Thursday, February 12, 2009

Poker Domination-Does It Really Exist?

What is Domination in Poker?

I've had this bad run of luck. The streaks where I lose A-K versus A-Q, K-Q versus K-J, or A-K against A-x. Of course after I lose someone says, "Gee, your hand dominated."

Thanks. Now where did I park my car?

When you and your opponent hold the same highest-ranking card, but you have the better kicker, it's called domination.

A common example is in a no limit tournament when one player moves all-in pre-flop with A-Q and another player calls his all-in bet holding Ace-King. The player with the A-K is said to "dominate" since the King is a higher ranking card than the Queen.

The facts are that the player with the higher ranking kicker is better than a 2-1 favorite. In the example above, the Ace-King hand is 74%/26%.

Domination in Poker is Not All That Dominant

Domination means you have control or power over someone. In poker, you have squat.

Poker is gambling. You are going to lose almost one in every four heads-up battles when you "dominate" your opponent. These are great odds, of course, but...

for some reason, you lose these heads-up battles at the worst time in a tournament. It either means you are going to suffer a huge loss in chips or be knocked out.


The next time someone says your hand dominates, resist the urge to smack him:-)

Feel good about being in the lead, but don't get too comfortable. While being a big favorite is a great situation, the fact is you may end up walking away with car keys in hand.

Its those gods of poker who are really in control..


JakeGint said...

Excellent easy to follow commentary here. You've a flair for the written word.

Best to you.

Steve Brogan said...

Loved your post. I agree with JakeGint. You do have a way with words. Domination in poker is good only if you win otherwise you loose. That said, while the odds are in your favor, the poker gods do control your ultimate destiny.

What's Your Poker IQ?