Hold em question (straightforward)

I’ve just started playing hold-em poker and I have a question that’s probably pretty easy for anyone who’s done much reading to answer:

In a pre-flop one-on-one situation, if your opponent has pocket aces, what hand (other than other pocket aces) is the most likely to beat it?

My guess is that it’s something like a JTs (of one of the two suits not held by the guy with aces.)

Is this right, close, or way off?


sorry, upon re-reading I see that I probably implied in my second sentence that pocket aces had a good chance of beating pocket aces. I realise that it doesn’t, not at all.

With no shared suits:

AA vs JTs: 78.3%-21.7%
AA vs 87s: 77%-23% (same odds for AA vs 76s)

Per Card Player’s Hold 'em calculator.

The 87s is better because there are more cards available for straight draws than with a JTs (one of the straights available with JT is AKQJT and two of the Aces are in the other hand).

ah, of course.

I wasnt too far off though. thanks Otto

8,7 7,6 and 6,5 suited (where the suit id different than either of the aces) will all beat A, A the same percentage of the time. However, you are better off having 5,6 because you will tie more often, giving you a higher expected value.

I don’t understand this. Could you explain please?

All of the following boards make both 8,7 and 6,5 tie with A,A (as long as there’s no flush), but the boards marked with a * are more likely to fall if you have 6,5 than if you have 8,7:

QJT98 *
JT987 *
T9876 *

76543 and 65432 also give 6,5 a tie, but they give 8,7 a win. Also, if all 5 cards are the same suit as the hole cards, boards like AQJ95 make 8,7 win, whereas corresponding boards like AQJ97 make 56 tie.

So technically, 8,7 suited (where the suit is different than either of the aces) will beat A,A more than any other hand, but you are stll better off having 6,5 because of the better expected value, meaning you won’t win as much as with 8,7, but you will win and tie more than 8,7, meaning you will lose less often with 6,5.