Range Betting | Upswing Poker Level-Up #21
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This article is based on an episode of the Level-Up Podcast, hosted by poker pro and coach Gary “GazzyB” Blackwood and Upswing VP Mike Brady. You can watch or listen to the entire episode via the links above or read on if you prefer a written version.
Some situations in No-Limit Hold’em call for a continuation bet 100% of the time, no matter what hole cards you hold. Betting your entire range in position is a strategy that will massively boost your win-rate if you implement it properly.
Season 3 Episode 5 of the Upswing Poker Level-Up Podcast covers when we should c-bet and when we shouldn’t. We’ll also cover some situations where it might seem like a range bet is in order, but it actually isn’t.
Let’s dive in:
What Is A Range Bet?
Before we jump into the meat and potatoes of this topic, let’s clarify what we mean by range betting. A range bet happens when you raise preflop, get called, and you continuation bet 100% of the time of the flop. You’re c-betting with your entire preflop range on the flop, hence the term “range betting.”
Why Range Bet?
Reasons for range betting include:
- When our range advantage is very strong, we generate tons of fold equity by betting so often.
- Betting so often with (usually) small sizes forces your opponents to call extremely wide.
For example, let’s say you open raise from the BTN and get a call from the BB. The flop comes . If you c-bet small on this board, the BB should call (according to the solver) with some fairly questionable hands like , , and at some frequency.
Our opponent arrives at the turn with a good amount of garbage hands in their range, therefore helping our turn strategy tremendously as the preflop aggressor.
Also, many human opponents won’t call your small range bet on the flop as much as they should, and you print money by generating folds with your c-bet.
Flops That Call For A Range Bet
Sticking with the BTN vs. BB single-raised pot example, some flops that call for a range bet include:
- Disconnected single-broadway rainbow boards (like , , ).
Be careful not to take the range betting strategy too far though. As the board gets more connected, you should start checking some of your range.
For instance, you should NOT range bet on:
- More connected single-broadway boards (like ).
- Ace-high boards
In general, you can c-bet more often as your position improves (i.e. as your range gets stronger).
Let’s take a look at the concept of range betting in 3-bet pots. For this example, suppose the CO opens, and you 3-bet from the BTN.
Some flops that call for a range bet in this spot include:
- Double broadway boards
- All K-high and J-high flops
- Really disconnected Q-high flops (but not all)
Flops People THINK They Should Range Bet (But Shouldn’t)
While it’s important to have the range bet in your arsenal, it’s just as important not to oversimplify your strategy and use the 100% c-bet approach too often.
Let’s consider some boards in the BTN vs. BB singe-raised pot situation that you should not c-bet:
- (BTN checks 40% of the time)
- A-high boards – even disconnected (i.e. is a range bet but isn’t)
Also, we very rarely range bet when out of position (OOP).
Let’s go back to the BTN 3-bet vs. CO scenario. We want to aggressively c-bet as the BTN 3-bettor on the flop, but we still need to do some checking on:
- Some A-high boards (even some of the disconnected ones like , )
While A-high boards are great for the 3-bettor’s range, the 3-bet caller will also have plenty of Ax hands in their range. Therefore, you can’t range bet some of the A-high boards.
Boards like and are fine to range bet, but you’ll need to do some checking on ace-high boards with two low/middling cards accompanying the ace.
Bet Sizing For Range Betting
When range betting, we could use a bigger bet size in some spots. It’s best just to simplify your strategy, however, and stick with small bet sizes like 33%, 25%, and even 10% in some 3-bet/4-bet pots.
Playing Turns After Range Betting
So you opened the BTN, the BB called, and the flop called for a range bet. The BB calls your flop c-bet.
You now arrive at the turn with your entire preflop opening range, while the BB’s range is condensed to hands that called your preflop open and your flop c-bet. When you get to the turn after range betting, consider the following tips:
- Which such a wide range our turn equity suffers, and our betting frequency should be quite low.
- When we do bet, we usually use an overbetting strategy (in single-raised pots but NOT in 3-bet pots)
- The best turns for BTN are high cards; the worst are board-pairing turns
Gary just finished up a nearly five-hour module on turn betting strategies after the flop, look for the module coming soon to the Upswing Poker Lab.
If you’re already an Upswing Lab member, you can dive super deep into the topic of range betting by checking out the aptly-titled Betting Your Entire Range In Position. It’s a three-hour lesson dedicated to the topic discussed in this week’s Level-Up Podcast. It includes a lot of advice for playing turns and rivers after range betting on the flop.
If you really want to dive deep, examine all of the different boards, and really have a complex, robust strategy that’s going to be super tough to beat and extremely profitable, check out that module (by Upswing coach Tim Jenkins) in the Lab.
Join the Lab to take your game to the next level now! And be sure to use the coupon code levelup to get $50 off.
Thanks a ton for listening. We release a new episode of Upswing Level-Up almost every Wednesday, please be sure to subscribe or follow the show if you’re enjoying all this free value. We’ll see you in the next one.