Perceived Ranges

Before I get started on when to cbet and what sizing’s to use I want to briefly talk about something called a perceived range. This is a very important concept to keep in mind especially as you head to the flop. After the preflop action has taken place there are 2 perceived ranges: ours and our opponent’s.

These ranges are referred to as “perceived” because they represent a certain set of hands that someone is assumed to have. This isn’t always the case of course as nothing in poker is absolute. This range revolves around perceptions and beliefs however. What someone actually has isn’t that important. It’s what other people think that person has that matters.

In general when somebody makes a preflop raise most people will immediately assign them big cards, especially broadway ones, or big pairs such as,

In a nutshell they will give you a lot of credit. Often too much. In reality, we know that we are raising with all sorts of suited connectors and small pairs and such as well. But that doesn’t matter. What they think we have is all that matters.

So the types of boards that hit our perceived range the hardest are ones like,

With the X referring to ANY card.

It should be noted that the Axx and Kxx boards are probably the best flops of all for us as they are the scariest ones for our opponents.

Other boards that are good for us to cbet are paired ones such as,

These are great boards to fire at because they are very hard to hit. And even though these boards don’t contain any broadway cards, remember that our perceived range has lots of big pairs in it that don’t need to improve anyways.

And so the same line of thinking goes for a whole host of other raggedy, uncoordinated boards such as,

So as you can see, the boards that are good to cbet, are in fact, most boards. That is why I advocated cbetting about 75% of the time. Now let’s go over the bad ones.

So far I have only discussed the perceived range of the preflop raiser. What about the caller? When somebody calls a preflop raise their perceived range is small pairs, middle pairs, suited connectors and suited aces. Hands like,

The first thing that jumps out here is that there aren’t very many broadway cards in this range. And the ones that do show up are usually weak with no kicker and therefore can’t stand a lot of heat. The majority of this range is made up of small and middle cards. Again, this is simply a perceived range. People will certainly show up with some hands that are outside of this range from time to time.

The kinds of boards that hit the perceived range of a preflop caller the hardest are ones like,

These boards are highly coordinated, with a lot of small and middle cards and a flush draw.

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