G Bucks

word type: poker slang

  1. A method, invented by pro Phil Galfond, of estimating equity after running a certain scenario many times over.


G-Bucks, similarly to Sklansky Dollars, are an accurate way of estimating equity. Sklansky Dollars use the actual hands in play, while G-Bucks use an opponent's entire range.


To use the G-Bucks concept, you first need to understand Sklansky Dollars. Simply put, to track how many Sklansky Dollars you win, you look at the percentage chance you had to win a given hand when the money went in the pot, and then multiply that by the amount of money in the middle. So for example, if you get all-in preflop with AA vs. QQ and lose a $20K pot, you lost $10K in real dollars, however you won roughly $8K in Sklansky Dollars because you should win the hand about 80% of the time.

Phil Galfond has taken Sklansky's concept to the next level by applying it to hand ranges. Let's say you raise UTG with QQ. Sklansky would apply his theory to just your hand - QQ - but G-Bucks takes your whole UTG raising range into consideration, so something like 88+, AJs+, AQo+. Keeping ranges in mind, you can move on to a more specific example:

Let's say you're playing a $25-$50 NL ring game and get involved in a heads-up pot with an opponent who's only sitting with $500. You decide before the hand that you're going to move all-in with a range of 88+, AJs+, AQo+. You end up getting TT, moving all-in, and losing to KJo when your opponent calls.

Using PokerStove, you can run your range of hands vs. your opponent's exact hand, and see that: {88+, AJs+, AQo+} = 66%, {KJo} = 34%. Thus, you will win 66% of the time when you go all-in with this range and get called by KJo. Here is the monetary interpretation:

Real Dollars: You lost the pot, so you lost $500 real dollars.

Sklansky Dollars: TT is a 56% favorite vs. KJo, so $1000 (the pot) x .56 is $560 - $500 (your initial investment in the pot) = $60 Sklansky Dollars.

G-Bucks: As calculated, your range is 66% against KJo which means that on average, you win $660 from the $1000 pot, or $160 G-Bucks.

A More Practical Example

Let's say you get dealt JdJs on the button in a $25-$50 NL ring game. The player UTG makes it $150 to go and the action folds around to you and after you flat, everyone behind folds. The pot is heads-up. The flop comes down Qs-8h-4d. UTG leads out $225 into $375 and you call, making the pot $825. When the 3s falls on the turn, UTG again leads, this time for $500, and you decide to call once more. The pot is now $1825, and when the river bricks the 3h, your opponent bets $1825. So, how can G-Bucks help you here?

Well, first you must assign your opponent a reasonable range for betting all three streets, which is probably something like AA, KK, QQ, and AsKs. As you can tell, this is a clear fold, as you only beat one of his possible holdings, but for the sake of G-Bucks the numbers are as follows:

Board: Qs 8h 4c 3s 3h - {JdJs} = 6.3%, {QQ+, AsKs} = 93.7%

So, using G-Bucks, you can calculate that on average, calling would yield you: .063 x $3700 - $1825 = -$1591.90 G-Bucks. In sum, Phil Galfond would want you to fold.