WATCH: Daniel Negreanu on How to Familiarize Yourself With Ranges
Daniel Negreanu returned to his popular YouTube channel recently to talk some poker strategy, in particular to share an introduction to the idea of ranges in poker and explain how familiarizing yourself with the concept can help elevate your game.
You've likely noticed here in the PokerNews Strategy section how frequently in hand analyses the writers will talk about ranges when breaking down hands.
For example, a player who raises before the flop from early position is indicating strength, thus likely ruling out a large percentage of hands from his or her "range." Then when another player responds with three-bet, that in turn can suggest an even more narrow "range" of strong starting hands. Postflop actions can then further reduce the likely hands a player holds, creating an even tighter range against which to proceed.
As Negreanu explains, thinking about ranges when analyzing hands is a relatively new phenomenon, something that wasn't really that common a decade ago and before during the poker "boom."
Relatively speaking, the game was then more "elementary" says Negreanu, and often strategy would revolve around discussions of "my hand versus. their hand" rather than more sophisticated considerations of the range of possible hands an opponent could hold. From there evolved even more sophisticated ways of looking at hands that considered not only an opponent's range of hands, but one's own range, too.
In the video below, Negreanu discusses this recent evolution in poker strategy while introducing the concept of ranges in poker. He then discusses related concepts like range advantage, counting combinations (or combos) within a range of hands, and using blockers to help narrow ranges. Take a look: