Play a Tighter Range

December 11, 2019

 

Looking for a way to immediately improve your poker win percentage? Start by folding more often.

 

Playing a tighter preflop range is one of the easiest adjustments that you can make to play better poker. The truth is that most of us play far too many hands. We want to get in the action, play the game, and put into practice the moves that we’ve been studying.

 

However, this often leads to playing marginal hands—or worse. Especially when out of position, we need to be even more careful with what hands we’re willing to voluntarily put chips into the pot with.

 

 

Check Your Percentage

 

The most important frequency that you need to pay attention to is preflop VPIP (voluntarily put chips into pot). Basically, it says how often we either call or raise instead of fold.

 

We want our VPIP to be between 15% and 30%. That means that, at the very least, we need to fold 70% of all our hands. That may seem like a lot, but there’s actually very few hands that are profitable.

 

Next time you sit down to play, keep track of your VPIP. If you’re calling 50% of the time, then chances are you’re playing a bunch of bad hands and losing chips as a result.

 

An Exercise in Patience

 

This is an exercise in patience. It’s waiting for the cards to come to you and then capitalizing on the opportunity when possible.

 

That’s why this is even more important when you start tilting. Many players will start calling down with garbage in hopes that they can remake some of the chips they lost, but this is a counterproductive strategy.

 

Instead, we want to designate certain hands as auto-fold hands. We should never play 72, T2, or any other crappy hand for any reason. Even hands like ATs can be auto-folds from early position.

 

Take your time. Be patient. Fold more often.

 

The cards will come—you just need to make sure that you have enough chips when the time comes so that you can win the next big pot.

 

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