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Folding Ranges and Bet Sizing

# Folding Ranges and Bet Sizing

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07/03/2014

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Folding Ranges and Bet Sizing
Let's say you are going to make a river bluff versus an opponent. You have deduced that heeither has a top pair type hand, a missed flush draw, a missed straight draw, or a slow-played set thathas made a full house. Your opponent hasn't played a lot with you and it's unlikely he will read into yoursizing too much, so you have a plethora of bet sizes from which to choose, and need to figure out whatthe best one is for your holdings (a bluff). If you are betting for value, you would want to bet themaximum he would call without increasing his folding range. But since you are bluffing, you will want tobet the minimum amount that gets him to fold without increasing his calling range.Let's look at an example of our
opponent’s ranges.
For simplicity
’s
sake, we will assume he hasno raising range.
Let’s just say the board is Jd 8d 3c 4s 4h and you believe your opponent has:
JJ,88,33,AJs-A9s,A7s,KTs+,QTs+,J9s+,T9s,AJo,KJo,QTo+,JTo
After paying attention to our opponent’s tendencies we believe he will call up to a 1.25 PSB with
top pair hands, he will not call any bets over ¼ pot with missed flush draws and straight draws, and willcall all bets with full houses.
(For the example he isn’t raising, it’s just an example.) It’s very important to
calculate the frequency at which your opponent has each of these possible hands to help determine thebest amount to bet, in order to to get the most folds. There are 12 combinations of offsuit hands, 4combinations of suited hands, and 6 combinations of pocket pairs. When there are board cards that hit
an opponent’s range, it also makes it slightly less likely that an opponent has paired, since one of the
cards in their range is now on the board. When you originally had someone on 16 combinations of AJ,they can now only have 12 (here they lose the 4 Ax Jd combos).MissedDrawTopPairFullHouseATdd AJ
–
12 JJ
–
3A9dd KJ
–
12 88
–
3A7dd QJ
–
12 33
–
3KQdd JT
–
12KTddQTddT9ddQT
–
15T9s - 3Total 25 48 9
Figure 3-4
There are 82 total hand combinations, 25/82 will fold to any ¼ PSB or higher, 73/82 will fold toany 1.25 PSB or higher, and 9 will not fold to any bet. Take a look at this graph and pay close attentionto the inflection points:

Figure 3-5
In NLHE we have many different choices of what size to bet, but if we are faced with thissituation, there is really no point in betting any other amounts other than right around each red dot. If we only want draws to fold we should bet just over .25P. If we want top pair to call, we should bet just
under 1.25P. And if we want top pair to fold, we should bet just over 1.25P. This graph is saying, “To
best exploit our opponent, bet
the minimum or maximum needed to get our desired result.” In real life
situations, the graph may be more of a straight line than this tiered representation, but there is still abet amount that, if we exceed, will be an overly costly bluff, or a value-bet that gets more folds than we
wanted. Try to visualize your opponent’s hand range in sections like this to first understand how many
hands make up each section, then what size of bet will give you your desired result.After dissecting their range and assigning it a graph like this one, the question then becomes,
“Should I be trying to bluff my opponent off of missed draws only, or also top pair
-
type hands? “ Let’s
calculate the value of each bet to find out. Some of the variables that should be pretty straightforwardare P (pot size), meaning regardless of whether the pot is \$1 or \$1000, we are betting in terms of potsize, and believe he will call in terms of pot size and that is all that matters, and our equity (H) whencalled is 0 (making your opponent
’s V=1). Let’s say you have 25o for simplicity’s sake.
Betting .25P wins us the pot 25/82 = 30.5% of the time. Using the fold equity equation we get:EV = .305P +(1-.305)(0*P-.25P[1])EV = .305P + (.695*)(-.25P)EV = .305P - .174P
Amount to GetDraws to FoldAmount to GetTop Pair toFoldAmount to GetTop Pair to CallFull House CallsInfinite Amount
00.250.50.7511.251.51.75211121314151617181
B   e   t   A   m   o   u   n   t    (   P    )
Hands
Folding Frequencies

EV = .131PBetting 1.25P wins us the pot (25+48)/82 = 89% of the time.EV = .89P + (1-.89)(0*P
–
1.25P[1])EV = .89P +(.11)*(-1.25P)EV = .89P - .137PEV = .753P
Let’s talk about some of the key factors in the profitability behind this bluff. First of all, wenoticed our opponent has a very specific range. It’s not super loose, but it is loose in the sense that
there are some offsuit broadways and suited aces. This might be a spot you see when you are button toBB, maybe cutoff to button. This will never truly exist in real life, there will always be some unknowns;we are just simplifying for the sake of the example. Secondly, our opponent is not slowplaying a ton, nooverpairs, no two pair-type hands. Thirdly, we are assuming our opponent is passive with all their flushdraws, including the combo draws. And finally, the most important thing is that we know our opponentwill fold certain hands in very specific ways. Sometimes people will look you up with top pair even when
you overbet, or maybe even bluff you with their missed draw. There’s no way to know for sure what
they will do, so this example is only slightly applicable to real life, but the underlining principle as far asfinding the best bet size based on how their folding range changes, is what is really important.This graph represents the value of getting folds with different bet sizes using the above calling rangesand illustrates that sizing can make all the difference:
-0.6-0.4-0.200.20.40.60.8100.250.50.7511.251.51.752
E   V    (   P    )
Bluff Size (P)
EV of Different Bet Sizes
EV