Balancing on Coordinated Boards

On coordinated or draw heavy boards, your hand range is going to automatically expand in your opponents mind. How you play each hand range on a coordinated board is going to be vital in getting paid off when you have a big hand, and increasing your fold equity when you have a big draw. Check-raising generally increases fold equity. However, it’s not necessarily the most profitable line when you flop a big hand. Finding a proper balance on coordinated boards can be a little tricky simply because there are lots of scare cards for you and the perceived range by your opponent of your hand.

Let’s run through the exact same scenarios as above for comparative purposes. Your opponent opens a standard 23.4% opening range, and you call and see a flop of: 6h5h3d.

 Coordinated Low Board

  •   Check/Call with Gutshot: ~41% equity versus your opponent’s range. (97s+, 98o, A2s, A2o)
  •   Check/Call with Air: ~47% equity versus your opponent’s range. (ATs–AQs, ATo–AQo, KJs+, KJo+)
  •   Check/Call with small pair: ~62% equity versus your opponent’s range. (22, 44, 77–88)
  •   Check/Call with Top Pair: ~63% equity versus your opponent’s range. (A6s, A6o, K6s)
  •   Check/Call with Over Pair: ~66% equity versus your opponent’s range. (77–JJ)
  •   Check/Call with Two Pair: ~83% equity versus your opponent’s range. (65o, 65s, 53s)
  •   Check/Call with Pair + Draw: ~68% equity versus your opponent’s range. (A3s, 54s, 54o, 64s, 76s, 76o, 44)
  •   Check/Call with a Set: ~90% equity versus your opponent’s range. (33, 55–66)
  •   Check/Call with a Big Draw: ~53% equity versus your opponent’s range. (A8s–AQs, KTs+, 87s, 87o, A4s, A4o, QJs)
  •   Combined equity of all ranges: ~51% equity versus your opponent’s range.
  •   Combined Equity of made hands: ~72% equity versus your opponent’s range.

Your equity with each hand range group in a situation like this won’t be too bad in general. This kind of board texture will allow for a bit more creativity in how you want to balance your ranges. You will have a good amount of bluff cards on later streets if you decided to check/call with some of the higher end of your air range. There’s a lot of opportunity to turn some of the weaker part of your made range into bluffs as well, and have them be believable by your opponent if the turn and/or river bring some more coordinated cards.

Let’s now take a look at the exact same example, except this time on a broadway coordinated board. Your opponent open a standard 23.4% opening range, and you call and see a flop of: 6h5h3d.

 Coordinated Broadway Board

  •   Check/Call with Gutshot: ~28% equity versus your opponent’s range. (A8s–A9s, A9o, 97s+, 98o, 87s, 87o)
  •   Check/Call with Air: ~17% equity versus your opponent’s range. (76s, 76o, 86s, A8s, 65s)
  •   Check/Call with small pair: ~26% equity versus your opponent’s range. (22–88)
  •   Check/Call with Top Pair: ~63% equity versus your opponent’s range. (AKo, K8s–K9s)
  •   Check/Call with Over Pair: ~70% equity versus your opponent’s range. (AA)
  •   Check/Call with Two Pair: ~67% equity versus your opponent’s range. (KTs–KJs, KTo–KJo, JTs, JTo)
  •   Check/Call with pair + draw: ~64% equity versus your opponent’s range. (KQs, KQo, QTs+, QTo+, QQ, ATs, T9s)
  •   Check/Call with a Set: ~80% equity versus your opponent’s range. (TT–JJ, KK)
  •   Check/Call with a big draw: ~61% equity versus your opponent’s range. (A8s–A9s, QQ, 98s, 87s)
  •   Combined equity of all ranges: ~42% equity versus your opponent’s range.
  •   Combined Equity of made hands: ~68% equity versus your opponent’s range.

There will generally be more hand range groupings on a board like this that you’ll want to balance out and play differently depending on your opponent. Gutshots, air, and small pairs will usually not have much equity versus your opponent’s continuation betting range. Turning this portion of your range into bluffs is going to take a considerable amount of fold equity to do profitably. It’s going to generally be better to lead with some of these hands, give up, or plan to make some big bluffs against the right opponents.

Some more viable lines on these kinds of boards are to lead with top pair+, and gutshots. Sometimes mixing in some check/calling and leading the turn as well. Check-raising generally isn’t going to be a very profitable line against most decent opponents because it’s going to narrow down your range too much. If you look at the above table, and make any kind of similar range of hands on a similar board, you’re always going to be a significant dog with anything but your top pair+ hands. Most opponents will narrow down your range to two pair+ and big combo draws. It’s still a decently wide range, and at micro and a lot of small stakes games you can do this. As your opponents get better, check/raising these kinds of boards won’t be as viable.

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