Polarized ranges, and building villain's ranges

DeucesWildDeucesWild Red Chipper Posts: 64 ✭✭
Hello All,

Some of you have frequently responded to my posts, and those who have, know I'm still new and learning (been playing for 4 months now). That said, I joined the CORE program recently and could not be happier. I have a 2-parter that I'm looking for some understanding on from different more seasoned perspectives.

First I am working on playing a more polarized range (first preflop, then learn how to play poled on the river, it's also my understanding you cannot play a poled range anywhere else). From my current view, poled ranges mean that you treat every hand you open preflop with, the same, and most of all, you open preflop based on your position not card strength. So, in my mind, that means we raise high in EP, say 3-3.5x, in MP we open say 2.5-3x, and in LP, we open even lower say 2-2.5x. I fold a lot in EP as I believe I should, and I only limp (in MP/LP) if there are multiple limpers behind and my hand is not weak enough to fold.

My first question would be, are those standard preflop raises sizes by position? Second question would be based on the piece of information I received recently that stated "Treat the top of your range the same as you would the bottom of your range". So, when I hear that, I think, "OK, so that must mean if I'm opening to 3.5x in EP with AA, then I should also be opening 3.5x with A2s--A5s". I can start to understand that concept, but it starts to get tricky with hands like AJ in 6max, or AQs in EP, do I bite the bullet and treat them the same as AA as well?

It doesn't stop there, I then start to question hands like 99 or 78s in EP/MP, my gut says fold those hands in EP. However, I also read that medium strength hands like the one I mentioned are not to be opened with in general anywhere outside of LP, instead, these hands are good for flatting or limping. I start to also question "what's the bottom of my range then?" because by my understanding, the bottom of my range is starting to look like any 2 cards.

To better illustrate why I'm saying "any 2 cards", I'll provide an excerpt that's paraphrased: "If you typically don't 3bet, but when you do, you 3bet with AA..you should consider 3betting with K3o as well, but not hands like 99"

Essentially, I'm faced with, do I limp with the top range in EP since I was used to limping with the bottom of my range as well? OR, do I raise all and treat all hands at the bottom the same as the top of my range?

Second thing (and this one I feel will be more black & white) is what I saw last night while attempting to build out typical villian ranges at the levels I play. I will list my build below; the problem I think is, that I'm giving my opponents too much of a wide range in EP, and their flatting combos are FAR more than their opens or 3bets. I'm also questioning if their opens should be the same as their 3bets which is something I found that I feel is wrong. Stats are below:

Villain's Range in EP:

Open: 86 combos--6.5% of hands
Flat: 194 combos--14.6%
3bet: 82 combos, 6%
Squeeze: 50 combos, 3.7%

I stopped after EP because when I started building out MP's range, they were FAR to similar to EP, and it was then that I knew I must be doing something wrong.

I apologize for how long this is, and also understand if this is far too loaded for any to spend time answering, I figured I would at least give this a shot. Thank you in advance!


  • DeucesWildDeucesWild Red Chipper Posts: 64 ✭✭
    **Not necessarily fold 99 in EP, but hands like 99, 88, 67s, 78s etc. are hands that I am currently under the impression that I only flat/limp until in LP with these types of hands
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,556 ✭✭✭✭
    Next time how about one question or theme per thread:)

    Learn you opening ranges and then just use one bet size for raising first in. There is no need to add a bunch of complexity with mixed PFR sizings or different sizing by position. I think 3x is best for micro/low stakes online games, and 4x for most live games.

    STOP limping and over limping(except maybe on the BTN with 2+limpers in front or in super passive live games vs 2+ limpers)
  • DeucesWildDeucesWild Red Chipper Posts: 64 ✭✭

    Point well taken about the length of this post haha. Also, thank you for the input on keeping my opens the same. Jon Little also mentioned that in his book, to always keep your opens the same so it disguises your hand and gives less information. I am currently working on stopping the amount of times I limp. It used to be a few months ago I would limp in EP a TON especially in SB where I would complete with most drawing hands etc.

    Now I am learning that we typically fold or raise preflop; and much like you said, I've been reading that the rare times we limp are in fact in LP when there are multiple limpers etc.

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