Coin flip, coinflip, or just a flip is a very well known term for poker players, and is used much more than the words flip a coin. Coin flip in poker means a situation where two players have put their money into a hand, and both have almost 50% probability to win. Often the odds to win the hand are somewhere from 46% vs 54% to 50% vs 50%. And in some cases there is a possibility to split the pot even though it is called a flip. As you can see, a coin flip in poker isn’t exactly a 50% vs 50% flip. Instead, the term is used more loosely.
Coin flips in poker actually happen quite often for active poker players, and it is part of the game. Sometimes you just need to put your money in with your cards and hope that you are ahead. But it could be that the other player has a hand which is equally (or almost equally) good.
Coin flip in cash games and tournaments
In cash games, flips are very common, because if you lose, you can always put your hand to the pocket, or walk to the ATM and take more money to the table. Of course within your bankroll limits.
In tournament poker flips are of course more risky. This is because you might end up walking home, by risking all your chips in just one coinflip. It could be that your chips have actually more value if you would use them in other way. Sometimes it is good to avoid risks such as coin flips
You might end up in a coin flip situation, for example if you try to push out other players with an all-in bet, hoping that you get fold equity with your aggressive push. But then again, some player might have a hand that they feel comfortable calling with, and you end up in a coin flip.
Coin flip odds in poker – You have to know what you are doing
As flips are crucial part of the game, it is good to understand your odds to win the flips, as well as your equity or EV (estimated value). And to win in the long run, you of course have to be on the better side of the odds (the favorite) when you end up in to a coin flip. If end up to coin flip situations more often with under 50% probability to win, you are the underdog. Then you need to rethink your gameplay and your strategy, as you are probably leaking money. (Unless the EV to get more money by stealing chips when you push other people out from the hands is higher than the negative EV that you get when you end up as an underdog in a flip.)
No matter what, coin flips are essential part of poker and make any poker game more exciting and interesting. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
Coin flip in poker: example situations and odds
Here is a few example situations of coin flips in poker, to help you understand what coin flips in poker mean in reality. It is crucial to understand the odds of different flip situations, if you want to win in the long run.
Example #1 – Coinflip in No Limit Texas Hold’em – Preflop coin flip
You are holding pocket jacks (Jc-Js). The hand is folded to you in the button. You decide to push all-in with your short stack in order to steal the blinds. The small blind folds his hand, but the player in big blind wakes up from checking Instagram. He looks at his cards, and sees suited Ace-King (Ah-Kh) and calls your all-in push, wishing that you were just trying to steal the blinds with some random two cards.
Now you are in a classic coin flip situation and the odds for the hands to win are the following: your Jc-Js wins with 53.68% probability, and the big blind’s Ah-Kh wins with 45.94% probability. And the odds for a tie are 0.38%. This is a flip where you are the favorite, and the big blind is crying inside hoping to hit something on the flop, but saying out loud that: “It’s a flip, it’s a flip”.
Example #2 – Coinflip in No Limit Texas Hold’em – After flop coin flip
Now let’s look at the same cards, but after the flop has been dealt. The flop is 9h-Th-5c, and the big blind pushes all-in, and you decide to call his push, as you have a quite decent over pair.
Now you are again in a flip situation, and the odds in this after-flop scenario are: your pocket jacks are now an underdog, with the 46.46% probability to win. The opponent’s Ah-Kh is now a favorite with 53.54% probability to win.
Now you are the one smiling (but probably pooping your pants a bit) and wishing to get lucky. Your hand is ahead on the flop, but the other hand still has better odds to win the pot.
The biggest coin flips in poker
In the history of poker, there has been some huge coin flips, or in poker slang “sick flips”. Some of them have been recorded with written stories from exclusive cash games for example in the legendary Bobby’s Room in Bellagio (Las Vegas). And you can find videos from some of the biggest coin flips in poker. Videos are of course great as all the poker fans can see the whole action, the faces, the sweat and the emotions which the players go through.
And for sure the big audience doesn’t know all the biggest coin flips in poker. This is because some of the biggest flips happen in private games, which only the poker professionals know about. Some of the biggest coin flips in poker have been televised. You can see a few of them below.
Shark Cage TV show coinflip which is worth almost 1.000.000 dollars.
The winner of Shark Cage gets 1 million dollars, and the two players flip, for almost all the chips.
Poker coin flip videos and strategy videos
Coin flips in poker can be very entertaining to watch, and we have collected below a few flips as well as strategy videos
Jens Jeans89 Kyllönen PLO strategy video:
Jens is playing 50/100 PLO and explains reasoning to his fold in this RunItTwice.com strategy video.
Video honoring Gus Hansen and his crazy calls
Gus is known from his crazy hand selection and here is a nice compilation from some of the craziest hands he has played.
All poker players flip
All poker players will flip at some point of their career, and many of them even tens of thousands of times. Some of the players try to avoid flipping, and some like to take a bit more risks. But it all depends on the situation, format of the game, history between the players and many other variables.
We have listed below well known professional poker players, who most probably like the excitement of a flip.
Ilari Ziigmund Sahamies
Ilari Sahamies is one of the most well known Finnish poker professionals, who used to also tell about his flips in his blog. He is one of the best Pot-Limit Omaha players in the world, and loves to flip.
He is known also for his entertaining rant after tilting. Ilari plays at PokerStars with nick Ilari FIN.
Phil RaiseOnce Ivey
Phil Ivey is an American poker professional, and one of the best poker players, ever. Ivey has been flipping both in cash games and tournaments for tens of years.
Phil is also know for big side bets, and from trying to beat the house in casino table games.
Antonio Esfandiari, also known as The Magician, is an American poker pro and one of the most well known poker players. He has written poker books and blogs, is a party animal, and is known for his aggressive playing style. With his aggressive style he gets often to coin flip situations in poker games.
Sami Larsluzak Kelopuro
Sami Kelopuro is poker professional from Finland, who once dominated NL Heads-up games online. Kelopuro has also shared his play and thinking in his blog, and is known as one of the hardest poker grinders and big swings.
Jens Jeans89 Kyllönen
Jens Kyllönen, a Finnish Pot-Limit Omaha specialist, who started his career very young, as many other players. His PLO videos and strategies are great content for any poker fan. If you have followed his blog and videos, you are are a better player now for sure.
People who know Jens, know that he is one of the hardest studying poker professionals, which shows in his consistent results.
Tom durrrr Dawn
Tom Dwan is an American poker pro who isn’t afraid to push his chips in and put other players under huge pressure. He was at some point of his career ruling the NLH games online, and was considered the best online poker player in the world. People might know Dwan from his “durrrr challenge” with Patrik Antonius or Daniel jungleman12 Cates, or from his huge sessions with martonas. Dwan has clashed multiple times with Viktor Isildur1 Blom, and in those sessions the swings were always huge. In one session Dwan lost to Isildur1 3 million dollars in just 4 hours.
Viktor Isildur1 Blom
Viktor Blom is a Swedish poker professional and wonder-kid, whose rise to the top of online poker was followed by millions of poker fans. His swings are huge and his poker sessions are terrifyingly long. And what’s sure, is that Blom isn’t afraid to flip and put his money in.
Patrik Finddagrind Antonius
Patrik Antonius is probably the most famous professional poker player from Finland. He is known from his cool and composed presence at poker tables, no matter if the pots are worth of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Antonius has through the years shown amazing hand reading skills, and some people remember him from this amazing hand, where he calls with just a king high in a 500K pot against Tomas kingsofcards Marchese:
Andrew good2cu Robl
Andrew Robl is an American poker professional who has played some of the biggest cash games online and offline.
Gus Hansen is a Danish poker player who originally started as a backgammon professional. The Dane has been very successful at tournament poker, whereas in online cash games his recorded results (at Highgstakesdb.com) show a total loss of 20 million dollars. Gus was also a Full Tilt Poker Professional player and ambassador.
Jason Mercier is an American poker player specialized in tournament poker. He is also one of the biggest winning live tournament poker players. He was team PokerStars Pro from 2009 until end of 2017, when he decided to not continue the contract, so that he can focus more on his newborn son and family.
Daniel Kid Poker Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu is one of the best and most well known poker players in the world. The Canadian has been a long term Team PokerStars Pro player and ambassador, and has a big follower base in the poker community.
Negreanu is mainly a tournament poker player. Negreanu is a very entertaining player to watch and follow. And like many other poker players, Negreanu likes to make big and fun prop bets.
Daniel jungleman12 Cates
Daniel Cates is an American online poker professional who plays at PokerStars with nickname w00ki3z. Cates has also some nice tournament results, with over 6 million dollar lifetime cashes from live tournaments.
Doyle Texas Dolly Brunson
If you don’t know Doyle Brunson, you don’t know too much about poker. Doyle Brunson (born in 1933) an American poker player (now retired) is one of the all time poker players in the history of poker. And one could say that he is one of the most iconic faces of poker. Texas Dolly has played it all: from big tournaments to high stakes cash games. Brunson has won 10 WSOP bracelets from 1975 until 2005 and is regarded as one of the best and most influential poker players in the world.
Phil The Poker Brat Hellmuth
Phil Hellmuth is an old school American poker player, and a legend, who holds the title of winning most WSOP bracelets. Hellmuth has won so far 15 bracelets, from his 1989 WSOP Main Event title to the 2018 WSOP $5,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament win. Everyone knows Phil from his temper and table talk (thus the nickname Poker Brat) which is very entertaining to the other players and TV viewers. Hellmuth’s results can’t be denied, and he is one of the best poker players in the world.
Barry Greenstein is an American poker professional and philanthropic who has won three WSOP titles and played in the biggest televised cash games.
Guy Laliberté is a Canadian businessman, investor and poker player who is the co-founder of Cirque du Soleil. He is know from playing high stakes poker against the top players in the world, and probably has lost quite a lot of money during those games.
Laliberté is a philanthropic and has his own “One Drop Foundation”. The foundation collects money from super-highroller poker tournaments like the Big One, a $1 million dollar buy-in tournament.
David Benyamine is a French poker professional who has played the biggest cash games online. Benyamine has also significant tournament poker results. He has won a bracelet in WSOP and a major WPT event.
Mike The Mouth Matusow
Mike Matusow is an old school American poker professional. He has won four WSOP bracelets and his nickname The Mouth is quite self-explanatory: he speaks, a lot. The poker community knows him from some crazy prop bets. Matusow has made two famous weight loss prop bets. In the first one, in 2007-2008, he had to drop his weight from 241 to 181 pounds in approximately one years time. He made it and won 100.000 USD from Forrest.
In the second prop bet, in 2010, Matusow bet that Ted Forrest could not drop his weight from 188 pounds to under 140 pounds, within a few months time. Forrest trained and ate smartly and made the weight. This cost Mike Matusow 2 million dollars, which he had not paid yet (at least in 2014).
Howard The Professor Lederer
Howard Lederer is an American Poker professional and one of the main guys behind Full Tilt Poker. Lederer has won two WSOP bracelents and two World Poker Tour events. Howard is also a gambler and has participated to prop bets, for example against Tom durrrr Dwan to win a bracelet in WSOP.
Phil OMGClayAiken Galfond
Phil Galfond is an American poker professional and entrepreneur, and one of the best Pot-Limit Omaha players in the world.
He has three WSOP bracelets and is currently running a poker training site: Run It Once. Galfond’s nickname at at PokerStars is MrSweets28, and at Full Tilt Poker he went by the nick OMGClayAiken.
Ben benba Lamb
Ben Lamb is an American poker professional who has beaten the best games online as well as offline. In 2011 he won the World Series of Poker Player of the Year -title with 5 cashes and one bracelet. Ben Lamb is exceptionally good in Pot-Limit Omaha.
Sam, or Sammy, Farha is an old school poker professional, who was born in Lebanon, but has made his career in the US poker tables. He is a regular face in high stakes cash games, and always fun to watch in TV. He is also a three-time WSOP bracelet winner.
Alec traheho Torelli
Alec Torelli is an Italian-American poker professional and entrepreneur. He has been successful both in live tournament and high stakes cash games. When Doyle Brunson saw Alec Torelli playing, he was very impressed with him, and eventually Torelli was a sponsored player at the online poker site Doyle’s Room.
Peter Hallberg is a Danish backgammon and poker player. He won the Backgammon World Championship in 2004 and has played and blogged about poker and backgammon. He hasn’t had any big recorded wins at least in live tournament poker.
Dan Shak is an American hedge fund manager and a semi-professional high stakes poker player, who has beaten some of the best players in the world. For example, he beat Phil Ivey in Heads-up in Aussie Millions $100.000 AUD Poker Challenge in 2010, taking home a hefty 1.1 million USD prize.
Shak’s live tournament winnings are already over 9 million dollars and his biggest win so far is 1.178.980 dollars from PCA Super High Roller in 2014.
Brian sbrugby Townsend
Brian Townsend is an American poker professional and he was one of the main members in Cardrunners poker instruction video site. Townsend was accused of sharing hand histories to Brian Hastings, so that Brian could get advantage against Viktor Isildur1 Blom in heads-up games.
Cole cts687 South
Cole South is an American poker professional and entrepreneur, who was one of the top names at Cardrunners. Similar to Brian Townsend, South was also accused of sharing hand histories, and from controversial play against Ilari ziigmund Sahamies, but was never given any penalties from his actions.
Shaun shaundeeb Deeb
Shaun Deeb is an American poker professional, also known with nickname tedsfishfry. Deeb is a really good tournament poker player. He can easily multi-table 15-20 online tournaments at the same time. In 2018 WSOP Shaun Deeb won two bracelets, showing to the poker world that he still has a lot more to give.
Johnny bad_ip Lodden
Johnny Lodden is a Norwegian poker professional. He became famous in online poker winning big at Prima Network in the early days of online poker. Lodden is a regular face at European Poker Tour (EPT) events. He was signed by PokerStars in 2009 to be a Team PokerStars Pro player. In 2017 he changed from Team PokerStars to PartyPoker.
Luke FullFlush1 Schwartz
Luke Schwartz is a British poker professional, who likes to trash talk on poker tables both offline and online. If you search videos with his name, we will give you 100% entertainment guarantee.
Thomas Boku87 Boekhoff
Thomas Boekhoff is a German poker player who was also a member of PokerStars Team Online. He is one crazy multitabler, playing up to 50 tables at the same time. Some people remember him from his challenge to grow a 5$ bankroll into 100K in one year. Guess what? He succeeded in it!
Vanessa Lady Maverick Rousso
Vanessa Rousso is one of the most well known female poker players, and regarded as one of the top 10 sexiest poker players in the world, due to her good looks. Rousso has dual citizenship (US and France) and she has cashed in the biggest poker tournaments and played in multiple TV shows. Some might remember her also from the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
Isabelle No Mercy Mercier
Isabelle Mercier is a Canadian poker professional and one of the most well known and respected female poker players. She has had success both in online and offline tournaments.
Liv Iron Maiden Boeree
Liv Boeree is a British poker professional and TV presenter who has both EPT and WSOP titles on her belt. She joined PokerStars Pro team in 2010 and has over 3.5 Million USD live tournament winnings, and is still playing actively in live tournaments.
A Canadian TV presenter, host, journalist and a poker player, who has been in the poker scene for quite a while. She has been a host for Poker Night Live, GSN’s High Stakes Poker and part of ESPN’s WSOP 2011 Main Event coverage as a sideline reporter.
Her best live tournament winning is from the Irish Open in 2009. She cashed 413.612 dollars from her 2nd position in the main event. Currently Kara is a presenter and ambassador for 888poker
Peter Icegate Eastgate
Peter Eastgate is a Danish poker professional and WSOP Main Event 2008 winner. Eastgate for sure isn’t scared to flip a coin. Why? Because there is news that he is a gambler, and has lost millions of dollars in sports betting.
Faraz The Toilet Jaka,
Faraz Jaka is an American poker player and a businessman known from his great live tournament poker results, and creative hand selection.
Some poker fans remember his sick call at NAPT Mohegan Sun in 2010. He called an all in on the river when the board was As 6c 5s 3h Ts. The opponent showed 7s8c, and Jaka’s hand was 8d9h. What a sick call!
Prahlad Spirit Rock Friedman
Prahlad Friedman is an American poker professional who has had some controversy within the poker community due to his tactics. Friedman lost millions of dollars in the Ultimate Bet scandal. After Ultimate Bet paid back the lost money, he defeated the site, which many people in poker community didn’t like.
Sorel Imper1um Mizzi
Sorel Mizzi is a Canadian poker professional who has had some controversy in his career. In 2007 he played an online tournament from his friend’s (Chris Vaughn) Full Tilt account and won the tournament. He admitted it and eventually had to return the winnings.
Stu The Kid Ungar
Stu Ungar is the legendary American poker and gin rummy player, as well as a gambler, in the early days of poker. Ungar’s best years were in the 70’s and 80’s, and he is the only player who has won the WSOP Main Event three times. Ungar had a tough drug addiction for many years, and he passed away in 1998.
Rui PepperoniF Cao
Rui Cao is an American online poker player who specializes in Pot-Limit Omaha. He has played the biggest players such as Viktor Blom.
Dave Devilfish Ulliot
Dave Ulliot was an English professional poker player who passed away in 2015 at the age of 61, quickly after having been diagnosed with colon cancer. He was one of the most entertaining and colorful players in poker.
Ulliot was one of the best British Hold’em and PLO players, and his live tournament cashes were over 6 million dollars. He won a WSOP bracelet in 1997 from Pot Limit Hold’em, and one major WPT No Limit Hold’em event in 2003.
Sammy Any Two George
Sammy George is a British poker professional and people know him from his table rant. He was given a lesson by durrrr in the Full Tilt Million Dollar Challenge in London in 2009, losing $750.000 to Tom Dwan.
Ian The Raiser Frazer
In Frazer is an English poker player and a commentator. He is specialized in shootout tournaments.
His biggest win so far is from 2005 at 888.com Pacific Poker Challenge. He beat the whole field and won 500,000 US dollars.
Peter Zupp Jepsen
Peter Jensen is a Danish poker professional who won EPT Warsaw in 2007. He is known from setting the new World Record for biggest pot (at the time) in 2008, when we won a pot of $499,037 against Tom Dwan.
Sune Berg Hansen
Sune Berg Hansen is a Danish chessmaster and a poker player. He has operated a Danish poker site PokerNet, written poker articles and a blog also for the Danish newspaper Politiken. He used to speak in his blog how poker improved his chess.
Everyone knows this Italian former professional football player. But do you know that he is a big fan of poker?
Totti was actually signed by PartyPoker in 2010 as one of their brand ambassador for PartyPoker.it to attract more Italian players to the site. He doesn’t have any significant live tournament results. But who knows if he is killing it in some private cash games. We are sure he has deep pockets to play high stakes!
Online poker sites and networks
Below is short list of well popular online poker sites and poker networks. Some of them are still running and some are already in the books of history:
- PokerStars – the biggest online poker site in the world, with a record breaking 100 million members already in 2016. PokerStars had a scandal with Double or Nothing Sit and Go’s when Chinese players colluded and won over 750.000 USD from other players. However, PokerStars is still the favorite place for players from all levels from beginners to Supernova Elite.
- Full Tilt Poker – Used to have the biggest online cash games in the world, before the ponzi scheme accusations and closing down the US markets. PokerStars eventually acquired Full Tilt poker. In May 2016 PokerStars merged Full Tilt poker to the PokerStars network, and now it is basically just a skin of PokerStars.
- Victory Poker – An online poker room which was very popular at the peak of online poker broom. Victory Poker was founded by Dan Fleyshman, and it had an extensive roster of poker professionals (and not-so-professionals), such as Antonio Esfandiari, Paul Wasicka, Andrew Robl, Playboy model Sara Underwood, Jonathan Little and even the Instagram’s favorite bad boy Dan Bilzerian.
- Ongame poker – A network which originally started from the pokerroom.com online poker site, and eventually grew into one of the biggest online poker networks. After UIGEA and closing of US markets, and after multiple mergers and acquisitions, Ongame Network closed down in 2016.
- Everleaf poker – An online poker site, which was shutdown after it didn’t manage to process the withdraws and payouts to players.
- Pokerisivut.com – A poker news site and a forum which won the iGB Affiliate Awards for “Best Overall Affiliate” category in 2010.
Tournament poker is where coin flips can have a big impact in the end result. Poker players say that if you want to win a tournament, you have to win a few flips.
We’ve listed below a few of the most well known online and offline poker tournaments
- WSOP – World Series of Poker – probably the most well known and followed tournament series.
- WPT – World Poker Tour – One of the longest lasting tournament series, running since 2002. WPT has a really important part in the history of poker, as it brought poker to the big audience through its TV broadcast of the live tournaments.
- EPT – European Poker Tour – A series of poker tournament events in Europe, hosted by PokerStars. EPT launched in in 2004 has had some interesting events during its years. One of the biggest news was when a group of robbers hitting the EPT Berlin event in 2010 (eventually the robbers got caught and convicted).
- Aussie Millions – The Australian Poker Championship (est.1998) is a series of poker tournaments in Melbourne Australia, at the Crown Casino.
- FTOPS – The Full Tilt Online Poker Series was an online poker tournament event, which lasted a couple months over tens of events. The series was played from 2006 until 2015.
- ANZPT – Australia New Zealand Poker Tour, was hosted by PokerStars in Australia and New Zealand from 2009 to 2015.
- EMOP – European Masters of Poker – was a series of poker tournaments in Europe, played in multiple cities like Dublin, Barcelona and Tallinn.
Poker TV and Videos
Poker really started to boom when it hit the TVs. Many people say that the World Poker Tour is the main influence in making online poker as popular as it is now. And it makes sense. When you can see two players flipping for hundreds of thousands of dollars, it really is exciting entertainment.
Below you can find a list of some of the most well known poker TV shows and a few videos from the shows.
- High Stakes Poker (HSP) – The show was running from 2006 until 2011 with the biggest names in poker playing for big money. There was total 7 seasons and 98 episodes, and the show was broadcasted by GNS television network in the United States.
- Big Game – PokerStars sponsored show ran for two seasons in 2010-211, with a total of 105 episodes. The show was aired from the Fox Network in the United States. Some of you might remember when Negreanu and Tony G gave Andrew good2cu Robl a teaching in this show.
- Poker After Dark (PAD)– this legendary show was running from 2007 to 2011 with a total number of 354 episodes. The show was aired at NBC and NBCSN networks.
- The National Heads-Up Poker Championship – was a televised annual HU tournament. The show was aired at NBC from 2005 to 2013 (in 2012 there was no tournament).
Live Poker Rooms
What would poker be without live poker rooms? Nothing. Playing live poker is totally different from online poker, you can’t hide behind the screen and use use tracking software. It is poker at the purest! Big cash games are played a in a few legendary live poker rooms. See the list of rooms below:
- Aria Poker Room – In ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas has hosted some big cash games and is worth a visit if you go to Vegas.
- Bobby’s Room – Bellagio Las Vegas. This legendary poker room has hosted some of the biggest cash games in the history of poker. Players from Doyle Brunson to Ilari Sahamies have played there (and Ilari actually lost a 2.4 million dollar pot in Bobby’s Room in Bellagio in 2009).