Poker Ranges: The Key to Hand Reading

Poker Ranges

Hand reading in poker is a basic and necessary skill to obtain good results. And like everything in this life, placing an opponent in a poker range has a part of methodology/theory and another part of art. There is a base that you must know, but that does not guarantee success… Otherwise, everyone would win tournaments!

What you will find in this article is a basis for a correct reading of poker ranges. What does this mean? Intuit (because knowing for sure is impossible) with which hands an opponent could be opening. Specifically, a range of hands he might have based on his performances. But… what factors must be considered for this?

Is he a reliable player? We are going to analyze specific actions, therefore, a player who does not make logical decisions and who changes course randomly is difficult to read. This is where the concept of “beginner’s luck” comes from.

What position does he have? Once the opponent is reliable, we will look at what position he plays. A raise from UTG is not the same as a raise from the dealer, we will detail that later.

What movements have there been before? A call to a raise is not the same as a raise to a raise. And a raise from 0 is not the same as a reraise.

How many chips does he have behind? Raising 250 with 1000 behind is not the same as raising 250 with 25000 behind. The same goes for the boat. That raise in a 500 pot is one thing, and in a 1000 pot quite another.

Player Attitude: A big raise in an aggressive player can set up a very different poker range than in a conservative one.

Opening ranges in poker

Opening ranges in poker

Poker hand reading is basic for determining opening ranges. Knowing how to read during play is essential, but the easiest time to determine what an opponent has is before the flop. All this with ‘stacks’ that allow a certain game to the rival.

Raises from early position: We can expect a premium hand, either a clean hand or with some ‘call’ or previous raise. AA, AK, AQ, KK or QQ, mainly. Although depending on the rival’s ‘stack’, style of play or especially if there are no previous raises, we could include AJ, JJ or even QK in the poker reading, despite not being so correct.

Raises from intermediate positions: We can include any hand with two face cards, TT, or even A8 with a clean hand. If you reraise with a previous raise, it’s either a monster or a bluff.

Raises from ‘dealer’, ‘cutoff’ or blinds: Here we would already add hands such as connectors of the same color or an A worse accompanied in the poker squeeze ranges. Also the pairs in hand.

Calls: Generally, a ‘call’ preflop is a sign of weakness, with some exceptions, such as low pairs (up to 10-20% of stack is profitable to go for the set) or an attempt to hide AA or KK in late positions. If there are several ‘calls’, an intermediate hand may be due to the profitability of seeing the flop.

More variables for reading hands in poker

reading hands in poker

The situations to see the opening ranges in poker in the previous point affect mainly in normal situations, but they will not always occur. In advanced moments of the game we can find players with a large stack who put pressure with slightly worse hands, as well as players in a hurry who do the same because they need chips.

But the reading of hands in poker is difficult mainly with the appearance of community cards, at which time the variety of situations that can occur is very large:

The opponent entered with a great hand and has not hit anything: In this case, we will see a continuation bet or a fearful call.

The rival came in with a great hand and has hit something: In this case, we can see a value bet or a cheat check if the hand is already a winner. If you sense a project for us, you can see ‘overbet’ so that it does not come out to us.

The opponent has hit a monster: He will enter with a very good hand or a normal one has hit a two pair, three of a kind or even a full house. Here it is much more difficult to read the ranges in poker, since normally he will do a ‘check’ to hide it. He’ll only bet if he suspects we have something.

He was going with a modest hand and he has hit something: If I enter with a ‘check’ or call from the blind and now bet, I could have a pair.

These are just some of the situations we will face when looking for poker hand reading. But the difficult part will be knowing what decisions to make based on them, taking into account that the rivals will try to make it difficult for us to read, just as we will. Even facilitating interested readings. Do you start practicing?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *