Required equity for Cold calling and calling 3bets

• Bronze
Joined: 23.07.2009
Hello guys,

I have a question regarding the required equity to make a call preflop. For the simplicity I will make an example of players playing heads up.

Lets say that we are 100 BB deep, and the opponent raises for 3 BB, and we are to act after him. We have to call 2 BB into 4BB pot, which gives us 2:1 pot odds. The required equity, derived from the pot odds suggests me that having 33% equity against opponents range would make the call break-even (assuming there is no skill difference).

On another hand, as the opponent is not going all-in preflop, we will have to play post flop. Regarding this, it suggests that I should have 50% equity against opponents range in order to play the hand break-even (same assumption regarding skill).

Same story with 3bets. If I open for 3 BB, and the opponent raises it to 10 BB, i have to call 7 BB into a pot of 13 BB, giving me almost 2:1.

So, what equity do I require Preflop in order to play the hand profitably throughout all the hand ?

The question is mainly aimed at being able to construct calling ranges against particular opponents. I might have not included some important factors into the analysis.
• 6 replies
• Black
Joined: 06.04.2008
equity is bullshit unless u go allin or u're on the river. Don't look to your odds, just don't let your opponent make profitable bluffs with atc. Just think in a way "My opponent risk 10bb to win 4bb, it should work 71% of the time, so I have to defend at least 29% of my range. "

Remember equity is not the same as EV. It's almost impossible to convert equity into EV unless u're allin or there are no more cards to come.
• Bronze
Joined: 19.05.2011
Originally posted by Johnis
Hello guys,

I have a question regarding the required equity to make a call preflop. For the simplicity I will make an example of players playing heads up.

Lets say that we are 100 BB deep, and the opponent raises for 3 BB, and we are to act after him. We have to call 2 BB into 4BB pot, which gives us 2:1 pot odds. The required equity, derived from the pot odds suggests me that having 33% equity against opponents range would make the call break-even (assuming there is no skill difference).

On another hand, as the opponent is not going all-in preflop, we will have to play post flop. Regarding this, it suggests that I should have 50% equity against opponents range in order to play the hand break-even (same assumption regarding skill).

Same story with 3bets. If I open for 3 BB, and the opponent raises it to 10 BB, i have to call 7 BB into a pot of 13 BB, giving me almost 2:1.

So, what equity do I require Preflop in order to play the hand profitably throughout all the hand ?

The question is mainly aimed at being able to construct calling ranges against particular opponents. I might have not included some important factors into the analysis.
I have been thinking about the same thing as well. No article found so far.

I think cold calling range OOP is zero vs unknown opponent. Unless I know he has leaks post flop, I never calling preflop OOP. That's my solution.
• Bronze
Joined: 23.07.2009
Interesting. I guess the equity changes a lot on the later streets, especially on the flop, therefore there is no answer for the question.
• Bronze
Joined: 19.06.2012
if there was no betting left equity would be equal to the frequency of winning the pot

there is betting left though, and betting can take EV away from one player to the other

generally, the player IP has an advantage over the player OOP
generally, the preflop aggressor has an advantage over the player without initiative
generally, hands with good playability push through their equity better than hands with bad playability

So extreme example. Button raises with AKs and BB calls with Q3o. (They don't know each others hand, we observe the hand.). Button raised to 2bb preflop, so BB gets 1:3.5 or 22% on a call preflop. BB has 30% equity preflop, way more than those 22%. However, it is doubtful that BB can retain 22% equity in the hand given he is OOP, doesn't have initiative, and flopping a good hand (like a three) has poor playability, while BT flopping nothing (2 overcards) even then has good playability.

Reverse it. UT raises to 3bb with AA. BT calls 55. Here BT gets 3:4.5 or 40% pot odds pre. BT has only 19% equity. So BT clearly doesnt have odds to call. Yet it is arguably at least a break even call for the button. This is mostly because 55 has very good playability. Hitting a set has extremely high EV, and without a set 55 is not much of a money loser. Position also helps.

Unfortunately I can't give you any multipliers or hard rules how much equity you need. But you clearly see that, while equity is a very important measure, there is other factors to consider as well.
• Bronze
Joined: 25.10.2011
Originally posted by getdotacom
"My opponent risk 10bb to win 4bb, it should work 71% of the time, so I have to defend at least 29% of my range. "

Just remember, if you find youself saying "my 29% range isnt strong enough to defend" then your range at a earlier street is too wide
• Bronze
Joined: 01.10.2012
Originally posted by camelz3391
Originally posted by getdotacom
"My opponent risk 10bb to win 4bb, it should work 71% of the time, so I have to defend at least 29% of my range. "

Just remember, if you find youself saying "my 29% range isnt strong enough to defend" then your range at a earlier street is too wide
Or you are exploiting your oppossition that folds too much too your steals and rarely 3bets. Or just opening EP/MP and getting 3bet by a 3% nit.
Example of play in your universe:
You sit on the BTN: Let's just say you know for sure that both blinds only defend 20% to a minraise (BB is weak-tight) and don't adjust, so a steal with ATC is slightly profitable. Now the SB 3bets his whole 20% range vs you (which is reasonable SB play). Why should you then start calling -EV hands, just to be unexploitable? You are the one exploiting them
In my experience trying to be unexploitable results in playing breakeven, while looking for spots to exploit your opposittion and not worrying too much makes the \$.
Also, again defending 29% of your range in a spot is NOT being unexploitable (unless you only defend by 4betting). Why? Because all bluff3bets have a direct EV of 0, but they get to see a flop basically for free some % of the time, with whatever bluff3bet hand that they would have otherwise folded. So if you play like that and villian 3bets you 100% (in theory) and only continues on flops if he hits two pair or better, he is showing a profit vs you with every hand in his range (yes, even 72o). Not saying if you see someone 3bet every hand that you wouldnt adjust, but the concept of unexploitability is just stupid, because it is just superhard to impossible to be unexploitable and even if you are, you basically have a gameplan that is breakeven in every situation.

You people that think you just defend a part of your range to not be exploitable are just idiots imo. Just defend all the hands that are profitable to defend and open all the hands that are profitable to open vs whatever range you are up against. I'm a HU player and it might be easier to do it there, but i also play 6max and it's still the same. Just look at which hands you can defend vs which 3bet %(higher->more hands basically) and postflop aggressiveness (higher>less hands).