About balancing

    • cataah
      Joined: 11.11.2009 Posts: 3,060

      i want to take my game to another level and learn new things.
      first on my list is balancing my range.

      in the next days/weeks i'll read the gold articles and i want to be prepared if i find anything about balance so i understand better that concept.

      and of course, this thread can be helpful for other players who want to learn about balancing.

      i'll tell you what i know about this and i hope you will correct me where i am wrong and add some other things.

      some of my ideeas about balancing - probably i am wrong, please correct me:

      the reason we balance our game is to not turn our cards face up in different spots

      when you want to balance your game it's not like you have a method for balancing all your game. But you have a mothod(or find one) to balance your ranges in diferent spots - hope it makes sense
      - for example you have one method to balance your game when you defend the BB and a different method when you cold call

      Knowing this(and hoping this is correct) all i have to do is to learn methods in every spot where my range need to be balanced. I know that not every spot asks for my raknge to be balanced (only that spots that appear often)

      now: spots where i need to be balnaced and how do i balance there
      - when you defend the BB from an SB opener.
      *we call with small pp, smal Ax, some sc, and some Kx, Qx. This depends a lot of the opponent, but we should have pp, sc, Ax, Kx in our ranges so basicly all flops could hit our range. This way our opponent knows that we have pretty much everything on every flop.
      *we raise with other hands - which are a lot and again we are pretty balanced

      - when we cold call. In the article ( Pre-flop: When can you cold-call or over-limp? ) it says that we can't balance our range. I don't agree. The article says that we should cold call with sc(suited conectors), sg(s gappers) and pp. And because of this flops like AK7 kind of miss us. But we can balance this by calling with A2s-A6s and with K9s+, Q9s+. What do you think?

      - when we overlimp. In the same artricle it says that overlimping range is not well balanced. Is it profitable to overlimp with some Ax hands to balance our range?

      - when we play standard after we opoened prf
      we play standard with TP MP and with nuts. We are pretty balanced too. We can add some bluffs against low WTSD guys and we are catched other players will know that we can bluff too. but this depends a lot about the board

      - another ideea related to this concept:
      when we are oop and have a monster it is better to not cap prf if somebody 3bets. The reason is that we can c/r the flop and we don't turn our cards after we cap. After we c/r F we put the same value as we cap prf and bet F and win a lot more from disguiseing our ranges. And another reason why we should not cap and c/r F is to balance our c/r ranges.
      So when we c/r F our opponents know that we can have overpairs, TP, MP, and sometimes bluffs.

      I am really noob about balancing and i dont really know what it defines. hope i get a deeper ideea about this concept. Anythng you say about this is helpful

  • 3 replies
    • Dawnfall26
      Joined: 30.07.2008 Posts: 3,116

      There can be books written about balancing and you can hardly learn it all right away. Its a lifetime process which comes from experiance and game analysing.
      But I would say that think about balancing only in games where it is important!!!! and I think that up to 1/2 this is almost irrelavant. Even there people exagerate with the need of balancing.Only once you get in contanct with good players is where balancing comes into play.

      About overlimping(2 or more limpers):

      when we play against limpers means game is really soft and therefore balancing irrelavant,just play good multiway hand and dont forget to raise value hands

      overcalling(against raise and at least one call):

      -we should always 3bet with value hands since having a bad player(who coldcalled) in the pot again balancing gets less important.Also bigger the pot less importnat the balance
      -but what you said is true, we can balance our range by overcalling suited connector,some pockets, and some Axs type of hands(but remember to 3bet value ones!)

      BB defense against 1 player(where balancing is improtant!):

      -you should never 3bet when ORs range is strong already since it makes your range soooo very narrow and strong.And you will get that 1 extra SB on the flop anyway by c/r
      -3betting against late position raises can be done but should again be balanced so you should be doing it with some amount of deceptive hands as well
      -just not 3betting ever is a pretty good strategy(I use this one) since this way you keep you range very wide and keep great amount of implied odds+being OOP keeping the pot small is never bad
      -when defending against SB everything changes,since now you are IP and you can much better exploit hands, I tend to 3bet quite wide against SB openers to make them play tighter and therefore easier to play against

      But the greater importance of balancing comes from postflop play, however if I were you I wouldnt worry about it too much yet.
      I would correct you abount playing standard with MP and the nuts and therefore being balanced.This way you are actually not balanced.Your range is very strong,being balance means that you will have nuts,MP and a decent amount of bluffs in you standard lines so that your oponents will be forced to call you down even with very marginal hands...

      but anyway, gl :)
    • Boomer2k10
      Joined: 22.09.2010 Posts: 2,551
      You may enjoy a video I've got coming out where I go into one hand for, I think, a total of 15-18 minutes, bust out a combo calculator and basically go through a couple of methods of "balancing", one of which I feel is better than another so watch out for that.

      Also my Big Blind defence vids go into it somewhat

      For me you have to be careful about "balancing" as it's somewhat becoming the replacement for "metagame" when someon tries to justify a play which isn't that good.

      The basic way of balancing when, say raising the turn, is simply adding bluff combos to your value raising range until they're relatively in line to the odds you give your opponent.

      However there are different ways as well which involved blurring the lines of your calling ranges, i.e. and value hands and the SD-value area of your bluffs to your calling range so it's not all "weak SD hands" which gives hands like pockets pairs an easy time. Additionally it's only "correect" to balance when your opponent is himself balanced, or relatively so so you're unable to exploit him.

      On many board textures most standard TAGs are very unbalanced, Hyper-dry boards and two-tone drawy boards are 2 very good examples and you have to weight accordingly.

      So in a nutshell I'm basically agreeing with Dawnfall, it's good that you have an understanding of it, even at 1/2, but it's not something that's going to pile BB/100 onto your winrate at those stakes. At low stakes it's all about exploiting bad players, it's only when you get to 5/T+ and maybe some bad 3/6 games where you run into the same regs constantly that you really have to start thinking about applying balance heavily to your game.
    • cataah
      Joined: 11.11.2009 Posts: 3,060
      thanks for replys.

      i'm not going to focus on balance anymore. I will learn about it from a theorethical aspect and live the practice until i move up.

      :f_ugly: sorry about "ballance", i edited my post :)

      i'll come back here as i read more articles :D