we can ignore this 13%, 1 combo beats you, you beat 0)

So, there are 21 commbos in his range, 8.5 of them beat you and you beat 12.5.
Your equity is 12.5/21 =~ 60%

And if we put it in stove:

Text results appended to pokerstove.txt
20,790 games 0.040 secs 519,750 games/sec
Board: Kd 8c 3s
equity win tie pots won pots tied
Hand 0: 60.055% 59.81% 00.24% 12435 50.50 { AhKh }
Hand 1: 39.945% 39.70% 00.24% 8254 50.50 { QQ, 88, 33, KQs, K8s, KQo }
Can you please tell me how you figured out the equity? I understand how you got the combinations, but not how you figured out equity. Thanks.
39.  05-20-2012 12:12 AM MadMojoMonkey Join Date Apr 2012 Posts 1,230 Location St Louis, MO With QQ Hero is ahead, so Villain needs to catch 1 of 2 outs. Drawing to 2 outs is ~9% for 2 streets (~4.3% per card). There are 6 ways Villain can have QQ, so 6 combos @ 9% equity each : 6*9% = 45% ~= 0.5 So the combo equity for QQ : 0.5 for Villain, 5.5 for Hero With 88 Villain is ahead and Hero needs to catch runner-runner Kings, which is a horrible spot to be in and the equity is so small that it's not really worth counting. There are 3 ways villain can have 88, since one 8 is on the board, so 3 combos @ 100% equity each : 3*100% = 300% = 3 So the combo equity for 88 : 3 for Villain, 0 for Hero Continue this for all pockets in Villain's range and then do the maths. Add the total number and put that in the denominator. Add the total number that go to Hero and put that in the numerator.
40.  05-20-2012 07:04 PM DoubleJ Join Date Mar 2011 Posts 858 Location Still on that feckin' island! Nice - Thanks 3M And Thanks to ryan4h for bumping a useful thread... BC Moran 204 A St, Langley, V1M1G9 (604) 888-52648870
41.  05-20-2012 07:58 PM supa Join Date Feb 2010 Posts 3,336 Location At the bar drinking whisky with an "e" Originally Posted by ryan4h Can you please tell me how you figured out the equity? I understand how you got the combinations, but not how you figured out equity. Thanks. So, there are 21 commbos in his range, 8.5 of them beat you and you beat 12.5. Your equity is 12.5/21 =~ 60% . “Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all” Put hero on a goddamn range part II- The 6max years Originally Posted by d0zer start using your brain more and vagina less Originally Posted by kingnat Members who's signature is a humorous quote about his/herself made by someone who is considered a notable member of the FTR community to give themselves a sense of belonging.

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