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The upper hand

edited August 2019 in APT Questions


I have a question about some hands in the "Upper hand" game.

How is it possible that J9s preflop is better than 55? Or even 44?
I think there's a mistake. Please, check it out.


  • AllenBlay

    There is no mistake. The game will always be correct and any time you think it is wrong is exactly the point of the game - you learn from it.

    J9s is favored over 55 or 44. It's close, but J9s is favored even if one of the low pair cards is in the suit, as long as it doesn't take away straight possibilities.

    As a general rule, a two overcard suited one-gapper will be a very small favorite heads-up pre-flop over a lower pair as long as the suited one-gapper has full straight potential on both sides. So J9s is favored over 66, 55, 44, etc., but not over 77, 88 (because those take away possible straights). T8s is favored over 55, 44, etc., but not over 66 and 77. QTs is favored over 77, 66, etc., but not 88, 99. KJs is NOT favored over underpairs except for 22-44 (because KJ loses some straight possibilities, but gains back that little bit because 22-44 lose some straight possibilities).

    It really is a very, very small difference - most people think of suited one-gapper vs. underpair as a coin toss.

    This is why I love the Upper Hand game. It really makes you start thinking about where the outs are coming from and how your opponent's hand can block you (and the other way around).


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