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Understanding Hand Ranges

Posted 07-08-09 at 06:35 AM by Zybomb
Updated 07-08-09 at 01:49 PM by Zybomb

Previous action and flop texture is super important in NLHE in determining a range of hands your opponents can have. Its also important in determining the range of hands that your opponent can believe that you have.

This post will probably be basic to some of the higher limit or more advanced players but should be helpful to some of the smaller stakes or less advanced ones.

Full Ring 2/5 Game Effective Stacks $1000

MP limps next MP opens for $30, CO calls, SB calls, we call out of the BB with KJ and the limper calls. 5 way to the flop $150 in the pot.

Flop comes 789

We miss completely and check after the SB checks, Limper Checks, PFR checks and CO checks.

Turn: K

Ok we turn top pair on a fairly drawy board so we fire out to see whats going on. We don't anticipate too many big hands except for possibly the original limper, who may have checked a big one to the raiser going for a c/r. Likely if we're called its a draw, unless it's by the PFR in which case we could be up against AK.

So anyway we fire out $90 into a $150. Limper folds and the PFR raises us to $225, the action folds back to us.

At this point AK is a strong possibility for the PFR which naturally has our KJ crushed, so we've gotten the information about the hand, and the hand that we bet for value is beat so our decision is easy. We naturally....



Yea Reraise, and it's not even close. PFR butchered the hand by not just flatting the turn. If he did, we'd likely check the river and hope to showdown a winner, but more than likely not do so. Or we we decide that we now have to bluff the river, our bet is going to have to be pretty big... and does that bet size say a big hand?

But since PFR set us up by raising this turn we can use our heads for a little.

5 way action, flop 987. Preflop raiser checks. Ok chances are most large pairs are now out of his range as are all "cute" raising hands which smashed this flop. His likely holdings at this point are AK/AQ type hands. Made hands are going to bet to protect themselves from multiple draws.

Now a King drops on the turn and PFR decides to raise after declining to bet the flop. His range consists mostly of 1 pair, actually almost directly AK at this point. Sure he could've checked back KK, but we hold one and combined that with the likelihood of him not betting KK on the flop and we aren't too worried about that. All other sets two pairs and big hands bet the flop for protection. So if he has AK he certainly cant call if we come back over the top.

Before we do however we need to think if our story can sell, bc if it cant he may be likely to make a hero's call with AK here. We call a raise out of the blind, JT 98 77 88 99 87 65 are all certainly in our range, particularly after the multiway action. Our flop action makes sense, we're early to act so we could check and go for a check raise... once that missed on the flop we're certainly going to lead the turn with all these hands, so the story seems to work out fine.

So we repop to $625 and obviously take down the pot. The turn started off as us value betting and turned into us bluffing...all this happened without the board changing whatsoever. This happened because we combined the current action with the previous action, and we able to assign hand ranges both to our opponent, and likely hand ranges for ourselves that our opponent would be giving us. After doing this we saw our perceived range crushed his and his range cant really call a repop here. So we repopped!

This should be going through your head in every hand of poker you play

Final Note: When playing lower stakes or against players that will see AK and will happily shove all their chips in and beg for you to bet even more in spots like these, these types of plays should obviously not be used... just wait until you really have the hand range that it appears you do, and stack these fools.
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Total Comments 4


  1. Old Comment
    claudioxcore's Avatar
    Good post, Zybomb.
    Posted 07-08-09 at 02:42 PM by claudioxcore claudioxcore is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Reel Deal's Avatar
    Very good post.
    Posted 07-08-09 at 04:46 PM by Reel Deal Reel Deal is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Talking Poker's Avatar
    Would love to see this cross-posted in the forum for discussion. I think a lot of people may miss it otherwise.
    Posted 07-09-09 at 03:37 PM by Talking Poker Talking Poker is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Zybomb's Avatar
    Ok - Done
    Posted 07-09-09 at 04:40 PM by Zybomb Zybomb is offline

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