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Chen Point Count

Ace of spade

There is a way to compute the Skalansky Malmuth table for those people who have trouble memorizing. The results are almost identical to those generated using the Chen Point Count.[1] To compute the point count the following formula should apply:

  1. Take the high card and score it. A=10,K=8,Q=7,J=6,T-2 = 1/2 value shown.
  2. If the 2nd card pairs the first the value is either twice the high card point or 5 which ever is greater.
  3. If they are not paired then calculate the gap for the lower card and subtract off a gap penalty:.
    1. For a 0 gapper subtract 0,
    2. For a 1 gapper subtract 1
    3. For a 2 gapper subtract 2
    4. For a 3 gapper subtract 4
    5. For a 4 gapper or more subtract 5 (includes A2,A3,A4).
  4. If the cards are of the same suit apply a flush bonus of +2 pts.
  5. If the cards are a 0 or 1 gap and the top card is a J or lower apply a +1 straight bonus
  6. Round 1/2 point up

Then 12 – Chen Point Count in general is the SM hand grouping. Examples:

  • 8♣ 8♠: 4 pts for the first 8, double for the pair is 8 Chen points. This puts it in S&M group 4.
  • 9♣ 7♣: 4.5 points for the 9, -1 for the 1 gapper, +2 for the same suit and +1 for the straight bonus. Round up to 7 Chen points which is in S&M group 5.

The following hands are the exceptions (off by 1): 55, AQs, A9, AX, 96s, 32s, 98, 97, 76.


  1. ^ Lou Krieger, Hold’em Excellence, ch Power Rating ISBN 1886070148

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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