What Is A Coin Flip In Poker?
A coin flip is a term that poker players use when referring to situations in which two players are all-in, and each player has around a 50% chance of winning the hand.
The term “coin flip” comes from the fact that both players have an equal chance of winning the hand, just like with flipping a coin where there is a 50% chance that the coin will land on either side.
Coin flip situations are most common in poker tournaments, particularly in the later stages, where players are often forced to go all-in with marginal hands to accumulate chips and stay alive in the tournament.
It is important to note that although the terms insinuate that both players have an equal chance of winning the pot, in most situations, one hand is a slight favorite based on the correct percentages.
In most coin flips, there are two overcards against a pocket pair like AK vs. QQ, AK vs. JJ, QJ vs. 66, KQ vs. TT, etc., and the pocket pair is always a slight favorite.
Poker Coin Flip Example:
Imagine that you are playing in a poker tournament, you go all in with As Ks for the last 20bb, and one of your opponents makes a call with Qc Qh.
This all-in would be characterized as a coin flip. In fact, the AK vs. QQ hand has become synonymous with the term, as these two hands create the most common coin-flip situation in poker.
However, although the term insinuates that both combinations have the same chance of winning the hand, you will see that As Ks has a 46.02% chance of winning the hand, Qc Qh has a 53.59% chance of winning the hand, and there is a 0.39% chance that the hand will end in a split pot if you put this in a poker odds calculator.