Hand Reading on the Flop Heads Up

Posted on Nov 23, 2008 by Gugel in Hand Reading and Tells

Now that you have some idea on what hands you should be playing preflop, you should understand how often and how good of a hand you will hit on the flop. This is what your opponent will be thinking about.

Hands Reading on the Button

Take a look at the preflop hand ranges post. Notice that on the button, we are playing all aces. Out of the total 169 possible hands, we are playing 135 hands. 25 (18.5%) of those hands have an ace in it. 22 of our starting hands (16.3%) have a K. And only 14 (10.4%) of our hands have a 2. What are implications of these numbers? In short, we are much better able to represent an ace than we are a 2 because an ace is almost twice as likely to be in our starting hand range. Now we can extract some practical advice from this data.

Lets say you have 5s 6s on the button. You raise and the villain calls. The flop comes 2, 9, A rainbow. Since you have no showdown value and little chance of improving, you should usually bet if checked to. You can represent the ace very well since 18.5% of your starting hands will have an ace.

Now lets imagine the same scenario only the flop comes 2, 9, J rainbow. Again you have no showdown value and little chance of improving, but now it is much less likely that the flop hit your range of hands. If you bet, you have less credibility than if an ace had come on the flop. In this scenario, you might choose to just give up right away and not even take a shot at it taking the pot.

Hands Reading on the Big Blind

The hand ranges from the big blind are even more important. We are playing 52 out of the 169 possible hands. 19 of them (36.5%) have an ace. 10 hands (19.2%) have a queen. Only 2 hands (3.8%) have a 3. When an ace flops, we can very credibly represent an ace with a strong kicker. If the flop comes 2,3,8 rainbow, we are much, much less likely to be able to represent a good hand to our opponent.

Some Conclusions

One of the most important things to take away from starting hand ranges, however, is that you can have a monster hand on any flop from both the BB and the button. Your bluffing frequency, however, should be highly dependent on the board texture. Likewise, you should be more likely to float and bluff your opponent on boards that really dont hit your opponents range that well.

Now obviously Ive analyzed my preflop starting hand strategy in this post, but lots of other strategies exist. Some villains raise 100% of buttons. Others dont understand the value of position and play as many hands from the button as they do from the BB. Nevertheless, against all opponent, you should always be evaluating how well the villains range is hitting the board and base your strategies off that.

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One Response to Hand Reading on the Flop Heads Up

  1. KEV

    26. Feb, 2009

    Great blog mate like the H/U CHARTS thanks.

    if you want to succeed strike out on new pathsrather than tread theworn path of accepted success.