Relative Equity is calculated by dividing the number of combos that you’re ahead of by the total number of combos in your opponent’s range.

Let’s make an example out of this:

You’re facing a CO reg open and you decide to flat on the BTN with QJs. The flop is Q63r, your opponent leads out a c-bet of 2/3 pot. This is a pretty easy decision for us, so we call knowing that we’re ahead, but then the turn comes a 4 and your opponent bets again.

Now, let’s try to restrain his range so that we know what we’re dealing with.

On the flop, it’s pretty much easy to say that, in general, the reg will bet his entire range on this board, having that it’s very dry and bluffable, and it doesn’t hit our range that much.

On the turn though, after we’ve called the flop, for a reg there’s not much incentive to bluff on a 4, it’s not a scare card, it doesn’t complete that many draws and it doesn’t make a lot of our calling range on the flop, fold on the turn. This card doesn’t change anything. This means that, on the turn, especially on limits that are lower than NL50, your opponent will never bluff. Now, value-wise, in general, regs bet flops and turns with top pairs and better.

Having that his raising range preflop was from the CO, he’s going to be betting with the following hands: Q9s/QT/QJ/KQ/AQ/QQ/KK/AA/66/33/44

How many combos does this range contain in total?

Well, remember that when we’re counting, we also have a Q in our hand and a Q that’s down there that blocks a few combos.

Top pairs: QT/KQ/AQ, 2 queens blocked so there’s Two Queens x Four T/K/A = 8+8+8=24 combos of top pairs.

He also has Q9s, which, with two queens gone, are only 2 combos.

Sets: 66/33/44 -> each has 3 combos to 9 total

QQ has only 1 combo having that two of them are gone.

Overpairs: AA/KK each has 6 combos so 12 total.

Our opponent will be betting a total of: 24+2+9+1+12=48 combos.

We’re beating QT and Q9s which are 8+2=10 combos

This means that our Relative Equity is 10 our of 48 combos.

Translated into a percentage, 10/48 = 0.20 which translates into 20%

If we considered only our Relative Equity, we couldn’t even call half pot here, which I even recommend. But if you want to get frisky, there’s also another way to win, you hitting two pair or trips. To be honest, you hitting trips is pretty fatal because he has better kickers to the Queen and also sets that will make full houses and make a lot of money from you. This is called Reverse Implied Odds.

So, actually, the T is the best card that you could hit on the river, and we’re going to figure out exactly how often you do this:

There are 3 Tens left in the deck, so this must mean that you hit them 3/46 cards left in the deck.

An easier way to approximate this is 2% per card, because there are approximately 50 cards left in the deck, so 2% per card makes perfect sense.

This means that if you have 3 outs you can be certain that your chance to hit them on the river will be very close to 3x2%=6%.Now, you add your Hit Equity(how I call it) to your Relative Equity and you have your Full Equity, which would be 20%+6% = 26%.

Remember by heart these numbers for Pot Odds:

  • If your opponent bets 1/2 pot, you need 25% equity to call
  • If your opponent bets 2/3 pot, you need 28%
  • For 3/4 it’s 30%
  • For Full Pot, it’s 33%.

If our equity is 26% then I’d be OK with calling 1/2 pot, but not more than that.

To be honest, I rely a lot only on Relative Equity, because sometimes you have the surprise of your opponent being tighter than you actually think, so having a measure of precaution will save you a lot of money, and ultimately make you a lot of money, because in Poker - money saved is money won.

Let’s take another, wider example.

We decide to flat JTo in the BB vs BTN open.

The flop comes T62r. We decide to flat BTN’s C-bet on the flop and the turn brings a 7. Let’s see what Villain is barreling on the turn with.

Having that, again, the flop is pretty dry and bluffable, and especially because he has a position, your opponent will bet 100% of his range on this flop, in general.

Turn brings a 7 which is a card that completes some of his draws, but not ours. He will almost never double barrel bluff here, so his betting range is: TT/66/22/77/67s/T9/JT/QT/KT/AT/JJ/QQ/KK/AA/89/T7s/T8s

From this range, we only beat T9/T8s. You don’t even need to figure out the combos here to think: “Okay, this seems like a borderline mediocre to a bad call. It’s marginally unprofitable. I’m just going to release my hand.”

Also, as we’ve discussed in the previous hand, trips would be pretty tragic vs his range, not only because your kicker is dominated and you will lose more money when you hit, because you will either call or raise his river bet, or lead out, but also you can never call a river bet unimproved so that’s actually pretty bad.

Most of the time, the decisions are simple, but remember that the profit is in bb/100 hands and it’s not that big for most, even very good players, so every edge matters. Not calling a double barrel from a reg with TPMK (Top Pair Medium Kicker) is pretty standard in today’s games, and I really recommend you look into this and also read our next upcoming article: The Minimal Hand Complex.

Until then, also read the “How to properly defend your blinds” article and also check my Pro Page here, there are some videos there that will help you on your game.

Scrimitzu signing out, good luck at the tables!