What Is A Poker Range?

What Is A Poker Range
Poker Range relates to a set of hands that either you or an opponent might hold in a particular situation. So, instead of thinking of one holding like J♣10♦, you would include several hands in a range. For example – K9s, Q9s, J9s, etc. – is part of a poker range of hands. This concept is what we call a range in poker.
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What does play range mean?

What Is A Poker Range? – A range is a collection of all the possible hands a player can have right this moment. Ranges exist both preflop and postflop, and can vary widely since tight players will have fewer hands in their range and looser players will have many starting hands in their range. Want all of my preflop ranges? Get GTO and exploitative ranges for the exact games you play. Download the app here → To learn more, either continue reading or push play and watch my free in-depth video first:
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What does it mean to be at the top of your range in poker?

Capped Ranges By Andrew Brokos | Originally published in the June 2010 issue of Two Plus Two Magazine In the May issue of this magazine, I introduced a simplified system of hand-reading that works quite well against the majority of no-limit hold ‘em players.

The idea is not to put an opponent on a specific hand but rather to put him on one or two of three possible broad categories of hands: monsters with which he wants to play a big pot, moderate-strength hands that figure to be best but that he will generally try to showdown cheaply, and draws or other weak hands that will rarely win without bluffing.

This month, I want to demonstrate one way of using this information to guide your play. On the turn or river, it is often possible to determine, based on how he has played on earlier streets, that your opponent will rarely or never have a monster hand.

  1. This is sometimes called a “capped range”, meaning that there is an upper limit to how strong your opponent’s hand can be.
  2. If you are able to determine this limit, you can both value bet all of your better hands strongly and represent better hands when you need to bluff, putting your opponent in a very difficult spot.

Often, there are two ways for a bluff to go wrong. Either your opponent happens to have a very strong hand, maybe even the one you are trying to represent, and can easily call you, or he guesses that you are bluffing and calls you down with a weak hand (or re-bluffs you, for that matter).

  1. When you are able to cap his range, though, you can all but eliminate the first possibility and put your opponent in the uncomfortable position of never having cards stronger than those you are representing.
  2. The best he can hope to do is guess at your bluffing frequency and call you down accordingly.

A Simple Example We’ll start with an example, probably oversimplified, to illustrate the point. Suppose that you are playing in a $5/$10 9-handed NLHE game. The player first to act opens with a $40 raise. He is extremely tight and predictable, and you know that he would only raise from first position with a big pair, probably tens or better, or a big Ace.

  1. Because you have such a precise read, and because the effective stacks are $2000, you call on the button with a suited JT.
  2. The rest of the table folds.
  3. The flop comes 982, all different suits, giving you an open-ended straight draw.
  4. Your opponent bets $70, and you call.
  5. The turn is an off-suit 6, and your opponent bets $150.

At this point, just based on his very tight pre-flop raising standards, you are able to identify a clear upper limit on your opponent’s range. He cannot have a hand stronger than one pair, albeit a good pair. You, on the other hand, could have a set, two pair, or even a straight.

You raise to $500, and your opponent calls. The river is a 4. Your opponent checks, and you move all in for a little more than the size of the pot. He scowls at you, fiddles with his chips, mutters something about garbage hands and bad beats, and folds. A Trickier Example In a 6-handed $5/$10 NLHE game, the player one off the button opens with a $35 raise.

The action folds to you in the big blind, and you call with T 9, The effective stacks are $1000. The flop comes 7 5 4, missing you entirely. You check, prepared to fold, but your opponent checks behind you. What can you determine about his hand so far? Many players will open a wide range from late position, so you have very little information about his hand pre-flop.

When he checks the flop, though, he is telling you a good deal. This is not a flop that gets slowplayed very often. If your opponent flopped two pair or a set, he has a lot of incentive to bet. For one thing, there are scary cards that could come on the turn. From his perspective, they may improve you to the best hand, and even if they don’t, they may scare you away from paying off with a second-best hand.

Poker Ranges Explained

Similarly, because of the coordinated nature of the board, there are a lot of ways you could have flopped a second-best hand. Anything from a worse two pair to a pair and a straight draw to overcards and a flush draw will be willing to put a fair bit of money into the pot on this flop.

Thus, if your opponent flopped a strong hand, he would have a lot of incentive to bet it. When he checks, you can be fairly sure he does not have two pair or better. What could he have? Anything from total air (which in most cases will still beat your hand) to something like Ace-high that has a little bit of showdown value to a strong pair that nevertheless fears a check-raise.

Significantly, though, he will very rarely have anything stronger than one pair, possibly with a draw to go along with it. The turn brings the A, You could bluff now, but even if you follow it up on the river, this will only put so much pressure on your opponent.

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It wins nothing more from his bluffs, and many players will call down with a pair after checking the flop. Note that your opponent’s pot control line on the flop has made it difficult for you to bluff him in a conventional way. If you check, though, your opponent will very often bet. If he has nothing, this is a good card for him to represent.

If he hit the Ace, he’ll probably bet for the same reasons that a strong hand would want to bet the flop. Even with a weaker pair, he may feel more confident in his hand, now that you have checked twice, and not want to give a free card. Unless he has A4, A5, or A7, though, it is very unlikely that he will have better than one pair.

  1. You check, and your opponent bets $60 into the $75 pot.
  2. You can now make a large raise to represent a strong hand that missed a check-raise on the flop and decided to go for one on this turn.
  3. You make a pot-sized raise to $255.
  4. This raise will often take the pot down right away, but suppose that this player makes a stubborn call.

It is now more likely than ever that he does not have a strong hand. Given the coordinated nature of the board and the fact that you seem to like your cards, a strong hand would almost certainly put the rest of the money in on the turn. Thus, you can follow up with a big bluff on most if not all rivers.

Your opponent’s flop call probably either represents a skeptical pair that needs a little more convincing or a pair with a draw. Another big bet on blank rivers should show a nice profit. Bluffing at 8’s, 3’s, and clubs will be a higher variance play but will probably still show a profit. Sometimes you will end up bluffing into a rivered monster, but you may also have better fold equity against pairs that fear you hit the draw yourself.

In this case, your opponent calls the turn raise, and the river brings the K, You bet $450 into the $585 pot, and he folds. Whereas leading out on the turn may have enabled you to steal a small pot, check-raising the turn and following up with a river bluff won you a much larger one.

Essentially, you tricked your opponent into putting a lot of money into the pot when you knew he could not defend it. Your potential fold equity here is so high that you might choose to make this play even when you have some showdown value, such as when you hold 43. Your pair could be best, but often it won’t be, and you may get outplayed on the river anyway.

Turning a weak pair into a bluff like this will often prove more profitable than trying to catch bluffs with it. Defending Against These Plays If you are in a game with a player who reads hands this well and has the cojones to makes plays like this, you might do well to find another table.

  • But if you do choose to stay, you should know how to protect yourself.
  • The first and best strategy is to practice avoidance.
  • When playing with a very competent hand reader, you must go to great lengths to disguise your hands and change up your play.
  • This will require some unconventional play, such as occasionally raising 98s in first position at a 9-handed table or checking back a set on a coordinated flop.

These are risky plays, but they are safer than enabling a tricky player to eliminate strong hands from your range altogether. You may also need to resort to game theory and refuse to fold the best hands in your range, even if they are not objectively all that strong.

  1. If you were the Villain in the second example, you might have to call down when you turn a pair of Aces.
  2. Sure, your opponent could have a stronger hand, but since you very rarely will, folding a pair of Aces is highly exploitable.
  3. Thin Value Bets What if your opponent reads this article or just figures out that he’s getting exploited and decides to start calling down with his strong one-pair hands? Believe it or not, you don’t need to stop bluffing him.

The occasional tricky play or thin call down are just stop-gap measures that turn an insanely profitable bluff into a marginally profitable bluff. You won’t win nearly as often, but if you can stand the variance, you’ll still show a profit in the long run.

Realize also that capping your opponent’s range will enable you not only to bluff but also to make big, thin value bets. In the second example, if you know your opponent rarely or never has better than one pair, then you could take the same line with a weak two pair hand like 54 or even one strong pair such as AK.

There are very few second-best hands that will pay you off, but there are also very few better hands in your opponent’s range. And if he does correctly adapt by occasionally calling down with one pair, he’ll be in for a surprise! Conclusion Poker is a battle for information.

  1. Any time that you have more information about your opponent’s hand than he has about yours, the potential for profit is there.
  2. It is simply a matter of figuring out how to make the most of it.
  3. Even many players who read hands well don’t always take full advantage of that information.
  4. Learning to recognize when there is an upper limit on an opponent’s possible hand strength and how you can exploit it can present you with some very profitable opportunities.

Hopefully it will also demonstrate the critical importance of mixing up your own play, at least when there are good hand readers at the table, so that no one is able to take advantage of you. : Capped Ranges
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How do you remember poker ranges?

The shape of a range – What Is A Poker Range ICM weights a range towards high card blocker hands It’s much easier to think of types of hands in a range rather than each individual hand. So think in terms like Ax (for all the Ace hands), Broadway (for the JT-KQ type hands), pairs and suited connectors.

After this, just try and remember the bottom hand in each type of hand, so if A9o and A3s are the lowest Ax hands, just memorise A9o and A3s, not every single combination. You will know automatically that AJo and A8s will be in the range. There are some spots where, for example, A6o might not be in the range but A5o would (for blocker or straight purposes), but for the most part this method works.

Another different way to think of the range instead of just logging each hand in it is by memorising the shape of the range, Most ranges are linear, meaning they start at AA then just get weaker, but some ranges are capped (meaning the top hands are missing because they would have been played more aggressively) and sometimes they are polar (meaning it is mostly big hands or weak hands but no middle hands).
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Why do they call it a range?

Range (stove) I’ll stick with my Hasbro EZ Bake, thanks. Dear Word Detective: Most of the senses of “range” have to do with either physical distance or area (e.g., the range of an aircraft, firing range, mountain range) or figurative distance (e.g., vocal range, range of prices).

However, there’s one sense of “range” that I don’t see how it fits in: a stove with burners on top and an oven below. Am I missing something here? Some long-lost marketing campaign tied to “home on the range”? I don’t see how the “stove” meaning is “in range of” the other meanings. — Phil Fernandez. That’s a darn good question.

Speaking of ranges, any House Hunter fans out there? You know, the HGTV show where people pretend to buy houses? Anybody else notice that lately the shows seem to be following a very unimaginative script? “I don’t care for these countertops.” “I need a man cave to brew my beer.” “That closet looks haunted.” “This range isn’t stainless steel.” It’s gotten to the point where you can sit on the couch and shout the lines like an audience at The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

  • To explain how “range” came to mean “cooking stove,” we really have to start with the word “stove” itself and the evolution thereof.
  • When “stove” first appeared in English in the 15th century, probably from Dutch or German roots, it meant “heated room,” i.e., a “sweating room” or steam bath.
  • Stove” was later applied to a bedroom or other “normal” room in the house that was heated with some sort of small furnace.

By the end of the 16th century, “stove” was being applied to the heating apparatus itself, both those used to heat rooms and those used for cooking. Although today we think of cooking when we hear “stove,” small heating stoves are still used in many parts of the world, and our modern “space heaters” are descendants of the early stoves used to heat individual rooms.

“Range” first appeared in English in the late 14th century, formed from the same Germanic roots that gave us “rank.” The initial meaning of “range” was “a line or row of people, animals or things, particularly a row of soldiers.” This “row of things” sense gave us “mountain ranges” as well as “range” used to mean a large area or stretch of ground, especially one used for a particular purpose (“firing range,” “testing range,” etc.).

“Range” was also used to mean a set of things falling within a given category (“a wide range of flat-screen TVs”), as well as the distance or area reachable by, or scope of action of, a device, etc. (range of a gun, radio station, etc.). “Range” meaning “stove” is actually one of the older senses of the word, first appearing in the early 15th century.

This sense employs the word in its original meaning of “row or series of things,” and in a “range” stove the “things” are multiple burners and ovens. Early cooking stoves were essentially racks mounted in large open fireplaces, but in the 14th century enclosed ovens, with openings on top for heating sauces, etc., were developed in France and the modern “range” was born.

Early ranges were so-called because they usually had more than one oven and usually at least two cooking spots on top, furnishing a “range” of places to cook. Today’s modern “ranges” usually have at least four burners and frequently two ovens, furnishing the modern home chef with an awesome culinary power only dreamed of by the cooks of 14th century France.
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What is a wide range in poker?

Wide – A wide range is one containing a large amount of hands. It is typically a weak range. Narrow – A narrow range is one containing only a few different hands. It is typically a strong range but not always.
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What is the 2 7 rule in poker?

Showdown – Determining the Winner – The player with the best five-card 2-7 hand wins the pot. After the pot is awarded to the best hand, a new game of 2-7 Triple Draw is ready to be played. If two or more hands have the same value, the pot is equally split among them.
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What are preflop ranges?

A range is a combination of hands a player might have at a given time. – Thinking about what players have in the form of a range is valuable because it allows you to think about all of the possibilities of a hand. We use poker hand grids to visualize ranges. What Is A Poker Range We use this grid as a graphical representation of a range. We select the hands we want to include so it is a seamless process to know what a player can have. Let’s say for instance; we are interested in looking at a range of queens, kings, aces, and all ace-king hands. It is written as follows: QQ+, AKs, AKo. It is visually represented as: What Is A Poker Range A range starts preflop, where someone is dealt one of the seventy-eight different offsuit hands, one of the seventy-eight different suited hands, or one of the thirteen pairs. ( Note: Get free poker range charts that show you what hands to play before the flop here,) Once a player decides to put money into the pot they’ve revealed some amount of information about their range. What Is A Poker Range Which visually is: What Is A Poker Range And is written as We may however disagree with the hands that Equilab chooses and think that a player values hands differently. In which case we can make the range to fit the way we actually think someone is playing: A range is also very powerful postflop when trying to determine the value of your hand vs an opponent’s range. What Is A Poker Range Here we can see that he is betting any hand that is a pair of tens, or better than a pair of tens, two straight draws, and many hands with two overcards. Overcards are popular and likely cbets because even if you had top pair, a very strong hand in NLH, the player with overcards has a possibility to make the best hand.

  1. In this situation we can see that any would favor the UTG players range as he would have just made a very strong hand or at the very least still has two overs and now has a straight draw, whereas any card is favorable for our range as he has almost never improved and we have some of the time.
  2. Using ranges to think about poker hands and situations is the professional approach to NLH.
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Moving away from trying to put your opponent on a singular hand and recognizing that there are several possible holdings helps you understand your opponents play and what the best decision is for your hand and range. (Note: You can learn more about proper postflop play with the Postflop Engine ! This mini postflop training course was developed by top pros Doug Polk and Ryan Fee, and is now on sale for just $19!) What Is A Poker Range
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What is the strongest position in poker?

The Button – Dealer (also classed as a LP) – In flop/community games such as Texas Hold’em being “on the button” is where everyone would like to stay! In terms of advantage it is the best position in poker. After the flop the dealer always gets to act last in every round of betting for that game.
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What is the best seat at a poker table?

6. Where is the seat relative to the aggressive and tricky players? – Assuming the table as a whole is acceptable, you ideally want the seat to the left of the tricky, loose, and aggressive players. You want the advantage of seeing how they will act before you decide to enter the pot, and before you decide how you will play your hand.
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What is the most powerful hand in poker?

Poker-hand rankings: from strongest to weakest – 1. Royal flush The royal flush sits atop the poker-hand rankings as the best hand possible. It features five consecutive cards of the same suit in order of value from 10 through to ace.2. Straight flush Any five cards of sequential values in the same suit that’s not a royal flush is a straight flush.

It can only be beaten by a royal flush or another straight flush including higher-ranking cards.3. Four of a kind The same card in all four suits. The five-card hand is completed by the highest card among the others on the table or in your hand.4. Full house A hand comprising the same value card in three different suits (three of a kind) and a separate pair of the same rank card in two different suits.

When more than one player has a full house the winning hand is the one with the higher or highest value three of a kind.5. Flush Five cards of the same suit in any order whatsoever. When two players have flushes the flush featuring the highest valued card is the winning poker hand.6.

  • Straight Five cards of sequential numerical value composed of more than one suit.
  • An ace can usually rank as either high (above a king), or low (below a 2), but not both in the same hand.7.
  • Three of a kind A poker hand containing three cards of the same rank in three different suits.
  • The two highest available cards besides the three of a kind complete the hand.8.

Two pairs Two different sets of two cards of matching rank. The highest-ranked remaining card completes the hand.9. Pair A pair of cards of the same rank in different suits. The remainder of the hand is formed from the three highest ranked cards available.10.
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What is the 2/4 rule in poker?

The 4-2 Rule as mentioned previously – The 4-2 Rule is a way to turn the number of drawing outs you have into your odds of hitting them. It’s times 4 on the flop to hit on the turn or river, and times 2 on the turn to hit your draw on the river. Example: a flopped flush draw is 9 outs.
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What is GTO poker strategy?

GTO Poker Meaning: What Exactly Is GTO? – The term GTO poker strategy comes from “game theory optimal,” the full name of the strategy that was invented over the last decade. Game theory optimal, or GTO poker strategy, is a strategy that seeks complete balance in the game, making your plays 100% unexploitable by your opponents.

This style of poker is the exact opposite of the exploitative poker strategy, which most players from the older generations employ. While exploitative strategy seeks to find holes in other players’ games and use them, GTO poker strategy seeks perfect balance, protecting the player from anyone else exploiting them and gradually creating profit based on imperfect plays by other players.

When playing GTO, you will be bluffing and value betting on every street of every hand with various holdings, and you will not care about what your opponent does. While this may sound like a bad way to play poker at first, GTO is a proven strategy that works like a charm, especially in heads-up poker,

  • In fact, computers have only been able to really solve heads-up play thus far, but many of the concepts of GTO play can be employed in 6-max games and ring games as well.
  • So, let’s start talking about how the GTO poker strategy actually works and all the game theory concepts you need to understand before you start playing.

Read Fedor Holz’ thoughts on GTO Poker Solvers.
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What is a tight aggressive poker player?

A tight-aggressive player is one who plays a limited range of starting hands preflop, and follows an aggressive strategy postflop. In no limit texas hold’em cash games, this roughly translates to open raising 20% of hands, or slightly less. This is the ideal style of play for an improving poker player to aim for.
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What is limping in poker?

To enter the pot by calling rather than raising. For example, in hold’em before the flop, a player who calls the big blind (rather than raises) is described as ‘limping in.’
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What is a 3-bet in poker?

What Is a 3-Bet in Poker? A 3-bet is the third bet in a poker sequence, in which a player re-raises after the initial pre-flop raise, or 2-bet. (The blind payment is the first bet in Texas Hold’em and Omaha.)
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