# Bill Chen Poker Formula

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#### mischman

##### Legend
Silver Level
I found this on another poker website. It determines what hands you should play in what position. Has anyone ever tried it?

The Starting Hand Analysis is based on the Bill Chen Formula below.

The Bill Chen Formula
Determine your highest card and score as follows:

• Ace = 10 points
• King = 8 points
• Queen = 7 points
• Jack = 6 points
• 10 through 2 = half of face value (i.e. 10 = 5, 9 = 4.5)
• Pairs, multiply score by 2 (i.e. KK = 16), minimum score for a pair is 5 (so pairs of 2 through 4 get a 5 score)
• Suited cards, add two points to highest card score
• Connectors add 1 point (i.e. KQ)
• One gap, subtract 1 point (i.e. T8)
• Two gap, subtract 2 points (i.e. AJ)
• Three gap, subtract 4 points (i.e. J7)
• Four or more gap, subtract 5 points (i.e. A4)
Sample scores
AA = 20 points
98s = 7.5 points
K9s = 6 points

Early Position
• Raise = Score is 9 or higher
• Call = Score is 8 or higher
• Fold = Score is lower than 8
Middle Position
• Raise = Score is 9 or higher
• Call = Score is 7 or higher
• Fold = Score is lower than 7
Late Position
• Raise = Score is 9 or higher
• Call = Score is 6 or higher
• Fold = Score is lower than 6

#### ChuckTs

##### Legend
Silver Level
Middle Position
• Raise = Score is 9 or higher

errr so raise with K2 is suggested?
Not sure I like this...actually I'm sure I don't like it; why not just stick to a starting hands chart if you're not sure what to do?

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#### mischman

##### Legend
Silver Level
errr so raise with K2 is suggested?
Not sure I like this...actually I'm sure I don't like it; why not just stick to a starting hands chart if you're not sure what to do?

One gap, subtract 1 point (i.e. T8)
Two gap, subtract 2 points (i.e. AJ)
Three gap, subtract 4 points (i.e. J7)
Four or more gap, subtract 5 points (i.e. A4)

#### Jack Daniels

##### Charcoal Mellowed
Silver Level
• Four or more gap, subtract 5 points (i.e. A4) Just being nit picky on the example. Should be A6. A4 is a 2 gap.
Sample scores (Don't know if these are yours or came with the strategy. While it should be easy enough to figure out based on the rules above, not everyone is a math geek like you and me. A brief calculation to each could help them.
AA = 20 points
98s = 7.5 points
K9s = 6 points

Also, the way I read it, the rules above for calculation are to be followed top down one at a time. Don't jump around or you will screw up your #'s and wind up over valuing a hand.

Interesting theory. I read an article based on a very similar concept, but it was specifically written for heads-up play. I wonder if that is what this was intended for? Those couple points I noted are the only things I see wrong. Otherwise it is still interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Edit: Also, I noticed that the chart doesn't mention betting. It is stricly reactive (i.e. raise, call, fold). Unless of course we interpret the raise to be bet and call/fold to be check. That could be, I guess. Now, of course, since I'm a math geek, I have to sit down and start working through some scenarios.

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#### Jack Daniels

##### Charcoal Mellowed
Silver Level
errr so raise with K2 is suggested?
Not sure I like this...actually I'm sure I don't like it; why not just stick to a starting hands chart if you're not sure what to do?

No actually, it would be a fold from any postion. Even if it is suited.
K = 8
Suited + 2 = 10
4or more gap is -5 = 5 final score.

Chart says fold in any position.

#### mrsnake3695

##### I'm confused
Silver Level
What about reads, what about chips stacks, yours and others, what if there was a raise in front of you? What about a riase and reraise in front of you or a raise call? Is this limit or no-limit? If no-limit, how much are the raises?

Too many holes in this kind of thing.

#### ChuckTs

##### Legend
Silver Level
errr so raise with K2 is suggested?
Not sure I like this...actually I'm sure I don't like it; why not just stick to a starting hands chart if you're not sure what to do?

Four or more gap, subtract 5 points

errrr i obviously missed that. sorry bout that...

Even so, why the complicated math? stick to one of the many starting hand charts, and you're good. Eventually, you realize what to play from where and for how much (call or raise)...

#### Jack Daniels

##### Charcoal Mellowed
Silver Level
What about reads, what about chips stacks, yours and others, what if there was a raise in front of you? What about a riase and reraise in front of you or a raise call? Is this limit or no-limit? If no-limit, how much are the raises?

Too many holes in this kind of thing.
I can't speak to this specific strategy since I didn't write it or post it, but my guess is that it was written as a basic newbie formula regardless of anything else (although the wording does sound like limit holdem). At least that's the way it sounds to me. It is generally protecting them from themselves in many cases and forcing them to play good cards harder.

I don't know, though. Now I'm just typing because I want to and because this is my post and I can type in it if I want to.

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#### mischman

##### Legend
Silver Level
I thought it was interesting.

I can see Jamie Gold sitting at a table with a pecnil and paper adding up his score.....is 23 a prime number?

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#### bootleg

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
this reminds of the lil cheat cards you see new blackjack players have where it tells them to hit or stay with what the dealer is showing...

its definitely more for a beginner to develop a solid preflop game but stack size, reads and etc are just as important

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#### PoochMasterFlex

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
I just used the bill chen formula for a tournement of 54 people and I took 1st Place!!!! It definetly works!

#### Wonka22

##### Visionary
Silver Level
Because one game is a perfect sample size....

I actually played 27 in the BB the other day...and my flopped 2 was good at showdown...

#### TheseNutsWin

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
No actually, it would be a fold from any postion. Even if it is suited.
K = 8
Suited + 2 = 10
4or more gap is -5 = 5 final score.

Chart says fold in any position.

this is incorrect, you forgot to add 1 point for half the face value of a 2 = 1 so it will be final score = 6 (CALL) which brings an interesting point... K2s (CALL) K4s(RAISE) ? it does not sound right to me.. in my opinion 2 kicker is as strong as 4 kicker how much of a difference is there? also.. K8s(score9) in early position would be a RAISE.. that is one LOOSE PLAY..

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#### WVHillbilly

##### Legend
Silver Level
Holy ancient thread revival, how did this get up here?

#### Dwilius

##### CardsChat Regular
Silver Level
Well, someone actually tried the system and reported back...then JD's math from 2 years ago had to be "corrected" with more egregious errors.

#### TheseNutsWin

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
Well, someone actually tried the system and reported back...then JD's math from 2 years ago had to be "corrected" with more egregious errors.

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#### TurningStar

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
Yeah this seems more complicated than the standard starting hand charts.....Did someone say this was from 2yrs ago? Wow...lol

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#### railslave

##### Rising Star
Bronze Level
i never used a system, but this seems interesting enough to study i always read faces, but you cant do that online eh

#### ActAsIf

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
Reading this thread made me giggle. The amount of effort and correction to calculate one hand (K2). I can only imagine everyone sitting around the table helping each other calculate their values like a study group before they can play the hand. rotflmao!

Does Bill have a follow-up system for the flop? Let's see, I hit my Ace, so take the square root...then multiply...add? no, subtract...yeah. "I call." AAHHH!

Ask yourself if your hand has enough to it to be able to be the best hand if you get a good flop. Factor in your position and the action relative to the quality of your two cards. Then decide if you want to play it safe or become aggressive, depending on the "flow" of the table.

I know, how can you do all that if you're still trying to figure out if K2o/s is a good or a bad hand to play? I bet you wouldn't ask that question about 99. You would? Well then, I guess everything is dependent on the situation, even Bill's system.