This is a discussion on Polar vs Linear within the online poker forums, in the Learning Poker section; Hey guys, could someone explain to me what does Polarized and Linear range means and when to use each of these?
Thanks a lot in
A polar or condensed range for example on AT7rainbow would include hands like AA, TT, 77, A7, T7, and some mix of AK, AQ with backdoor flush possibilities. We might also have a small amount of hands like 76s, 98s, J9s, KQs, QJs, 44, 33, 22 and etc in our betting range.
Opposite of polar would be wide and that, on the same board, would look like all of the above at a considerable increase in frequency, plus many more combos of Ax, Kx, Qx, Jx, and etc.
In a polar or condensed range our value hands are limited to a small few set of hand combos, while in a wide range scenario, we can have many more combinations of value and the cutoff for what qualifies isn't as cold cut.
It's actually an important skill to know when a betting or checking range should be wide or narrow, and is an important concept worth exploring.
A polarized range means you have both strong and weak hands (but not ones in between).
Two times to use a polarized range:
** Betting/raising big on the river. Do this with strong hands for value and weak hands as a bluff.
** Three-betting pre-flop against a good player. Again, strong hands to build up a pot, and weaker but playable hands for balance. Depending on the situation, a hand like A3s might be a good example of a weak hand if you'd otherwise fold it against a player raising in middle position. Whereas a hand like ATs you would normally just call in position.