Probability in relation to the number of players at the table.

Probability in relation to the number of players at the table.

We know that the more players at the table our probability of winning is divided.

When we receive cards like AK, AQ, AJ, KQ, KK, QQ or JJ pre flop, we think our chances of winning are huge, and that’s why we go ALL IN without paying attention to the number of opponents at the table, often causing the elimination at the start of the tournament.

The big exception will be the pair of AA where you have the possibility of going ALL IN even in a UTG position, because in this situation you have the hand with the highest equity in the game, so your chances will always be greater, leaving it up to you to go ALL- IN or not, but let’s remember that AA can also be played very well with RAISE, being more profitable because it doesn’t cause many folds.

So in summary to this topic, cards like AK, AQ, AJ, KQ, KK, QQ, JJ are generally best played with RAISE in the pre flop from the UTG position, the only exception would be in the CUT-OFF position where with 2 opponents in game, you could take a little more risk, but RAISE remains the best option.

Well that’s it, I hope this topic is useful in some way, good games.


Some good tips to remember especially for novice players such as myself, Zenon!

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This is stating the obvious => but straight and flush potential hands such as suited connected cards are much less affected by the number of players!

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It’s a topic mainly for beginners, as this happens frequently.

Hi ZenonBR

This will be helpful to new players getting to grips with the game.

Look forward to future topics

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Here is an interactive 2024 shove/push/call chart, it will help any new players understand position and value of hand. make your selections on the left, hands for that position will be displayed on the right.
Good luck and have fun no matter what!


I think this is a good reminder that you should raise when you enter a pot, especially with a big hand so you can limit the number of players in the pot. It is true that the more players against you, the lower your probability of winning the hand. It is also a reminder to be disciplined about playing in position rather than out of position.

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Hi, ZenonBR.

What you do with your premium hands is strongly dependent on how deep the effective stacks are.

If the stacks are deep, as they often are at the beginning of a tournament, you always just make a standard raise when first in so you don’t give away information about your hand. You want to raise the same with your whole range. And you want players to call with worse hands so you can get paid post-flop.

And if you 3-bet another player (with no reads) you do it to usually 3x-4x depending on position and stack depth.

So it’s not so much that you can be outdrawn. It’s just bad poker to overbet all-in deep.

Under about 20BB all the hands you mentioned we are usually very happy to get it all in even after another player has raised.

First to act you can also push with confidence when short stacked, but it is usually better to raise since you want people to call you since you totally crush them on most flops (especially with AA and KK you should not be afraid to be outdrawn).

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i agree , this is a very important factor in the game , but not only for these high cards but also for smaller value cards , suited connectors for example , less players means more cards in the deck available , different odds . and RNG takes this seriously when it comes to outcomes .

I ilke the general idea of this advice:

Position? vs. hand strength? results in relative hand strength.

However in that equation there are at least three factors missing:
a. Effektive stacksize (10, 50, 100, 200bb?)
b. Player tendencies (Do they call with worse?)
c. Chiplead (Do you cover the table by a lot?)

So I’d like to add a., b and c. to the relative hand strength equation.

Relative Hand Strength results from:

  • Handstrength?
  • Number of players left to act?
  • Sizes of Stacks?
  • Player tendecies?
  • Chiplead?
    rHS = hs. vs. nr. vs ss. vs pt. vs cl.

You open AJ from the HJ and BU calls. If BU is far too lose you can bet three streets and even call all ins on A high board. If BU is nitty he will often enough hold AJ or AQ that you better only bet two streets. If Button jams preflop you need to answer the question: Does this type of Player at the given Stacksizes and positions jam enough worse hands than AJo to justify a call with my given stacksize? Now you see how all the given factors play into the decision.

Have a nice day!

I agree with that.

I do not think that hands like KK, QQ, AK are ever muck hands in a poker table regardless position. Well, if you fold these hands, then what hands will you play?

AA to 99, AK to AQ, AJs, maybe the offsuit AJ, KQ are standard openings from any position in a 6-max table or in a full-ring table. Now when it comes to reacting to 3bets, then we can discuss each hand individually. Of curse hands like AA or KK are insta 4bets.

Helpful topic especially for beginners ;-)!
In my opinion it is always risky to go ALL IN with pairs like Jacks or smaller because in relation if you get a call by 3-4 players there is probably a high chance that someone is holding a better hand on flop than yours. If you play on a 8 or 9 handed table and tournament is in the 1st phase there will be always villains who call with any A-combination your raise or all in so it is better in most cases you play your strong pairs or hole cards seriously if you dont wanna risk your tournament life early.

Strong hands may exit early if blindly all-in. So I usually try to raise, if the villain puts me all-in I tend to call it.

Generally, I would raise with AK, AQ, AJ, KQ, KK, QQ, JJ from UTG (and all the other positions).

Of course it will depend of the players’ type at the table

From UTG i 100% agree by raising and not go for all-in.
It coud be a shot in the dark before you can see the first action of the other players ahead.
For me raising, often used to give you more gain ( if you win of course)

I agree with you, many times when we receive two high cards we believe that we will win the hand nothing could be further from the truth, it is almost always better to avoid going all in before the flop, then with the issue of raises it is up to each player how they decide to play their hand at that moment, greetings