Polarized Range

  • A polarized range is a weighted range containing the top x% of equity hands for the situation and a bluffpart, that contains low equity hands, which are too weak to call with and are usually folded elsewise.
    Polarized ranges can most often be found in reraising scenarios preflop and postflop, while also as a betting strategy postflop to maximize the EV of the entire range by bluffing enough to force the opponent to call weak made hands.

    A polarized range can always be deconstructed in two essential sub parts:

    • A value part
      Containing some or all top equity hands for a given situation. If this part is bigger than the other subpart, the range is considered to be "valueheavy", meaning it is weighted towards value combinations.
    • A bluff part
      Containing a selection of low equity hands for a given situation. If this part is bigger than the other subpart, the range is considered to be "bluffheavy", meaning it is weighted towards bluff combinations.


    Constructing a good polarized range for a situation can be quite challenging and difficult. The most important feature of a polarized range is to know exactly how many bluffs the range is able to contain in order to be played profitably.

    A solid polarized approach to range construction means to accomodate the following concepts at least:

    • Perfect weight between bluffs and value according to the situation at hand
    • Making sure every value combo is actually a value combo for the situation and has its maxEV in this range compared to other decision possibilities
    • Making sure every bluff combo is actually highest in EV as a bluff in this range compared to calling or folding
    • Making sure bluff combos have the right blocker effects, meaning they block continueing (calling or raising combinations, or value combinations in general), while not blocking weak hand combinations that intend to fold to a bet
    • Making sure that bluff combos actually can make the nuts or if they miss can get the most amount of better hands to fold
    These are just some concepts that accomodate for a good polarized range. Especially preflop ranges are very tough to build optimal with a polarized approach and every poker player values different arguments over the benefit of a certain hand combination differently.

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