in poker, crazy eights may not be nuts but they might make the nuts

Let’s say that we are dealt a nice pair of eights like the eight of hearts and the eight of clubs. Ahhh, to be young, in a deck of cards (maybe clubbing with some clubs?) and preflop:

We hold a pre-flop ranked hand of about 88, you have the 23rd best hand out of 169. Not bad, in fact not bad at all. While you may not have the insane preflop strength of a pair of aces, you can still go crazy, though perhaps not too crazy.

Prior to seeing the flop your strength and chances of winning the hand are roughly 60% if you are heads up, 41% against 2 players, 30% for three players, 24% for four players and at five players you hit 20%. The remaining percentages are 17, 16, 14 and 13 percent each respectively for the sixth through ninth positions.

Long time readers already know what is coming. That is right! An average flop!


Not only is the flop average it is for the most part no help at all and should be reason to fold depending on what the game is. If it is low limit and something like $1/2 or up to $4/8 – I would seriously think about folding considering that at heads up you are looking at 45% chance of winning at best. Against two players you drop to 22% and if there are three other players, just fold it. The odds drop to 13% chance of winning.

If you are in a tournament, you may not have a choice if you are about to lose all your chips with the blinds going up in another round. You may get lucky and hit a crazy streak of luck and win the hand. If you are going to be going out anyways, you may as well go out in style.

If it is no limit, you may want to consider your options depending on how much money is in the pot and what kind of action you are getting. Maybe you will get a dream river card of another eight and the river card will pair the board. The full house will make the nuts and drive anybody else nuts but personally I don’t stick around for situations like that most of the time.

You or I might lose too much money and since I hate poker (I only play it and write about it because I have had some limited success with it and part of my book sales go to Rett Syndrome research), that would really be crazy!

Part of all my book proceeds go to research finding a cure for Rett Syndrom and reversal of symptoms.

Kim Greenblatt

Questions or comments? Let me know about them! Thanks for taking the time to visit and for more information or to get back to the beginning of the blog, go here.

Your card is the four of hearts! You are a person with a great deal of intuition!

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