Explanation of Range Advantage

The term “range advantage” has become increasingly common usage as more and more players look to analyse poker through the lens of game theory. Key to a theoretical understanding of poker is comparing how one range of hands performs against another range of hands. When one range is considered to be much better than an opposing range, the player with the stronger range can be described as having a range advantage.

Example of Range Advantage used in a sentence -> We have the range advantage in this spot and should likely bet with a high frequency.

How to Use Range Advantage as Part of Your Poker Strategy

The most common way of analysing range advantage is assessing the raw equity of one range over another. Many players overestimate the importance of raw equity and it is certainly not the only factor that should be used when comparing two ranges. 

The following factors are important -

Raw Equity – This factor should certainly still be considered when analysing ranges. Often the range with the most equity is the better range, but this is not always the case (as some mistakenly believe).

Equity Distribution – This aspect tells us how the equity is distributed across a range. Some equity distributions are more profitable and easier to play than others. It’s generally considered favourable to be the player with the polarised equity distribution. (In this type of distribution, the equity is produced by a combination of very strong hands and bluffs but very few (if any) mid-strength made hands.)

The equity distribution also takes into account which range has the “nutted equity”. It’s generally favourable to have a range which contains nutted (best possible) holdings in a situation where the other range doesn’t have them. 

Vulnerability – Some ranges are just more vulnerable than others and suffer more when giving free equity. It’s possible for weaker ranges to find themselves playing somewhat aggressively while stronger (non-vulnerable) ranges find themselves playing more passively. A common (incorrect) assumption is that the stronger range should always play aggressively while the weaker range always plays passively.

See Also 

Equity, Range, Equity Calculator, Vulnerable, Protection

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