Odds of Winning with Pocket Queens (QQ) – Graph Included


Pocket Queens (QQ) is a great starting hand. It is the third-best hand in Texas Holdem preflop. Only Aces and Kings are ahead of it. Ace-King comes close to flip with QQ but still falls short. And against all the other hand combinations, QQ is a big favorite preflop. Therefore it comes as no surprise we will make a lot of money with QQ. I told you that QQ is a great hand to have preflop, but how good it actually is?

pocket queen (QQ)
3rd best hand in Texas Holdem.

Odds to win with Pocket Queens (QQ) preflop

QQ chance to win - equity preflop
QQ is dominated by only 2 hands preflop – Aces and Kings. Against anything else, it’s a considerable favorite.

QQ is 3rd best hand preflop. This means it is a huge favorite to win against a random hand. Pocket Queens (QQ) is an 80% favorite to win preflop. We are expected to win 4 out of 5 times if we go all-in preflop against a random hand. Obviously, people won’t be going all-in preflop with random hands. If we are up against Aces or Kings, we will be a big underdog with only 18% to win. Against AK, we are a small favorite and against all the other hands, we should feel very confident in winning.

We want to build the pot preflop as our hand does good in 3bet pots, there are plenty of worse hands that will want to continue, and we need to charge them to see the flop.


Winrate with Pocket Queens (QQ)

pocket queens (QQ) winrate by position
Pocket queens graph

Being such a good hand is no surprise that QQ has a massive winrate. My winrate (a mix of 6max and full ring cash games) is 364bb/100. This means I win 3.64 big blinds every time I have QQ. That would be more than $7 on NL200 ($1/$2 blinds) at live games. But your winrate in live games is much higher. Even microstakes (NL25) online are harder than standard NL200 live games.

Big winrate is also shown in the graph. It goes up pretty smoothly, with no significant swings, just consistent winnings (although a bit bigger swings than with KK or AA).

Pocket Queens (QQ) odds postflop on different boards

QQ cbet frequency
More often than not, cbetting with QQ is a good idea.

Many flops are good for QQ. Therefore we will be cbetting on the flop often. To protect our hand against draws and to extract value from a worse hand. If there is no ace or king on the board, then naturally we will be cbetting more. On the boards where plenty of draws are present, we will be pot controlling, but still, on plenty of flops, we will be cbetting.

It also depends on opponent tendencies and the type of players we are up against. I played a lot of small stakes and even microstakes, where players are mostly very passive. They would call with the draws, and reraise only the best hands. Therefore I would get away with higher cbet and didn’t need to worry about pot controlling that much and being balanced. If I get reraised, then it is a sign I am behind, and it is easy to give up. Otherwise, I kept cbetting and extracting value.

I was good almost 60% of the time at showdown, and I went to showdown 40% of the time. It doesn’t matter if in position or out of position, I was able to extract a lot of value from opponents.

Let’s check how our equity changes on different boards.

7c8s9s draw board
This is an example of a very wet flop. Many draws are possible.
  • First, let’s have a look at draw heavy flop of 7c8s9s. We can see that the hands that are raising here either are flipping with us, by being a tiny favorite or a small underdog. And the hands that already beat us are the big favorite to win on the flop already. Therefore in such situations, it makes sense to give up if the opponent shows us aggression. It also makes sense to pot control and not bet on the flop at all.
Our equity against opponents hand on 7c8s9s8h9h9cTcAsJsQsJs
QQ30.4%53.4%47%53.3%
very dry flop in poker
This dry flop is one of the better ones you can hope for with QQ, without hitting the set, of course :).
  • Now let see dry flop like Jc8s2h rainbow. Here we are beating a lot more hand combinations. Only hands that would really beat us is sets and two pairs. Aces and kings are very likely to 3bet us preflop, so they aren’t in opponents range that often.
    Straightforward players, when they reraise you on such flop won’t be bluffing. Against all the other hands, we are happy to value bet against and extract value. AJ will have a hard time folding with top pair top kicker as it beats all other top pair type hands and draws. Even QJ, folding a top pair, is always hard in Texas Holdem. We will get at least two streets of value on such boards.
    It makes absolute sense to continue betting on dry boards and extract as much value as possible. If we are beaten, the players will tell us with the reraise anyway. 
Our equity against opponents hand on J82 rianbowAJ (suited and offsuit)JJTc9cQJ
QQ79%10.2%73.3%90%

3bet and 4bet Pots with QQ

3betting and folding with QQ
QQ is a great hand to 3bet with.

Check my stats at how often I 3bet pocket Queens. I do it 3 out of 4 times (75%). Against the tightest opponents, I might flat call, especially if they are folding to 3bets too much. Please note, this is a mix of 6max and full ring, I am 3betting slightly more in 6max games.

I almost never fold to a 4bet with QQ. Why would I, if it is 3rd best hand in poker? The only times I would fold is by timing out, miss clicking, or being up against extremely tight 3bettor. But for this, you need plenty of notes on the opponent and quite detailed stats. This is where HUD comes in really handy.

On the majority of flops, we can continue with aggression if we 3bet preflop. Ace and K on the flop will not happen that often. Often on turn and river go with a value bet and sometimes showing the river. There are some worse hands that opponents are willing to stack off with.

If an ace or the king comes on the board, then we naturally slow down often and try to pot control.

How often does Ace or King hit on the flop when we have QQ

Naturally, any ace or king on the flop will be a big action killer for our hand. But it also makes playing our QQ very straightforward. We can easily give up a small pot if we are shown aggression on the board that has overcards.

You can expect to see overcard on the flop 42% of the time when holding QQ. If we discount the times, you will hit a set, that drops to 38% of the time.

We can still often go for one street of value betting postflop, on one overcard. But it becomes opponent dependant already, against tight player we might just give up. If someone has pocket tens or the 2nd pair on the flop, they are very rarely folding, especially in live games and microstakes online, so betting once still makes sense. Just don’t build up the pot without having a plan.

QQ multiway

Multiway QQ does fine. On A or k we can now just give up and wait for a better spot. We can value bet other boards that are good for QQ and there aren’t any big draws present. If someone shows us aggression, we are likely already beat, or he has a powerful draw himself. Instead of playing a guessing game, it is better to just give up in such a situation.

The times that we hit a set, it will most often be a top set. We are likely to get paid off by someone holding two pairs or in a dream scenario, lower set, and will be willing to stack off.

Conclusion

QQ is a great hand that will make you a lot of money. It is open from any position preflop and also 3bet against almost everyone. In case of an overcard, we need to slow down with our aggression and be cautious. The art of making a lot of money with QQ is to build up the pot when we believe we are ahead of the opponent’s range of hands. Either by raising, 3betting, or 4betting preflop. Or going for multiple streets of value postflop.

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Primoz

I have played poker professionally for more than 10 years. I was a winner at every poker format that I played - from tournaments to cash games, both in NL Holdem and PLO. Now my biggest satisfaction is to provide enthusiastic but new poker players with answers to all of their questions.

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