Range Criteria Explained

When specifying a starting hand range for a hand, the starting hands are ranked according to a user chosen range criterion. There is no one correct ranking of starting hands. A starting hand's relative rank depends on factors such as how many opponents the hand will face, and how loose/tight the opponents play.

Pokerini Poker Hand Calculator provides several different starting hand rankings for each game. These can be used to tailor the results to a particular situation. The exact order of these criteria can be viewed by selecting the menu Options...View hand ranges table, and the full set of criteria are available by selecting the menu Options...Extra hand range criteria.

Starting hand range table

Each type of starting hand is classified into a 1% subrange. This is shown in the Top% column. The 0-1% range are the best hands, while the 99-100% range are the worst hands. These determine which hands are included when specifying a range of starting hands. For example, a 0-30% range includes starting hands from the subranges 0-1% up to and including 29-30%. Note that for equity calculations the range will automatically not include hands that contain dead cards.

Descriptions of ranking criteria

The following types of range ranking criteria are included with Pokerini Poker Hand Calculator.

vs. n random hands

The simpliest way to rank starting hands is to find the pot equity for each starting hand versus one or more opponents with random hands. These ranking criteria are labeled "vs.1 random hand", "vs. 2 random hands", etc. While conceptually simple, this method is usually not ideal because in real poker games most opponents do not blindly play every hand.

m% vs. n%

To understand these types of criteria consider the following game. Player A makes a list of 10% of starting hands, and Player B makes a list of 50% of starting hands. Starting hands are dealt to each player. If either is dealt a hand not in their respective lists, then new hands are dealt until both have a hand in their respective list. Once they both have a hand in their list, the remaining cards are dealt out and the winner is determined.

In this scenario, Player A will try to maximize his chances of winning by specifying a list of 10% of hands that will do best against Player B's 50% of hands. Likewise, Player B will try to maximize his chances of winning by specifying a list of 50% of hands that will do best against Player A's 10% of hands.

The "10% vs. 50%" criteria is the ranking of all starting hands versus Player B's top 50% list. The "50% vs. 10%" criteria is the ranking of all starting hands versus Player A's top 10% list.

Other criteria are constructed similarly. The "10% vs. 10%" criteria is the ranking of all starting hands versus an opponent playing the top 10% of hands against a player playing the top 10% of hands.

n% vs. k-opp n%

These types of criteria are similar to the previous ones, but rank the starting hands versus more than one opponent. For example, the "10% vs. 2-opp 10%" criteria is the ranking of all starting hands versus an opponent playing the top 10% of hands against two players playing the top 10% of hands.