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Ranging Villains

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  • Ranging Villains

    Hello everyone!

    This is my first post in this section, and I'd like to make it about something I'm having trouble with at the tables.

    I don't know how to range an opponent properly. I don't think I have enough experience to get a feel for what the villain might have. In EVERY video of EVERY SESSION here at the PSO, you guys just automatically do it, but to me, your thought process COMPLETELY ELUDES ME. I do understand everything that's being said, but to me it all seems vague, so I always feel I'm missing something.

    In Live Trainings it's simply impossible to ask questions because of many factors:

    1- The trainer is busy playing
    2- There are people flooding the chat with all kinds of questions and suggestions, so he sometimes doesn't even see what you say until way later.

    So, I know from another topic I posted in the Hand Analysis forum that I should ask myself the question: "what hands could he be calling me with here?" What if I told you that I ask myself exactly that question, but I can't answer it?

    HOW do you effectively and efficiently range an opponent? Could you provide us with a video or a step-by-step guide to that? ANYTHING that gets me started on that thought process, maybe even a list for me to analyze?

    Such as:

    Facing a raise from EP:

    Calling range XX YY ZZ QQ PP TT HH etc... The above aren't poker hands, they're a way of saying Hand X, Hand Y, etc..

    3-betting range XX YY ZZ QQ PP TT HH etc...

    What I'd like to have is a feel for the kind of hands he could call me with, the hands he could 3-bet me with pre-flop, the hands he would fold to a raise, etc...

    Thanks in advance!

    Take it EZ!

  • #2
    Hi Max_Kane! Dave has done three live training sessions specifically on the subject that are in the archive. Here are links to them. session 3 session 41 session 42 One big key with ranging is... it depends... each type of opp will have different ranges. Good luck at the tables.umbup: John (JWK24)
    Super-Moderator



    6 Time Bracelet Winner


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    • #3
      My ranging is done with notes I have on the players after I've seen them enough times and like JWK said, it depends......... on lots of other things on the spur of the moment.

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      • #4
        The other Dave (Harrington) could help you too, he has an excellent book to get you started with ranging: Harrington on online cash games.

        My noob opinion is this: Ranging is like the words when you try to learn a new language. Thus there is no shortcut. Actions (bet/fold/raise) are the grammar - and so easier to learn. Just keep in mind that the grammar also changes the words (inflection) Possible proof of the easiness: To be a winning player at 2NL you don't need to range, all you need to do is bet when you have the made hand and call/fold when you don't.

        Our Dave's "Reads and Ranging" was the first video ever, where opponents range was so predefined that I really understood everything - small vocabulary. Unfortunately its marked 150 VPP.
        Last edited by braveslice; Tue Dec 03, 2013, 11:27 PM.

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        • #5
          The first part of ranging is observing and learning your opponent's tendencies.

          The second is situational awareness.

          When you have a feel/idea as to the situation and your opponent's likely actions you then learn to assign probable ranges.

          I just wish it was as easy as it sounds.

          Wanting to learn is a early step along the path to knowledge. But turning knowledge into wisdom is the most important path.

          Good decisions!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Max_Kane View Post
            What I'd like to have is a feel for the kind of hands he could call me with, the hands he could 3-bet me with pre-flop, the hands he would fold to a raise, etc...
            This mostly comes from experience, but what I do is put myself in villain's shoes, beginning with pre-flop. I'll ask "What hands would I call/raise with in his situation?" If villain plays looser than than me, then I'll add a few hands to the range I'd play in his situation. If he's tighter, then I'll discount a few combos. For example, if I raise pre-flop in middle position, and a very tight player calls on the button, I can automatically discount about 85% of hands from his range. He's not calling a pre-flop raise with 74o, K2s or Q7o, for example. He's much more likely to have JJ-22, a suited ace or suited connector. (With QQ+/AK, I'd expect him to re-raise). Then, suppose the flops comes a rainbow . I bet, and villain raises. Since there is no flush draw or open-ended flush draw on this board, the nitty villain can't be raising with a suited ace or suited connector as a semi-bluff. The only hands in his range that hit this flop are AJs, QJs, JTs, JJ, 66 and 22. Since I'd expect the nitty set-miner to flat with top pair, when he raises he pretty much always has a set. Most of the time when I c-bet this flop, he will fold. If he calls, his range is weighted to Jx, with some middle pairs (TT-77) also peeling off a card. If he raises, he usually has a set. If the villain is a looser player, then his range is wider. He'll have more jacks in his range (maybe even something like J6s that made top two) but he'll also have a lot of junk that totally missed. One thing I'd recommend is playing about with Pokerstove/Equilab so you can visualise what % ranges look like. I've got some example ranges of the "playable" hands I generally use when calling pre-flop raises in this blog. If you raise pre-flop and get called, then this blog about evaluating flop textures (and working out how they connect with ranges) should help you too. Hope this helps!
            Bracelet Winner

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ArtySmokesPS View Post
              This mostly comes from experience, but what I do is put myself in villain's shoes, beginning with pre-flop. I'll ask "What hands would I call/raise with in his situation?"
              If villain plays looser than than me, then I'll add a few hands to the range I'd play in his situation. If he's tighter, then I'll discount a few combos.
              IMO, this approach is fraught with danger for people without experience and confidence.

              The approach I prefer is to develop some "hypothetical" reasonable ranges for different styles. This requires one to observe different styles then play "through the opponent's eyes" while you are not in a hand. When shown down you note if you ranged them reasonably well or not. Look for trends, are your ranges consistently too loose or tight, and don't worry about each one you miss. You learn more from analyzing your trends.

              When you have some confidence, move from ranges to characteristics such as conventional or tricky, overplays or underplays, changes gears or not, etc.

              Ranging is just the start. Lay out a path from where you are to where you want/need to be.
              Last edited by TrumpinJoe; Wed Dec 04, 2013, 08:35 PM.

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              • #8
                Very well said Joe +1000 umbup:umbup:

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                • #9
                  TY Trap. Coming from someone with your solid game is doubly appreciated.

                  Two other things: An honest mistake, ie an poor decision, is only a failure if one does not learn from the experience.

                  For self-analysis to be fruitful it MUST be brutally self honest, and that is quite humbling.


                  Good decisions.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TrumpinJoe View Post
                    Two other things: An honest mistake, ie an poor decision, is only a failure if one does not learn from the experience. For self-analysis to be fruitful it MUST be brutally self honest, and that is quite humbling.
                    +1000000umbup:umbup:umbup:umbup:umbup: John (JWK24)
                    Super-Moderator



                    6 Time Bracelet Winner


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                    • #11
                      Quick tip: You can always ask hands you won!, where you find you played wrong (first you can ask any hand )-> your ego can take a lot of beating that way =)

                      Arty V Joe, I think you are saying about the same thing WHEN you consider you are talking to a person who seeks ABC steps to start to range.

                      What else a person can do at the start than think from his own shoes? As soon he advances with baby steps he will go to hypothetical ranges (as Arty hinted and Joe named), with mistakes of course.
                      Last edited by braveslice; Wed Dec 04, 2013, 11:04 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Try to range THIS guys!!! Hey, folks! I would like you guys to exercise your ranging skills on this particular hand. All the action occurs pre-flop. Please pause the game after my action and try to range the villain. This was played in a freeroll, which is mostly what I play for now, and I wanted you guys who play actual poker to know what this kind of tournament is like. I think you'll be sort of surprised to see the cards the villain was holding and maybe come to understand why freerolls are called bingos. Enjoy!

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                        • #13
                          Another little funny hand What do you think of the villain's range here? Does that match what he actually shows?

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                          • #14
                            To guess a villain's range, we need to know info about them. How they had played previous hands, what cards had they already shown down, what bets had they made in prior hands, how many hands they're playing... without this information, there's no way to tell... it could literally be ANY 2 CARDS.

                            John (JWK24)
                            Super-Moderator



                            6 Time Bracelet Winner


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Max_Kane View Post
                              Hey, folks! I would like you guys to exercise your ranging skills on this particular hand. All the action occurs pre-flop. Please pause the game after my action and try to range the villain. This was played in a freeroll, which is mostly what I play for now, and I wanted you guys who play actual poker to know what this kind of tournament is like. I think you'll be sort of surprised to see the cards the villain was holding and maybe come to understand why freerolls are called bingos. Enjoy!
                              Wow that was a way better hand than I thought he would show.
                              I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill

                              13 Time Bracelet Winner


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