Hand Reading

Boxer65Boxer65 Red Chipper Posts: 4 ✭✭
I have been studying hand reading recently and there is one question I can't find a good answer to. How do you hand read open limpers? I play $1/$2 NL and in my games almost everyone limps into every pot. It is not uncommon for it to go multi-way to the flop 7 ways! The only ways I have been able to combat it is to tighten up my game a lot. I usually try to have a VPIP/PFR of around 22/18, but in these games I have to tighten up to about 14/12 or even tighter to be anywhere near profitable. The other thing that has been profitable is to raise aggressively when I do have a playable hand. However, I need to raise to at least 9-10BB to generate anywhere near enough folds to be profitable. The bottom line is that I don't want to abandon hand reading altogether, but in these games I find myself defaulting to assigning ranges in the 75% ball park. Even then the random fish will come to showdown with 63o somehow! Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 5,112 -
    With such wide ranges, I think you move away from the traditional hand reading as it is taught here and elsewhere, and look more to understanding how to exploit a weak range. Ed Miller's "The Course" does a fabulous job in this area.

    First, it does help if you can thin the herd a bit. Second, understand that players with wide ranges have a lot of hands that are simply weak and which only connect with miracle flops. At low stakes, players tend to deal with all these "extra" hands in two ways. They either fold them, or they call too thin with them. The trick is to identify who you're dealing with. The folders you can bluff. The more common (outside of Vegas) are the callers. They enter way too many pots because folding isn't fun preflop. It's no more fun postflop. So you value bet them.

    That's not to say you completely abandon traditional hand reading. These will often take actions that allow you to drastically trim their ranges across streets. This will typically occur when they take an aggressive action. A gutshot fills and they get all saucer-eyed and fire a big bet; they got there.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • Boxer65Boxer65 Red Chipper Posts: 4 ✭✭
    Thanks for the Miller resource, I will definitely check that out! I’ve also started to c bet almost strictly for value, because usually we are multi way and bluffs c bets just aren’t usually that profitable. However, on the rare instances that I do get to the flop heads up, bluff c bets have been profitable since, as you pointed out, most callers are pretty fit or fold on the flop. When I face a raise I usually know that I’m behind and now I’m working on estimating my equity quickly and making the most +ev decision.

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