Learn how to use range, equity and maximization to optimize your game and your their winnings. This winning poker strategy builds on other strategies, and when understood entirely and used in tandem, they'll give you a razor sharp edge over the competition.
Range, equity, maximize - these are the three pillars that create the foundations of the REM process. The REM process provides players with another poker strategy that they can use to optimize their game and maximize their winnings.
Another poker strategy?
Yes, another. The REM process is another poker strategy. The difference is it is another strategy that combines more basic poker strategies and then builds on them.
Here's how it works:
You're going to marry two concepts (range and equity) to maximize your winnings.
Range, when utilized in the context of poker, refers to the possible scope of hands you (or an opponent) could hold based on observations of your (or your opponent's) previous play. (This is when knowing poker playing styles will come in handy.) When we talk about range in regards to REM, we're talking about your opponent. So, in this instance, the first step of REM involves assigning your opponent a range of hands based on their play.
Not to be confused with expected value, equity is a basic tenet of poker. Basic and ecumenical. To play winning poker, you've got to know about equity since it helps you understand what percentage of the pot belongs to you; it gives you an idea of how often you can expect to win with your hand on average from a particular point in the hand going forward.
To optimize your game using the REM process, you are going to want to suss out how much equity you actually have in the hand in the face of your opponent's range. This is step two of the REM process.
The final frontier. Now you're going to use what you have gathered about their range to make the best play possible to max your equity.
So, how do you work out your range?
You're not going to be able to know your opponent's exact holdings. No one - not even the most advanced, crazy skilled players - can do this. What you can do, however, is watch and learn. Literally. Watch your opponents and observe the kinds of hands they play in what situations and how they play these hands. You won't know for sure your opponent is holding the nuts, for instance, but if you KNOW this super tight player plays super aggressive when he has solid hands (AA,KK,QQ, AK suited), you can assign him a 'range'. You know if he plays a certain way, he has a certain range of hands.
Good. Now let's move on.
Range + Equity = MAXIMIZE
Two worlds collide! Now you've got to get a handle on the situation by determining your equity in the hand, and then measuring the worth of this equity against the strength of our opponent's probable holdings based on their range. To do this, you are going to have to know how to calculate your poker equity. (Got you covered. I’ve already written an article about that here.)
Next, you are going want to do the math. And by math, I mean use a poker calculator. (Again, you can calculate equity yourself, but you can also save time by using a poker calculator. I think it’s great to know how to do the math on your own, but - for the most part – use the calculator to facilitate speedy calculations. ) Using a heads up display (like PokerTracker or Hold’em Manager) can also help with the process, by giving you numerical data as to what % of hands a player plays in given positions or in given situations.
Thinking back to what we established in our previous example, we know we are up against a tight opponent who plays aggressively off the flop with top tier hands. Using PokerStove (or another equity calculator), we can plug our hand and our opponent's hand (use any in his range) to find out our equity compared to our opponent’s equity (based on his range). Using this information, you can decide how to play the hand, if it’s worth playing at all. In this way you effectively maximize your winnings.
Simple, right? You bet. Now get stackin’!
Photo Credit: ND Strupler | Flickr