If you would like more information about playing poker on the Web,
join our newsletter full of poker tips and promotions. Sign up today
to get the latest information.
Every poker player has heard of the expression making a coin flip.
This means that you are in a heads-up situation where your hand against another player's hand is a 50/50 shot at who wins. In other word the expected value is around zero (assuming no one folds). You can also consider a 45/55 a coin flip as well, since the percentages are so close to even.
This is because even though a 55% favorite is a favorite, you will still see a large amount of variance because it is so close to a coin flip that you are still losing almost half the time. Coin flips can be profitable and dangerous at the same time. As long as you are careful, you shouldn't run into too many problems with coin flips.
1. AK vs Pocket Pair - When you have AK against any pocket pair lower than a king you are in a coin flip. The pocket pair is the favorite, but you have a large chance of beating them still. The main idea behind this is that you want to be aggressive with your hand.
When you raise preflop with AK and someone raises behind you, more than likely you want to move all in. You might only be a 45% on the coin flip if they hold a pocket pair, but with your aggression and fold equity added on, you increase your percentage of winning significantly because your opponent might fold giving you the pot right away uncontested. Be wary of tight players when considering this play. Most tight players will have you crushed when they reraise you preflop so be careful.
2. Pocket Pairs - You want to make sure that you are playing your own pocket pairs correctly too instead of just getting in with coin flips. Most of the time you will just set mine with your pocket pairs, but if it is a decent pair against a loose player you can really get some value.
To avoid doing a coin flip with hard hands to play like TT or JJ, you should try to see the flop before you get it in. If there is an over on the board you can simply throw it away, but you can get it in when you have an over pair to the board. This will save you a lot of money by avoiding pointless coin flips where you are up against bigger pairs.
3. Coin Flip Draws - There are a lot of times you will be a coin flip with draws that you have against your opponent.
For the most part your opponents will be playing hands that consist of pairs and easy draws like straights and flushes. When you have a hand like a pair and a flush draw against top pair you are still a coin flip against this opponent because you have such a big hand. You need to use aggression with these big draws as well to take advantage of the situation. If you are not aggressive with this hand, then in the long run you will lose money because you will only win 45% of the time. When you factor in your aggression you will see that you are more of the favorite because you are maximizing your fold equity.
4. Fake Coin Flip - If you are forced to show down multiple situations in which you got it all in with a coin flip, then good players are going to realize this.
You can take advantage of this by faking that you have another coin flip situation when you in fact have a great hand like AA or KK. By taking advantage of your table image these players can be forced to think that you are a bad player and will get it in much lighter against you.
Make sure that you are focusing this play on GOOD PLAYERS. Bad players don't pay attention to betting patterns and won't realize what you are doing.