This shows the probability breakdown that the defending enemy will draw into a higher ranked hand when attacking with various hands.

## Introduction

While I’ve been playing I was wondering something. What are the odds, when you attack, that the defender will draw into something that could beat you? Attacking with something like 3 Aces is obviously pretty safe, but in situations with marginal cards, I was wondering if it made sense to attack or not.

The odds are actually quite a bit different than normal poker odds. Here, you and the opponent are each drawing from a separate deck, so your having drawn a particular set of cards doesn’t prevent your opponent from drawing them too. More significantly, attacking in *Aces & Adventures* is quite different than poker. Rather than making the best hand you can using five cards, you sort of play “hands” directly, and attack with just a high card, pair, three- or four-of-a-kind and so on, *out of* the cards in your hand. And then the opponent draws cards (equal to their defense minus your offense), but in matching your attack they have to match the number of cards you used. So, if I’m attacking with a pair of 10s, and the defender draws eight cards, the question is “How likely it is for them to draw a higher pair than me?”, *not* a how likely it is for them to draw into a better hand overall.

I decided to try and calculate the actual probabilities, and it was more complex than I thought at first since the combinatorics of it ended up being pretty involved. It’s easy to calculate the probability of drawing into *no* pairs, but it’s much more difficult to calculate “What’s the probability of drawing two, *or more*, Jacks, *or better*, within eight cards?”. It took enough work to do that I’d figure I would share the results in case anyone else was curious.

**Caveats / Things to Keep in Mind**

- All the probabilities below are
*only*considering the pure case of comparing your attack hand to the defender’s. I’m completely ignoring:- Abilities
- Safe Attack
- Any and all other special cases due to conditions, traits, equipment, everything else in the game, etc.

- I’m also ignoring Jokers (except where noted) and Wild Range/Suit.
- They don’t matter much for the defense since the enemies don’t get their own wild cards.
- The player does get wild cards, but I’m not really talking about the odds of getting a hand in the first place, just the odds of winning when attacking with it. In that case, two Kings and a Joker function exactly the same as a natural Kings three-of-a-kind.

- I might have gotten some calculation or another wrong, or otherwise made a mistake somewhere.
- And, most of all: None of this really matters very much! This is just something I thought was interesting, but the impact on how you’d play the game is pretty small.
- If you just care about playing the game and having fun you can safely ignore all of this.
- If you want to play better, read
*any*of the other guides, they’ll be a bigger help. - If you care about playing the game very well, then this still doesn’t matter much because Abilities matter a lot more than the raw card probabilities.

This is all mainly just something that’s interesting to consider, with a few things that have strategic impact in a couple of corner cases. So with that in mind, let’s take a look.

## 1 Card Attacks

To attack and win with a single card means the defender needs to not draw any cards that are equal or higher than the one you’re attacking with. The more cards they can draw, the more likely it is they will do so.

So if you attack with a single 8, and the defender draws eight cards, the only way to win would be if they *only *draw 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s and 7s in those eight cards, which isn’t impossible but is very unlikely (0.1% chance). However, it doesn’t matter if they actually draw into any pairs or better though! With 8 cards of ranks 2-7, the defender is guaranteed to have at least a pair or better, and maybe even a straight, but it doesn’t matter for them, since they defend with just a single card.

**How to Read the Charts**

The charts below are showing the percentage of the time you will win, when attacking with a single card of a given rank (each row), versus a defender who is drawing some number of cards (each column).

So for example, the top left cell shows that if you attack with a single [2], and the defender is drawing a single card, you have a 0% chance of winning (because *anything* they draw will beat or draw to you). The bottom right cell shows that if you attack with a single Ace, and the defender draws 8 cards, you have a 50.1% chance of beating them.

All the tables below shows the odds of winning only. To save space, I am not showing separate tables for losing and for drawing, because they are mostly quite similar. Although there is some nuance, like how Aces can draw but never lose, and 2s can draw but never win. However for the most part, just looking at straight win percentage is illustrative enough. Think of it as “the chance you will damage the opponent”, and take it as slightly underestimating “the chance you won’t take counterattack damage”.

**% Chance of Winning with 1-Card Attacks**

**Observations**

- You can see the odds of attacking with a single card are generally not that great, and fall off
*rapidly*if the opponent can draw more than a few cards. - The dropoff as the opponent draws more cards is steeper than I would have guessed. Attacking with a Jack versus them drawing a single card, you’ll win more than 2/3rds of the time. However if the opponent can draw just two cards, attacking with a Jack is worse than a coin toss.
- Aces perform well however! Attacking with a single Ace means you’re
*guaranteed*not to take counterattack damage. - A single ace has a better than coin-flip chance of winning, even if the opponent is drawing 8 cards(!)

**Strategy Takeaways**

- You shouldn’t attack with a single card if you could attack with a pair+, it isn’t worth splitting an KK attack into two single-K attacks, even if you have the attacks to spare (of course with the very big exception of unless you have cards that care about single-card attacks, like the Hunter, but we’re just talking about hands in isolation).
- If the defender is only drawing a single card, odds are good attacking with a 9 or higher
- Only attack with a single King if they’re drawing 3 or less, a Queen if they’re drawing 2 or fewer
- But attacking with even a single Ace is always safe, and has better odds than even some low-rank pairs.

## 2 Card Attacks

It’s quite easy to make a pair. Drawing 5 cards, and excluding jokers, you’ll have at least a pair about half the time (49.3%), and if you can draw more cards or have wild cards the probability is even higher.

Pairs automatically beat a defender drawing only a single card, if your offense is higher enough than the enemy’s defense. But even outside of that, the odds of winning are *much* more in the player’s favor with pairs than single card attacks. Why?

Let’s say you’re attacking with a single Jack and the opponent is drawing two cards. They have a lot of ‘outs’ that will draw or beat you: any J, Q, K or A, each of which they have four copies of, so they have *sixteen* opportunities to prevent a win (four to force a draw, twelve to beat you). So they just need to draw any of those sixteen cards in their two draws, which they have a 52.5% chance of doing.

But if you attack with *two* Jacks, the math is quite different, because now they need to draw a pair, they need JJ, QQ, KK or AA. They need to draw the right card *twice*, and for it to be the same one (so King + Ace won’t do). There are 1,326 distinct two-card hands (52c2, see the last section). Of those, just 24 will prevent a win. The four ranks that can beat/draw us, in any two of the four suits. That’s a 24/1326 = 1.8% chance, *dramatically* lower than the almost even odds of defending against a single Jack.

**% Chance of Winning with 2-Card Attacks**

**Observations**

- Attacking with any kind of pair has good odds if they aren’t drawing too much in defense. Even a lowly pair of 2s will reliably win against four or fewer drawn cards.
- But the odds for low rank pairs
*do*drop off if the opponent can draw a lot though - Aces are still great, but they’re not that much better than Kings or Queens (unlike with single card attacks).
- There
*could*be instances where it’d be worth breaking up a high rank 4-card attack into two pairs, or triple Aces into a single and pair. I don’t think it’d come up often, but if you were in a situation where multiple attacks would be better, the odds increase going from a high pair to three- or four-of-a-kind is so marginal that you could split them up without hurting your chances.

**Strategy Takeaways**

- Any pair is a good bet against a <5 card opponent
- 10 through Ace pairs are generally good even if they’re drawing a lot of cards

## 3 Card Attacks

Three-of-a-kind hands are much rarer than pairs. Whereas almost half of five card hands will have a pair, only 2.1% will have a three-of-a-kind. But that rarity goes both ways- if you are able to attack with trips, the odds the defender will also draw into it is very low. As a result, three-card attacks will almost always win, as you can see in the chart below.

In fact, the odds of winning with three-of-a-kind is so much higher for low-ranked hands, especially for low-ranked pairs, you will actually get more marginal utility out of using Jokers on low-rank pairs over high-rank ones.

Here’s what I mean: Say you have two attacks, and the defender is going to draw into eight cards, and in your hand, you have a Joker, two 4s and two Queens. If you start to attack, the game will try to make the best hand possible, which in this instance will suggest the two Queens and Joker to make three-of-a-kind Queens. If you attack with that, the QQQ will have a 97.2% of getting through, leaving you with the 44 on the second attack, which has only a 18.7% of succeeding. So the combined probability is a 97.2*18.7 = 18.2% of landing both attacks.

But if instead, you use the Joker with the 4s, the 444 will have an 89.8% chance of winning, followed by the QQ with a 71.1% chance. This combined probability is much higher, 89.8*71.1% = 63.8%! We’ve increased our chance of winning both attacks by over x2.5 fold as a result of upgrading the low-rank pair instead. I find that pretty surprising, even if the situation when this applies isn’t that common.

**% Chance of Winning with 3-Card Attacks**

**Observations**

- Trips will automatically beat a defender drawing only one or two cards.
- And will reliably win even if the defender is drawing a lot of cards.
- Even low ranked triples! Triple 2s has better odds of winning against an opponent drawing seven cards (94.9%), than a single Ace has against an opponent drawing a single card (92.3%)

**Strategy Takeaways**

- Attacks with three-of-a-kind will
*probably*succeed most of the time, especially if it’s a mid rank or higher. - The odds increase from two-of-a-kind to three-of-a-kind is very significant for low rank cards. As a result, you’ll get more marginal utility from using Joker with a low-rank pair than a high-rank pair.

## 4 Card Attacks

Four-of-a-kind hands are quite rare, just 0.024% of five card hands, which means you can expect to see one once every 4,164 deals on average. Having Jokers makes them significantly more common, though still quite rare- if you have two Jokers, four-of-a-kinds would be over 1000% more common, but still well less than 1% of the time.

Consequently, they’re extremely likely to win. Quad 2s is 99.7% likely to win even against eight cards, and everything else is better from there.

But because three-of-a-kind hands already were so likely to win, the same thing applies about using Jokers. It generally isn’t worth it to use a Joker to turn a three-of-a-kind into a four-of-a-kind, especially if they’re high ranked cards. You’re likely to win anyway, and so you’re better off saving the Joker for something else.

**% Chance of Winning with 4-Card Attacks**

**Observations**

- It’s hard to beat a four-of-a-kind, especially since the enemies can’t use straight flushes.

**Strategy Takeaways**

- Attacks with four-of-a-kind will almost always succeed, even if low ranked.
- But because three-of-a-kinds already have such high odds to win, it may not be worth spending Jokers to make one into a four-of-a-kind.

**Two Pair Hands?**

Normally the only kind of four-card hand you can use is a four-of-a-kind. But a two pair hand would *also *be four cards, except that ordinarily you can’t use two pair as a valid attack hand. However, there *is *a daily challenge condition that permits using two-pairs (and maybe it pops up elsewhere in-game somewhere, I’m not sure).

I haven’t played with it very much so I’m not sure exactly how they work here- can two-pair attacks only be defended against by another two-pair? And is it high pair wins? (eg, JJ + QQ loses to KK + 44). If so, then two-pair attacks have higher odds of winning than single pairs, but are worse than three-of-a-kinds. I won’t show the table for them since I’m not sure how the game logic works exactly, and they’re not part of the normal gameplay anyway.

## 5 Card Attacks

5 card hands include, in order of their rarity: flushes, straights, full houses, straight flushes, *and* 5-of-a-kind hands, which are possible using Jokers. The probabilities vary, but all them are fairly rare (straights are the most common, and they’re only 0.39% of five card hands). But in game terms, there’s no difference between them. Because enemies can’t use 5-card hands, these all automatically win regardless of how many cards they can draw in defense!

**% Chance of Winning with 5-Card Attacks**

We don’t need a chart for this one. It’s 100% under any circumstance!

**Observations**

- It is kind of funny the enemies can’t use five card hands, I wonder why the designers settled on that. Since there so rare, maybe it just wasn’t fun for any enemy who draws 5+ cards to have an extremely rare chance of beating you randomly? Or maybe it makes the hand optimization calculation too finicky.

**Strategy Takeaways**

- Straights and flushes are the only way to attack with otherwise unmatched cards, so they’re usually worth using when they come up, if only to cycle the five cards.
- Five-of-a-kinds are almost never worth spending a Joker on (well, besides doing it once for the achievement), because a four-of-a-kind already has extremely high odds, and so does a high-ranked three-of-a-kind
- If you care about making multiple attacks, it might be worth breaking a fullhouse into a separate pair and triple. The odds will be lower, but if the pair is high ranked, it may not be that much lower.

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