How to Count Cards in Texas Holdem (with Pros and Cons)

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How to Count Cards in Texas Holdem

If you have ever wondered how to count cards in Texas Holdem, you have come to the right place! While in the previous article we already explained how to play Texas Holdem with chips, now we will take you to the new knowledge.

Our team has been playing types of poker for over 10 years and can give you a good answer. Yes, you can count cards in poker, but not in the same way you can in blackjack

In poker, you will not count cards to boost an edge over the house but rather to create winning decisions against other players. In fact, card counting is not illegal but is encouraged and necessary to win more winnings over the long term. 

What is Card Counting in Poker?

Card Counting Definition in Poker

Before we explain how to count cards in Texas Holdem, let’s start from the basic information. Well, counting cards is a unique way to card games in which the player will use the information about the cards he saw to determine which cards are likely to come and base his decisions on that. 

For example in blackjack, players can assign different values to different cards depending on if they are more profitable to the dealer or the player. When doing count cards, players will assign every card some points based on the presumed value of the hand and track the total points. 

It is a common misunderstanding that card counters track and memorize every individual card. In fact, they only remember the total values they assigned to every card.  

ProsCons
Gain the advantage over other players ✔️The advantage you can gain is less significant than in blackjack game ❌
Easy to learn ✔️Some casinos ban it ❌
Help to makes you richer ✔️

How to Count Cards in Texas Holdem for New Players

When you have a hand in a poker game and are looking at the flop in poker, it is time to make a decision on whether to continue on in the hand according to what the other players are doing. Well, if there is a bet, you need to decide whether to call, raise, or fold in the game. 

Every of these is based on the likelihood you can win the hand. This is where how to count cards in Texas Holdem come in. You need to learn your “equity” and the likely equity of the opponents. 

1. Figuring Out Equity

On how to count cards in Texas Holdem, equity is basically your opportunity of winning the hand if all of the money was all-in right now on the current street (pre-flop, flop, or even turn). Remember that equity is not accumulated on the river poker since there are no more cards to come, and there is no chance to boost your hand. 

The possibility of winning is a hand expressed as a percentage

Let’s take an example of A♥ K♥ vs 5♠ 5♣. If those hands were all-in versus each other before the flop, then which hand do you think will have the highest equity? 

If you thought 55 on how to count cards in Texas Holdem, you would be right. Since a pair doesn’t need to boost, it is logical that it would have the highest possibility of winning or the highest equity. However, it is very close. Here are the real equities, accumulated by an equity calculator called Pokerstove. 

Equity in Poker

This is why the pairs versus overcards are sometimes called a coin flip. It just means that the odds of winning for every hand are quite close to 50%, although the pair has a certain edge at times. 

Equity Texas Holdem

The Equities Pre-Flop Hands

As you can see, it is always good to have the pair if all in. It really is not necessary since you have no calculation on which to compare your hand to except for guesses about your opponent’s pre-flop hole cards. Instead, you will need to just have a basic understanding of the common equities pre-flop hands have against each other. You can learn these few common equities:

  • On how to count cards in Texas Holdem, an underpair vs overcards is about 45% vs 55%, about 1 to 1 odds
  • One overcard vs a pair like JJ vs TT is about 70% vs 30%, with the pair having the edge about 5 to 2 odds
  • A pair over a smaller pair like QQ vs 66 is about 80% vs 20%, about 4 to 1 odds
  • Being suited add about 3% to a hand equity

2. Learning Equities Commonly Applies to Post-Flop

On how to count cards in Texas Holdem, the vast majority of the time you can spend on counting cards is on the Flop or Turn in poker. In poker, there are 2 different types of post-flop hands; mad hands or draws. 

Draws need to boot while a made hand does not

Example of J♠ 5♠ 4♦

Pay attention to these:

  • The examples of created hands in this example are AJ, JT, 65, K4, 55, and AA
  • The examples of draws in this example include T♠ 9♠ or flush draw, 76 or straight draw, 32 or straight draw, and AQ or two overcards. 

Let us put it another way. If your hand on how to count cards in Texas Holdem is not a pair or better, then you have a drawing hand. 

  1. If your equity is not logical high enough vs your opponent’s likely hand or range of hands, the best option is commonly to check or fold. 
  2. If your equity is quite high, you can continue in the hand depending on the amount you have to invest. 

On how to count cards in Texas Holdem, a range of hands just means the entire of all possible hands that an opponent can have depending on the situation. An example of 25% beginning hand range looks like this: 

Conclusion

In conclusion on how to count cards in Texas Holdem, it can be a very big hobby, especially for those of you who are risk-taker.s It is much easier to understand than it might seem in movies. Yes, you just need to practice at home and self-discipline. 

However, choosing something else is better if you like to feel more secure of your financial condition. It will help you to figure out your equity and the equity of your opponent. Ultimately, the more layers you add to your card-counting strategy, the more money you will get. 


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