Poker Articles!

A man holding up a pair of 2's, with poker chips and a stack of cash placed on a poker table.

Anyone who has been playing poker for a while knows that poker is a very intricate game. That is why learning the best poker game tips and tricks is so crucial if players want to succeed. Most poker strategies focus either on changing your own actions or teaching you how to understand your opponent.

Understanding poker ranges is important for utilizing both types of strategies, so if you want to become a better player, it is time for you to learn the basics of ranges in poker!

What is the Meaning of Range in Poker?

By definition, a poker range is a collection of hands a specific poker player will play in a certain way. For example, some players will choose to bet or raise only if their hole cards consist of pocket pairs of the highest value. Other players, however, might play a bigger range of hands, including some lower-valued pairs or if they have at least one face card.

How Does Range Affect My Play?

When you make decisions at the poker table, you can't possibly address each card combination differently, as there are simply too many to consider (well there are 169 possible combinations without taking into account the suits). That is what the range is good for: it gives you a clear indication of when to bet and when to fold, depending on whether the cards are within your betting range or not.

Paying attention to your own range is important if you want to protect your bankroll and play it safely, but it can also prove to be rather useful if you try to figure out your opponent's range.

Trying to figure out what kind of cards your opponents have at any given moment is a daunting task. As we've mentioned before, your opponents can get any one of the 150+ card combinations one deck of cards can generate, and your chances of guessing exactly what cards they got are…not great.

However, if you stop thinking small and instead of trying to guess your opponent's cards you focus on figuring out their range, you might have a chance to outshine them.

Figuring out your opponent's range is all about collecting data. You can follow a few simple steps to do that:

  1. Pay attention to your opponent's decisions at the pre-flop stage. Do they raise straight off the bat? Do They prefer to call or fold?
  2. Follow your opponent's betting patterns throughout the game as well.
  3. Once the round is complete, look at your opponent's cards to analyze their betting style in retrospect – did they fold because they had a bad hand? Are they tight players?
  4. Repeat those steps over and over again, until you figure out which hands your opponents choose to play and which to fold – thus figuring out their range.

Once you have a relative understanding of your opponent's range, you can have a better shot at figuring out when you might have the upper hand. If you think your opponent's cards are within their betting range and you are not, folding might be the right way to go. But if it is the other way around, you can bet more confidently even when your opponent tries to bluff or manipulate you.

Keep Learning & Get Better at Poker!

That is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to poker range theories and strategies, but it can set you on the right track! Keep learning more about poker ranges, and you might become a poker superstar in no time at all!