Equity

In poker, equity is how much of the pot is “owned” by each player as a percentage on any given street. Put another way, it is how likely a player is to win by the river if he was all-in on that specific street. On the river, unless the hand is a tie, you will either have 0% or 100% equity. So for the purposes of calculating, we are only concerned with equity before the flop, on the flop, or on the turn.

As a short stack player, you will be faced with frequent all-in situations in which you are either contemplating a shove or facing one yourself. In order to navigate these spots accurately, you will need an adequate understanding of hand ranges and equity. You will want to learn how to recognize what your likely pre-flop equity is against various hand ranges and how to form a 3-bet/4-bet strategy. For post-flop play, you will need to learn how various holdings fair equity wise on different flop textures.

Pre-Flop Equity

Pre-flop equity decisions revolve around 3-betting and 4-betting. The basic premise is that you want to get all-in with a superior range against your opponents and have them get all-in with an inferior range versus you. This is an oversimplified explanation, but describes the basic nature of pre-flop all-in situations as a short stack.

I have provided you with a solid 3-betting and 4-betting strategy via my charts and will not spend too much time going through the details of what is a very complex subject that would take numerous chapters to properly cover. I will, however, talk more about pre-flop equities in a bit when I cover fold equity.

Post-Flop Equity

We can never know for certain our exact post-flop equity unless all hands are turned face up. Nevertheless, by making an educated guess about our opponent’s range and comparing our holding to the board texture, we can come pretty close to knowing our probable equity if we were to get all-in.

With a tier 2 or better made hand, we are almost always committed and do not need to worry about our likelihood of improving our hand. For the most part, our equity will be consistently strong enough to get all-in on the flop. With a draw, however, it helps to understand how likely our hand is to improvebytheriver. Thisinformationcanhelpus,notonlywithall-indecisions,butalsoindirect and implied odds calculations when facing a post-flop bet or raise. Before I teach you a well-known easy trick to determining your approximate chance of improving, you will need to know how many outs various common holdings have after the flop.

2 outs: Under Pair (Drawing to a set) 4 outs: Gut Shot Straight Draw
6 outs: Over Cards
8 outs: Open-Ended Straight Draw

9 outs: Two Card Flush Draw

When involved in a hand, you should instantly be able to recognize your likely outs with any given holding. By just learning the approximate equities of the five holdings listed above, you will be able to navigate almost all post-flop equity situations. Now, how do you figure out the likelihood each hand has of improving?

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