The title says it all really. Both are either suited or not, so it's a fair call. The slight bias with the Jack (you were expecting 7/10 hey?) is intentional.

If the range was shifted up/down, would you change you mind?

  • 1
    This question needs more context to be answered in any meaningful way. If you're heads up in a cash game with J7 and know that your opponent has gone all-in preflop with 98 you'd be an idiot not to call. Other circumstances might complicate matters. Jan 25, 2015 at 16:27
  • I was going for the straight advantage offered by 8/9, I get really stuck on the basic question. I meant TxsHdEm, but I'm new to this and didn't see the tag. I think the range shift doesn't change anything?
    – JMP
    Jan 25, 2015 at 16:41
  • 1
    The straight advantage for 98 is negligible in a heads-up contest with J7. It's about 57%/43% in favor of the J7. Without additional context, this question is nearly meaningless. Jan 25, 2015 at 22:19

2 Answers 2


I would prefer the 89, I don't even play J7, suited or not ever jack seven is about as useless as 9-2, j-7 is just two random cards that have no quality, just two below average cards that do not particularly compliment each other at all. Disconnected hands have huge downsides mainly they just do not play well because you cant really make a strong straight with them, nor flop straight draws that justify continuing in a hand. Flopping top pair with J-7 means you have a kicker that you should not bet with, and it is often a loser if someone bets into you.

Connected hands like 8-9 make nut straights, and give you draws that are often profitable, which make them much more playable then J-7.

I am sure that statistically, with out considering betting, that J-7 will win more often then 89. But that does not make j-7 better. If you play j7 you will lose more money simply because it is the kind of hand that you cannot really make money with even when the flop hits you.

  • That's what I would have said, if you don't hit on the flop its also easy enough to drop.
    – JMP
    Jan 26, 2015 at 7:03

it's pretty simple...

89 vs a random hand performs better than J7 vs a random hand.

however, head to head, J7 performs better than 89.

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