Merged Range

  • A merged range is different to a polar or strictly linear approach, as it neither contains only the strongest hands, nor a selection of strong hands and very weak hands. Instead a merged range is a mix of all hands, a value part and a bluff part with the bluffs not being solely the weakest equity hands, but also hands out of the middling equity spectrum.
    The goal of a merged range is to make it more difficult for the opponent to play against it. It is nearly impossible to exactly know how a merged range is constructed. Merged ranges are not polarized in the way that the bluff hands have considerable low and diminished pot equity in most scenarios against the defending range, but instead still have a decent share of pot-equity in so called robust equity. Meaning that they play well against a very strong range, making nuts if possible or drawing to the nuts elsewise.

    Low suited aces for example are often part of a preflop merged range bluffpart, as their equity is very robust. A5s is the only hand that retains nearly 35% of pot-equity against most strong hands, only getting crushed against AA like every other starting hand.

    Often a merged range is confused with a balanced range. Balancing ranges is a necessity regardless of the structure chosen. The merged aspect is more about having hands out of every pot-equity segment present and being tough to play against due to this.

    A merged range can still be very polarized or very linear in its approach, it is just not perfectly polarized or strictly linear. Pretty much every good range has some sort of merged aspect to it to appease board coverage or blocker effects.

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