Discount Gambling

Practical Collusion for Ultimate Texas Hold’em

Posted in collusion, ultimate texas hold'em by stephenhow on January 15, 2010

Most casinos that spread Ultimate Texas Hold’em don’t really mind when players discretely show their hands to their neighbors, or even flash the entire table. This is because overall, a player can’t gain much advantage by doing so. While the player will definitely pick up an edge WHEN possessing a borderline hand AND partner information indicates to alter basic strategy, these conditions don’t occur frequently enough to make much of a difference.

How To Collude

Collusion helps only on borderline cases. When you have a solid hand (e.g., 55’s, KTo, A7o, etc.) don’t bother trying to get neighbor info, just raise. If you have a marginal raising hand (J8s, JTo, Q6s, Q8o, K2s, K5o) then it helps to see your immediate neighbor’s cards, or ideally, see if two of your outs are held by the entire table. Finally, if you have a hand just below the raising threshold, or a pair less than 5’s, then you need full table information before raising.

Using Immediate Neighbors

Sometimes, it’s only practical to see the cards of your immediate neighbors, or otherwise communicate with them. This is very helpful for the marginal raising hands. The tables below show that you should only raise the marginal hands if your immediate neighbors (up to 3 of them) don’t have any of your outs. For example, if you know that among 4 hands (yours included), you have the only K and 5, then 4x raising K5o is worth +14% (of the Ante) than checking it. However, if your neighbors have a K or 5, then 4x raising is a mistake. The same pattern is seen for all the marginal raising hands.

When you only have access to immediate neighbors, then use the column of the tables below for the number of hands you have information for. It doesn’t matter what the other’s players (“dark hands” you can’t see) are holding. It just means you can only use the 4-player or 3-player columns in the tables.

Asking The Whole Table

In some cases (say you’ve filled the table with your friends), you can test the whole table for your outs. If communication with the table is good, you can ask “Should I raise K5o?”. This really means, “Does anyone have a K or 5?”. If you get just one response (meaning, “Yes I have one”), then go ahead and raise, you’re still better off by +7.5% to raise 4x than check). However, if you get two responses, then two of your outs are gone, and you should not raise, since it’s 7.5% better to check. If no one has any of your outs, then raising is worth +22% more than checking.

You can use the whole table for advanced collusion play. There are a set of hands a few notches below the minimum raising threshold that are actually good to raise when all their outs are still in the deck. These hands are listed in the table below under “Marginal Checking Hands”. For example, you would ask the table, “Should I raise K4o?”. Of course, basic strategy says to check this hand, and you’re really asking, “Does anyone have a K or 4?”. If you find no one has your outs, then it’s worth raising, by a long shot (e.g., +18% at a full table, +8.9% for 4 players).

Pocket Pairs

Basic strategy says to raise all pocket pairs except deuces. However, for 2’s thru 5’s, knowing how many outs are already gone (in the players hands) will allow you to make a better decision. The below table shows you the difference between checking and raising 4x for these pairs, given the number of players at the table, and how many of your outs are seen. Note that for 5’s or higher, you should still raise even if all your outs have been seen.

Total Players @ Table
Hand 2 3 4 5 6 information
22 -8.1% -5.1% -2.0% +0.8% +4.7% no outs seen
-40% -39% -37% -34% -32% one out seen
33 +12% +15% +18% +20% +24% no outs seen
-16% -14% -13% -11% -9.6% one out seen
44 +31% +34% +36% +38% +41% no outs seen
+6.4% +7.8% +9.5% +11% +12% one out seen
-21% -21% -21% -21% -21% both outs seen
55 +47% +48% +50% +53% +55% no outs seen
+27% +28% +29% +30% +31% one out seen
+4.5% +4.5% +4.5% +4.5% +4.5% both outs seen
66 +55% +56% +58% +59% +61% no outs seen
+39% +39% +40% +41% +42% one out seen
+21% +21% +21% +21% +21% both outs seen

Marginal Raising Hands

The following table shows the marginal raising hands according to basic strategy, and the difference between raising 4x and checking these hands given table information concerning your outs. Note that the value of a nominal raising hand increases tremendously at a full table when not copied (all outs remain). E.g., with no other information, raising Q8o preflop instead of checking is worth about 2.3% of the Ante bet. However, at a full table (6 players), when no one has any Q or 8, then the value of raising vs. checking is +26% of the Ante. On the other hand, it is much better to check Q8o if your table is 4-handed or less, and someone has a Q or 8.

Total Players @ Table
Hand 2 3 4 5 6 information
JTo +12% +16% +21% +27% +33% no outs seen
-6.8% -1.9% +3.0% +7.9% +14% one high out seen
-6.6% -1.9% +2.6% +7.8% +14% one low out seen
-26% -22% -18% -13% -8.0% one high & one low out seen
Q8o +6.9% +11% +16% +20% +26% no outs seen
-9.0% -5.0% -1.1% +3.8% +8.2% one high out seen
-9.7% -5.7% -2.1% +2.6% +7.8% one low out seen
-26% -23% -19% -15% -11% one high & one low out seen
Q9o +15% +20% +24% +29% +34% no outs seen
-0.8% +3.0% +7.5% +12% +17% one high out seen
-1.0% +2.9% +6.9% +11% +17% one low out seen
K5o +7.1% +9.7% +14% +18% +22% no outs seen
-6.9% -3.5% -0.1% +3.7% +7.5% one high out seen
-6.2% -3.2% +0.1% +4.0% +7.7% one low out seen
-20% -17% -14% -11% -7.4% one high & one low out seen
K6o +12% +15% +19% +23% +28% no outs seen
-2.1% +1.1% +4.9% +9.0% +13% one high out seen
-2.1% +1.0% +5.0% +8.2% +12% one low out seen
A2o +16% +19% +22% +25% +29% no outs seen
+3.1% 5.8% +9.2% +13% +16% one high out seen
+4.5% +7.5% +9.6% +13% +17% one low out seen
-7.4% -5.6% -2.9% -0.1% +3.1% one high & one low out seen

Marginal Checking Hands

The hands in the table below are normally checking hands in basic strategy, but if none of your outs are seen by the table, they may be more advantageous to raise. The table shows the difference between raising 4x and checking these hands, given the table information concerning your outs.

Total Players @ Table
Hand 2 3 4 5 6 information
T9o -9.8% -4.4% +1.2% +6.7% +13% no outs seen
J8o -7.2% -2.9% +2.8% +8.1% +14% no outs seen
J9o +1.9% +6.8% +12% +17% +23% no outs seen
Q5o -11.5% -7.4% -3.1% +1.6% +6.5% no outs seen
Q6o -6.0% -2.5% +2.1% +6.5% +12% no outs seen
Q7o -2.7% +1.5% +5.9% +11% +16% no outs seen
K2o -9.2% -5.0% -0.9% +3.7% +8.4% no outs seen
K3o -3.6% -0.1% +4.2% +8.3% +13.1% no outs seen
K4o +1.0% +4.8% +8.9% +13% +18% no outs seen

55 Responses

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  1. Ted said, on January 18, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Great stuff as usual, Stephen. I used this the other day. A guy asked me if he should raise his 33 and I asked around if anybody had a three. I told him he should make a confident raise. He still lost (dealer hit a pair), but it was cool to use your info. I ran very well myself and was hitting a lot of high outs on K’s and Q’s when I asked if nobody had those.

    By the way, I hit a straight flush last week when I had $10 on the ante and trips. I usually only play $5 but they had the limits set high b/c it was Sat. night. Nice $900 payout. How many SF’s have you seen and have you ever seen a Royal?

    • john said, on February 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm

      A friend showed me this game and I was playing it for the first time. I was down about $40 when I got the queen and jack of spades. The flop contained the king and ten of spades and the river flop had the ace of spades. My $2 bets earned me a little over $1100 plus the $25 bonus they had for full house or better hands. I left two hands later up about $1100.
      Talk about dumb luck.

  2. stephenhow said, on January 18, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Never seen a Royal yet, but I’ve flopped a few draws to it! I’ve hit a SF twice, once while betting $5 Trips.

    There’s still a lot more data coming for this post. There’s quite a few decision points that can be “optimized” with partner info. It’ll keep the game interesting. I think 3 or 4 at the table is ideal for info sharing. What works best for you?

    • pablo said, on January 24, 2010 at 8:35 am

      I hit a royal two weeks ago in Wa State, with 10 x 10 x 10 on table, suited Q 10 in hole.

      Payout was $5600. (500x + 50X + ante + 40)

      I was running late and it was my last hand.

      Are the odds changed if you play two hands at a time?

      • stephenhow said, on January 24, 2010 at 12:23 pm

        Congrats on the Royal! Will your casino let you bet two hands (and look at them)? Your odds of hitting a Royal remain the same per hand (1/30,940), but you’re playing twice as many hands, so it’s happen “faster” on average. I figure the mean time between Royals for a player is about 1000 hours (full-time work is 2000 hours/year). If you always play at full tables, the mean time between seeing a player Royal is about 1/6 of that. I still haven’t even seen one, but I’ve had about 6 draws to one after the flop.

        Good to see you raise QTs. I’m sure you see that most of the other players check that hand 😦

      • Mike Baillargeon said, on May 15, 2013 at 6:58 pm

        Most places I have played will only let additional hands be played blind

      • UTH fan said, on May 20, 2013 at 9:32 am

        I saw it this weekend, the casino puts a plastic piece over one set of cards. You bet on the other set and then they remove the plastic so you can look at that hand as well. How about that as an option for a UTH simulator? Aside from going twice as fast, is there any real benefit of doing two at once? Also, they required the ante to be double the minimum (which at $5, was less than what I play anyway).
        The casino was not down with spoken collusion though, the best I was able to do was pretend to have bad eye-sight and take a long time reading my cards held out far in front of me. But the fellow table mates weren’t too interested in sharing.

  3. Tom said, on January 18, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    I think Harrahs on Fri or Sat night is good when they open the other table. Only 6 players rather than seven at the regular table and rarely full.

  4. Tom said, on January 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm


    I will be at Harrahs this weekend, Arriving FRI noon.
    Hope to see you there.

    • stephenhow said, on January 24, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks for dinner Tom! If they ever comp me for anything at Harrah’s, then I’ll treat you 🙂 I went back Saturday night after 10pm, and both tables were full with no chance of getting on. So I went to Pauma and played at an empty table, getting $5/hr in cashback rewards. See you next weekend.

  5. pablo said, on January 24, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Yes, I always play two hands. The two casinos don’t seem to mind for info sharing at the table. The game isn’t that popular here, so often I just flip my two hands up and play “open”. Only once has a pit boss asked that I stop when other people came to the table.

    I’m just trying to figure out if there is a disadvantage to playing two hands at once. Logically, it shouldn’t, but emotionally it seems that the money flys away qucker.

    I found this site because I was trying to figure out if casino’s can “fix” the shufflers. I swear I win more at one casino than other, that the cards feel “more random” than at the one I suspect.

  6. pablo said, on January 24, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    As an added bonus, since the game is not popular here, I have found that the dealers make a lot more mistakes on payouts, leaving and paying antes on board when dealer has no pair. I had three dealers in a row allow me to bet 4X on the river, duh.

    It never hurts to try to optimize your strategy on a game that the dealer and the eye, don’t really understand.

    • stephenhow said, on January 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      Yes, I make a lot of money off dealer mistakes. Many times they don’t read their hand correctly, and pay out losing hands. On a 4x$5 bet, this is a net +$55 mistake. I made 4 of them over a few days. That’s huge, compared to the house EV of $3/hr.

      If you’re netting from dealer mistakes, then playing 2 hands is better than playing one, by a long shot.

  7. Tom said, on January 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I just got back. Had the room for 3 nights but got beat bad last night You were probably lucky Sat night. The dealers all seemed to be beating everyone.
    I dropped a grand trying to catch up between UTH and Mississippi Stud.
    Made a LOT of 4X bets and got beat by small pairs. Go figure.
    I might be there Wed or Thu if not probably the week end.

    • stephenhow said, on January 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      It’s been a good weekend. I won over $400 on about 16 hours of play. I got lucky on some colluding hands (4x raise in K4o when no one had these outs), picked up one dealer mistake, and got $60 in cashback.

  8. pablo said, on January 27, 2010 at 6:57 am

    played yesterday. It seems full table always pay better than tables with empty positions.

    A 4 hour session I saw 4 quads. First was the guy to my right, then a few hands later the deale r got it. About an hour into play, a lady sits down at an empty spot and gets a quad on her first draw.

    All three of us were playing two hands, and since the table was paying out so well, me and the guy next to me went from 10 x 10 x 10 to 15 x 15 x 15 and for the last two hours it was 25 x 25 x 25.

    I announced that I had to leave ASAP as my wife was going to start looking for me, when bam, I got pocket 5s that turned to quads on the river.

    Left the table with 5.3K, the guy next to me was sitting at about 3K and the lady, playing whites was up to around 500.

    Sorry to leave such hot action, but as soon as it paid out, I asked for a rack and left.

  9. Eric Z said, on February 11, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Hello – first time poster.

    What great information on this site. We have a group of friends completely enamored by this game. We’ve taken this strategy and used it at the UTH tables here in Indiana (at Belterra). We’ve gotten countless number of looks from dealers and players when we hit on A6o, or K5o, or even QTs.

    “That’s gutsy – it may have worked now, but you can’t win playing like that” is the usual comment. The commenter is usually playing $5 ante/blind and $15 on the Trips.

    Our group is heading to the Mirage in March and the information you have here for practical collusion is very interesting. You are right, it’s not hard to share information between players, especially when everyone knows each other. THanks for the tips!

  10. Juan said, on February 19, 2010 at 9:33 am


    I will also be in LV from 3/1 to 3/10 – I think that with sharing info we might be
    able to turn the game positive; also, very curious as to which places offer
    which “trips” payouts (for a little cover purposes).

    I am happy to receive communication from all interested –
    and 702-563-5888 (USA cell – only in country occasionally).

    Yes, this is a great site!

  11. DougR said, on February 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I know that LV Hilton has a live table and the Tropicana has at least one machine. I love the strategy card for UTH (I wrote the ONLY software version of this game!) Could someone post a clearer explaination of the strategy (4th nut, etc.)? Thanks!

    • Ted said, on February 28, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      DougR — Is your software publicly available?

    • Rick said, on October 13, 2019 at 1:53 pm

      Since this is an old post, don’t know if you’ll even see my reply. “Nuts” are the highest hand possible based on the board. For example default “nuts” would be A, K (2nd nut), Q (3rd nut), J (4th nut), etc. When they refer to nuts kickers, it’s simply the highest “garbage card(s)” you’d be playing that are not part of a hand (pair or better). In a straight, it’s the cards that will make the highest straight. So obviously, with a 7,8,9, on the board, it would be best to have the 10-J than 6,10, or 5,6. In a flush, only the highest “nut” that isn’t on the board matters. A and K are already on the board, the nuts would start at Q. So obviously an ace high flush (providing you have the ace) would be the highest, providing there’s no possibility of a straight flush. (I once saw a straight flush and royal flush hit at the same time when the board had 10-K of hearts and one guy had the 9 while the other had the ace).

      That’s why 2,7, offsuit is the worst hole cards in the game because it’s the lowest cards you can have in which you can’t use both cards in a straight or a flush.

  12. calwatch said, on March 7, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    There are two Ultimate apps for the iPhone, but nothing that I’ve seen at an online casino or free version.

  13. Louie said, on March 9, 2010 at 3:05 am

    Great site and great analysis. I was wondering if you had done the calculations to see what the overall gain to basic strategy there is with perfect information. Two players through six. This probably could be done algebraically. Would be very good info. I know a game that allows players to play two hands, so a friend and I could play two hands each for a total of four quite easily.

    Thanks for the hard work,

    • stephenhow said, on March 9, 2010 at 8:01 am

      I haven’t yet fully quantified the collusion edge to this game, but my rough guess right now is that it reduces the house edge by half. There’s just not enough opportunities to make counter- basic strategy decisions. But I will have to total it all up in the near future. I’m working on a practice game for the site right now.

      Thanks for reading!

      • Louie said, on March 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm

        Thanks again for sharing your work!

      • seand said, on June 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm

        Here’s a live example of player collusion (and lack thereof). I was at Pechanga last weekend sitting at 2nd spot of full table. Gent at 1st base and I were looking at our cards in such a manner they were shared. Player 3 wasn’t sharing card info but had been betting aggressively pre-flop (4x on any ace, king, or pocket pair, 3x on any queen regardless of 2nd card). He went 4x $15 bet on pocket 5s. Flop was 9 9 6. River was 7 6. 1st base and I each had 5 J. Player 3 lost $105 on that hand due to having 3rd pair, no kicker (7 on board) and no collusion. If he’d been talking with us he may have still bet 2x on the flop but maybe shouldn’t have gone 4x pre-flop with a low pair and no chance for trips.

  14. AndyK said, on April 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    The swings in UTH are pretty nasty…but I think changing betting patterns when you go in certain swings also plays a HUGE factor in making some big bucks or reducing your bet if you’re in a downswing. agreed?

  15. frank said, on July 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    i was playing UTH with a dealer that would let me bet 4x after the flop consistently (she didn’t understand the game completely i guess). I have to assume this swings the house edge to zero or perhaps favors the player — can you do an analysis on this and find out? I don’t need the strategy (though it would be nice) because i feel like i can use intution enough to figure it out, so just a house edge would be great, thanks

    • stephenhow said, on July 10, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      Wow. I don’t know how long this mistake will last, but while they let you, bet 4x on the flop for any case that you’d normally bet 2x. Also, you should check the marginal 4x preflop raising hands, and just wait until the flop to see if you connect. You’ll have an absolutely huge advantage in this game, but it’s soooooo wrong, they’ll figure it out quickly. Also, remember that the dealer might lose his/her job for repeatedly making this type of egregious error.

  16. Julio said, on January 8, 2011 at 10:05 am

    I saw a note on adding a side bet on UTH or Texas Holdem Bonus where the Blackjack score of the flop cards is used. How does that work? I could not find the information..

  17. Julio said, on February 7, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I was at Red Hawk casino, northern CA, last weekend. They have 2 UTH tables, both have 7 players, not 6. They use Shuffle Master’s machines. Looks like the software had not been upgraded, so when the table was full, the dealer took the top 2 cards from the remaining deck. I wonder (1) how 7 player table impacts the collusion (2) how 7-player table impact the shuffler.

  18. Stan said, on June 27, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Question about collusion.
    I am curious about the solid raising hands preflop. Say I have A-6 to A-Q (suited or not), Stephen’s strategy says to bet them 4x regardless of what I see the players next to me have, but what if 2 players have an A or 1 player has the exact same hand as I, wouldnt that suggest my chances of hitting are too small for a preflop raise? Idea being that my edge is reduced too much to justify the 4x raise.
    Say I have A-Q and 1 player has A-Q and a 2nd player has A-X. To me this would also spell doom if raising 4x preflop, regardless that I know my hand is better than any 2 random dealer holecards, since my outs have been reduced by 3 cards. And what if 4 players have an A, would that really still be all raising hands even tho (for argument sake) all A’s have different 2nd cards.
    I am very curious about the strategy if one knows that several outs are gone and/or HOW many counterfeited cards there have to be in order for me NOT to raise 4x preflop (because the odds of hitting justify a clear check). At one time I didnt raise preflop with A-Q when I saw 2 other A’s and one Q next to me. I hit an A and won the hand but the dealer and other players looked at me and said jeeeez. understandable but they didnt know I knew 3 possible winning cards were gone already.
    Its not unusual for me to be able to see 2 or 3 players holecards before I decide the action preflop.
    I normally play 50/100 blind-ante
    Love your work here Stephen, love it!!
    regards from
    Copenhagen, Denmark

    • stephenhow said, on June 27, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      Hello Stan, thanks for the compliments. Is the minimum Ante 50 krone? Actually, I’ve looked a little more into those “solid raising hands”, and I’ve found that it’s better to check triple-copied hands, than to 4x raise them. At a full table, the chances of being triple-copied is about 7.5%, i.e., C(6,3)*C(44,7)/C(50,10). Usually, I flash my cards and say something like, “I’m raising King-Ten unless I’m copied to death”. If people speak up and show me I’m triple copied, then I check. Otherwise everyone sees me go all in 4x. The floor supervisors in my local San Diego casinos don’t care at all about this kind of collusion.

  19. Stan said, on June 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    You say triple copied. Is that only when the highest card is copied or does it apply to both ? I guess there must be a check/raise difference when copied, in regards to the strength of my 2 cards. K-Q vs for instance A-4, is it the same check strategy if any card is tripcopied ? I’d be more worried about a higher card being tripcopied than the 3rd lowest card, the 4, in this example since the dealer will beat my 4 a lot more times than the Q.
    And what if my Q-Q is copied by another player. Will my Q-Q then be good enough to bet since its a high pair (as opposed to the earlier posts where you would check a 5-5 if the hand is copied) ?

    Here they wont allow you to see other players cards but the ‘good’ dealers wont care too much if its not way too obvious, since they know they get better tips when people win. I have played a lot in Vegas and dealers there are much more willing to let collusion happen.

    The ante and trips minimum here is 50kr (about 10usd) and max is 1.000kr. Usually start out a couple hands with 20-40usd ante to see what happens and build from there to 100 or more since I wont be winning much if I am on a streak and play with minimum antes. When on a winning session, I up the ante and go for bigger wins. After all, in this case, its the casino’s money I have on the table.

    It was discussed in earlier posts that the casino should pay on Trips bets even tho the hand is folded after the river. In Denmark the dealers got the rules straight and never fail to pay out on folded hands that hit the Trips, They advise about it if questions arise at the table and make sure people get paid. If Trips are on the board and playercards get mucked, dealer pays the Trips bet since its a clear hit. If a player wont bet the river, he can show the dealer his hand that hit Trips. Then the dealer pushes cards from under the Play bet to the Trips bet and pay him when he gets around to that hand.

    • stephenhow said, on June 27, 2011 at 10:54 pm

      Triple-copied = when any combination of 3 of your outs (high or low cards) are held by the other players. I found that the effect of copying a low card is about the same as copying a high card. This is probably due to the fact that a copy of the high card improves your odds of winning with a kicker, to offset the harm of reducing your probability of hitting your high pair. I show the effect of the high and the low card copied separately in the above tables.

      QQ is always good, not matter if all Queens are out. This is also true of 55, as you can see in the pairs table of this post.

  20. Stan said, on June 27, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    I know what triple copied means, you misunderstand 🙂 Question is if this triplecopy applies to any of my cards of just the highest…or if there is a difference if my 2 cards are both high as opposed to one high and one low. For instance K-Q vs A-4 where a triplecopied 4 is more likely to get beat by the dealer anyways, I would be more worried about a tripcopied Q than a tripcopied 4.

    • stephenhow said, on June 27, 2011 at 11:14 pm

      Ahhhh … I’d go with the simple approximation that all copies are about the same, whether you have two have close cards like Q9, or separated cards like K5. From the above table, you’ll see that in both these cases, a copied card costs about 15% of EV when raising, at a full table. Thus, treat all copies the same.

  21. Stan said, on June 28, 2011 at 8:24 am

    What about a high pair thats copied by another player. How do go about that, say from 10-10 and up. Is the pair high enough and still favorite to justify a 4x raise?

    A full table here btw, is 7 players and not 6.
    Here we have 1 table using the Shufflemaster that spits it out in one full deck and the dealer cuts it. Other table is shuffled by hand.

    • stephenhow said, on June 28, 2011 at 8:50 am

      You should always raise pocket 5’s thru pocket A’s, regardless of copies. The table above shows you should only raise 2’s when playing 6-handed, and no one has a deuce. You should raise 3’s if you’re not copied. You should raise 4’s if only copied once. Otherwise, you should raise 5’s and higher pairs.

  22. Neil S Ranger said, on August 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm


    What would be the player’s EV, if I could see one of the dealer’s cards? And what strategy should I employ to take maximum adavantage? Is there a chart to follow to deviate from basic strategy?

    • stephenhow said, on August 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      You’re the second request for a hole carding strategy. I’ll work something out next week when I get back from Vegas.

      • Neil S Ranger said, on August 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm

        Thank you

        Also, sorry about the scramble of your name.

        Very interested in 1 or 2 cards exposure strategy in the dealer’s hand.

  23. Jim said, on November 7, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Any chance you can work out an approximate pre-flop strategy where one of the board cards is inadvertantly exposed? This happens quite a bit where I play when the dealer removes the board cards from the shuffle machine and places them on the felt. (By the way, table position 3 is the best place to exploit this weakness). What I have been doing is 4-betting when one of my cards matches the exposed card (to the extent I can get away with this without raising suspicion), and in the more common situation where neither of my cards pairs with the exposed card, I analogized from your collusion strategy and some back-of-the-envelope calculations that I should raise my 4-bet requirements upwards by two hands. In other words, I won’t 4-bet A-2o, A-3o, K-5o, K-6o, Q-8o. Q-9o, or J-10o if neither of my cards matches the exposed board card. Does this sound about right?

    • stephenhow said, on November 7, 2011 at 10:14 am

      I’ll try to get around to it sometime this week.

      • ultimatelover said, on July 3, 2012 at 11:22 am

        I have a few questions for u… need quite a bit of help on some calculations. (Exposed cards) can u help?…. preferably more private if possible…. thanks for any help in advance.

      • stephenhow said, on July 3, 2012 at 11:25 am

        Email me via the contact me page.

  24. Jim said, on November 7, 2011 at 10:30 am


    Thank you! I believe this is a common situation that knowledgeable players should be able to take advantage of.

  25. Tom said, on September 25, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Do you have collusion numbers for when one dealer card is known? For example, a certain book would tell you not to 4x raise 10,5 vs 7, but what if the remaining 3 7s are in players’ hands? I would think this would be a rasie for sure, but what if only 1 or 2 of the remaining 7s are in players’ hands?

    • stephenhow said, on September 25, 2012 at 9:02 am

      I’m not personally interested in hole-carding, so I don’t post about those strategies. I don’t feel comfortable seeking, or even receiving, dealer hole-card info. Plus, I’m way too lazy to even watch for hole cards, let alone find a dealer that does it. Eliot Jacobson blogs about hole-carding strategies, so you might ask him.

  26. yossi said, on February 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Hey stephanhow and sending you big hug for your wonderful study..
    I’m not sure if you delt with this:,,
    let’s say that I have Q – 2 , but I know from my neighbours that most( or lets say all) of aces and kings are out, Isn’t it make my Q a Ase? , should I rase pre flop ?

    thanks a lot agaien

  27. jek187 said, on April 6, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Hi Stephen,

    Fantastic work here. I’ve been playing this game quite a bit lately, and your work here has definitely enabled me to pick up a few fractional points of EV here and there. 🙂 However, my OCD is driving me to bug you to see if there a few more fractions to pick-up. I’m especially curious about how many live hands it takes to make T9s raiseable. Does 98s ever cross the threshold? How many dead cards can a strong hand like ATo withstand and still be raiseable?

    Anyway, I realize that what I’m asking is likely a lot of work, and a lot of computer time, and I’m certainly not asking you just to do it for me. I have a couple ideas where I can get my OCD itch scratched while at the same time making it worth your while. If you could just drop me a quick note to the email I’m using to make this comment, I’ll get back to you with my ideas. Hopefully we can find something that works.

    Regardless, thanks a lot for the unique and excellent information on your site. It’s great work you’ve done here.

  28. vanko said, on February 7, 2017 at 2:08 am

    Hello , I want to ask for this graphs in the first for the pockets : when you say 1 ,2 ,3 ,4 ,5 ,6 that are the players or the outs ?

  29. blai said, on June 17, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    how about if you have AK/KQ and 2 or 3 outs are seen?

    • Mark said, on May 26, 2019 at 6:55 am

      Hi, how much will be the edge casino adjusted by sharing card info and changing raising strategy? Thanks

  30. Brent Clark said, on January 2, 2022 at 8:38 am

    Fantastic! Exactly what I was looking for. Is there any way to see the rest of the chart? hands like suited J T when you know players 2-6 hole cards (but not dealer)?

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