This is a discussion on Coin Flips within the online poker forums, in the Cash Games section; So in poker we've all heard the term coin flips. Basically 2 overs vs. a lower pocket pair is considered a coin flip, and anything 


#1




Coin Flips
So in poker we've all heard the term coin flips. Basically 2 overs vs. a lower pocket pair is considered a coin flip, and anything with 50% + or  5 is considered a coin flip. But we also know that the way we make money in poker is exploiting a small edge over time. AKo vs. QQ is 43.242% to win. Let's say you're playing in a $1/$2 game and you end up allin. You see the situation and figure it's a coin flip. But you were probably sitting on around $200. On average in that situation you lose $27.032. Play that again and again and it will begin to add up to hundreds of dollars.
The edge in poker is very small. You are flipping a slightly weighted coin thousands and tens of thousands of times (probably millions if you play professionally) and these situations don't come up all that often, but am I the only one thinking it's odd to round that far in a game where the edge is so small? 
#2




A couple of things you need to take into consideration:
1. When playing a small/medium pair you don't always know if your opponent has a bigger pair or a big ace (where you are a slight fav). Thus, you need to make your calculations based on their range, not a specific hand. For example, if you think your opponent has either AT+ (64 ways to make these hands @ 16 ways each) or a pair (72 ways to make bigger pairs @ six ways each) and you have 22, then you really can't exploit the fact that you are a favorite over the big aces. 2. Also, you reasoning works better for cash games than tournaments, as you have to consider your real money equity (vs. your chip equity) when deciding to play a hand in a tournament. In other words, if you lose your stack in a tournament you are out, and have zero actual equity. So you may want to find a situation where your "chip equity" is a lot better than 5%, since losing this race can end your chance for actual dollars. If you can "pick your spots" where you get the money in as a 70% or better favorite instead of a 5% favorite you will be better off long term. 
#3




QQ interferes with some of the straight possibilities of AK thats why it seems like a lot less of a coinflip. If you have a much smaller pair, like 88 vs AK offsuit, it's up to 55  45. And if you take AK offsuit vs a very small pair like 44, AK's winning chances go up to 46%, since there's a decent chance the AK can win without hitting an ace or king, the board could pair twice and the 44 would be counterfeited. Also, if you take Jack ten offsuit vs 55, you'll see it's exactly a coinflip, 5050 since jack ten has a better chance of making a straight than AK.
Topic creator, you probably just see the big hands clash often, AK vs JJ or AK vs QQ, where the pair is better than 50% to win, but remember, a coinflip situations is any two overcards vs any pair, so try putting other hands like 66 vs 7 9 into a poker calculator and you'll see it's a lot closer to 5050. 
#4




re: Poker & Coin Flips
Quote:
I just don't even see how you can discount 1%. I believe someone posted a thread awhile back and concluded that the edge the pros have over the people they play against (it was calculated using BB/100) was around 1% (forget if it was over or under). So how can we discount an edge that is equal to the edge a pro has? That's what I'm trying to get at. 
#6




Or you could just outplay them and get them to put money in the pot when they're drawing dead...
Sure, preflop, the edge is in your favor. However, there'd be so much variance in playing "coin flip" type hands, you'd have to play for such a long time to see real profit. Even when the edge is 70:30, you're still going to run into a lot of variance. If we all played 1 million hands a day, and had megadeep bankrolls, then sure, that 5% edge might play a factor. But since all in situations like that (at least for me) occur only 45 times a night at most, I don't think I play enough to eventually see that small edge pay off. 
#7




Quote:
So if you call an allin with AK you may very well end up in a coin flip but not always some of the times you will be a big favorite. 