From No Limit Hold 'em: Theory and Practice p124

In deep stack no limit, preflop hands derive most of their value from how well they extract money after the flop from your opponents. Comparing hands based on how often they win a showdown or on their poker "hand rank" is worse than worthless.

I would think comparing hands based on how often they win a showdown or on their poker "hand rank" has some value? What am I missing?

1 Answer 1


It does have some value (I feel as though the author's statement is a bit hyperbolic though he is trying to emphasize his point) but the types of hands that can be made postflop with your hole cards are more important because the pot grows exponentially with every street.

Also note how the author starts the sentence with "deep stack." The deeper your stacks the more important this concept becomes since you'll generally need stronger hands to be willing to stack off.

But yes, hand rank does still have some value. The problem is that newer players see big pairs and never even fold them postflop unimproved with deep stacks when they definitely should be.

  • 1
    It probably doesn't warrant a full answer from me, so just to add... @silversana is right about the hyperbole I feel. The concept at play here is Relative vs Absolute hand strength. Pre-flop showdown equities are fine, for pre-flop only. Go any further and you can see how unreliable they can be due to board texture.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 0:12

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