IROPEDONKS Poker Newbie
I am a 50nl 6 max cash player; I have not had much to do with identifying players when they polarize hands, I’ve just been playing ABC poker, and not taking much time to understand this, as I’m nearly ready to move up to 100NL I think I need to understand this more clearly.
Here is my knowledge of what I think hand polarizing means, and identifying it in certain situations,
“Please don’t laugh if it’s wrong, as I have next to no knowledge of it hence why I’m writing this post thx”.
Example: hero As Qs (I call a middle position 3x raise on the button, both 100bb deep, blinds fold)
Flop: Kc 8s 6s villain c-bets ¾ pot, I raise, and then he flats my raise.
At this point in the hand with the flat call, I would say he is polarizing his hand/range to hands like:
AA AK KJs KJ QQ JJ maybe 1010 KQs KQ, but less likely as I hold a queen, & smaller flush draws,
I don’t think sets as they would generally push all in, but in general a one pair hand or medium strength hand.
Is this correct?
If so, and I identify the range or hand, what line should I be looking to take? not in this hand but in genral, Or what questions should I be asking myself when a player does this kind of thing?
If I am completely of the mark could someone point me in the right direction please?
I feel uncomfortable trying to make examples when I don’t fully understand myself, if some could post some examples that would help me a lot.
IrwinFletcher Poker Newbie
What's up Jason. I can take a swing at this. For the most part, when people talk about a villain having a polarized range it means that their range of hands in a specific spot is comprised entirely of nut type hands or bluff type hands. Here's an example. If you are facing an opponent who you know is not capable of value betting thin, and that opponent makes a large bet or raise on the river on a board that has run out someout scary, you can usually take weaker made hands like unimproved pockets pairs, top pairs, middle pairs, etc. out of the villains range leaving them with mostly very strong nut type hands or bluffs. This villain has a polarized range of hands for large river bets. The same can be applied for any other specific spot. Many people talk about polarizing their 3 betting range in certain places. This means the same thing. When they choose to 3 bet, they will do so with the top X% of hands maybe AA-JJ, AK, AQs and also with Y% of trashy type hands, but never with hands in the middle like strong suited connectors or medium pocket pairs. Basically, think polar opposite hand groups. This is my take on it. If anyone disagrees please post!
newera725 Poker Newbie
Irwin pretty much explained it.
I would only add my explanation in a different way. The best way to understand the definition of a "polarized range" would be the 3betting example. If villain ONLY 3bets with QQ+ and AKs then that is incredibly polarized meaning you know exactly where you are when villain 3bets.
Unfortunately that example doesnt hold much water in online games nowadays. It does hold weight in live casinos, most grinders or old nonthinking players often times have very polarized ranges when they act out of the norm, and its usually the nuts, allowing you to fold the 2nd and 3rd nuts fairly easy. I hit a flush on the turn and got check minraised from the sb and i insta folded and he showed the nut flush.
I wouldnt have taken that line if it were online.
I think the advice tho for moving up would be, dont focus so much on your weakness. Identifying an opponents correct range depends on close attention and understanding of THAT opponent.
Often times on the river youll be put to a tough decision, the better you know how your opponent reacts to different situations the better you will be at defining his range in this spot. So if he never checkraise bluffs the river, and your on a paired board, you can safely assume he has a boat because his range is polarized to the nuts.
This is why thin-valuebetting is so important. If your opponent knows that you could easily be betting middle pair for value on the river, its harder for him to define your range and he will end up making mistakes trying to figure you out. The more mistakes our opponents make, the more we win, regardless of the actual outcome....
IROPEDONKS Poker Newbie
Thank you for your feedback, I have a much better understanding now, the way you explained it makes allot of sense.
AaronPope Poker Trainee
Easiest definition is what Irwin said: This is nuts or air. If you're in a spot like that, remember it's tough to make the nuts, and call. Lol. Unless the guy is a nit. then fold.