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OTB #005: How to quickly identify the heuristics using aggregate reports

Updated: Jan 22

There are 19,600 possible flops, 1,755 of which are strategically different.

Today I'm going to show you how I group them together to make it quicker to identify the heuristics. I'll also walk you through the process so you can pull out the big takeaways in your own study.

This method will force you to think in terms of ranges and overarching strategies to begin with rather than what your exact hand wants to do.

It will also make it much quicker to identify differences in strategies on lots of different flop types and textures.

Before we dive in, a couple of clarifications:

An aggregate report is a report that compiles (or aggregates) data from lots of different situations and puts them together in a spreadsheet that you can then filter and sort.

Heuristics are essentially mental shortcuts that can help you solve problems, like what your strategy should look like in a particular spot.

OK, let's dig in.

How (and why) I group flops together

Grouping flops together makes learning what to do on them easier to learn.

And there are many ways to do this...

Michael Acevedo, in his great book 'Modern Poker Theory', uses the idea of Ace, High, Medium and Low cards.

  • So H is any card K,Q,J,T.

  • M is any card 9,8,7,6.

  • L is any card 5,4,3,2.

  • And A = Ace.

I like to use a slightly different approach:

1. ABB

2. ABx

3. Axy

4. 2 broadways

5. BBB

6. K/Q+2

7. J/T+2

8. J/T connected

9. Low connected

10. Low unconnected

11. Paired

12. Monotone

A = Ace

B = Broadway card (K,Q,J,T)

x = low card (9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2)

y = low card different from x

K = King

Q = Queen

+2 = 2 low cards that are different

J = Jack

T = Ten

Identifying the big takeaways and overarching strategies

To demonstrate how I identify the heuristics I'm going to analyse a 30bb LJ vs BB single raised pot script which I ran over 184 different flops. This isn't an exhaustive list and 1,755 flops would be better, but that would also take almost 10 times as long to run.

One of the most common leaks from recreational players is not c-betting the flop enough IP in single raised pots against the big blind. By using the approach detailed in this newsletter you will see just how frequently you should be c-betting on lots of different textures.

1. ABB

On ABB boards you can see that our equity is very high (almost 70%) and we should be betting 100% of the time, mainly for a big sizing. If we wanted to dig deeper into the individual sims we would see that we have a much higher proportion of very strong hands.

Overarching strategy: Lots of betting for a big size, some small betting on AKJfd.

2. ABx

On ABx boards, our equity is again very high, but we're now checking occasionally on some boards and we use a mix of small and big bets.

Overarching strategy: Lots of betting for a mix of sizes, some checking.

3. Axy

On Axy boards our equity is still quite high, but not quite as high as ABB or ABx boards. We bet very frequently though, only checking occasionally on boards where the big blind has a higher proportion of very strong hands, i.e. A42, A32 and A54.

Overarching strategy: Lots of betting for a mix of sizes, occasional checking.

4. 2 broadways

On 2 broadway boards, our equity is higher than on an Axy board, but not quite as high as an ABB or ABx board. We bet very frequently for a mix of sizes and it looks like we're checking on KQx boards specifically. This is something we probably want to dig deeper into and try to work out why.

Overarching strategy: Lots of betting for a mix of sizes, some checking on KQx.

5. BBB

On BBB boards, our equity is very high again and we want to bet 100% of the time. We have a much bigger proportion of very strong hands. On QJT we get to push our nut straight advantage by betting big almost all the time.

Overarching strategy: Bet range, mainly for a big size

6. K/Q+2

On King or Queen high boards with two low cards, our equity starts to drop below 60%. We still bet very frequently for a mix of sizes, but there is some checking.

Overarching strategy: Bet very frequently for a mix of sizing, with some checking.

7. J/T+2

Our equity on these boards is 58-64% and we want to bet a lot, for a mix of sizes. We use the bigger bet size on the boards where there's some checking, which tends to be on the boards with many possible draws.

Overarching strategy: Lots of betting for a mix of sizes.

8. J/T connected

Our equity on these boards is lower than J/T+2 and we are checking more frequently. Having said that, there's still a lot of betting.

Overarching strategy: Bet a lot, but start to check on boards where the big blind has a higher proportion of strong hands.

9. Low connected

These are the boards where our equity drops considerably, to 50% in some cases (i.e. 765fd). We should generally big bet and check on these flops. The big blind has a higher proportion of very strong hands and we have a lot of high cards hands that have completely missed.

Overarching strategy: Big bet and check, with some small betting.

10. Low unconnected

Our equity when the low boards are unconnected is slightly higher than the connected boards and we end up doing a lot more betting, mainly for a big size, but there's some small betting too. Still a lot of checking though.

Overarching strategy: Mix of everything.

11. Paired

On paired boards, our equity is very high again, but there is an obvious pattern in the types of paired boards that we want to check on. These are those where the big blind has a higher proportion of strong hands. So when the pair is the bottom card and the big blind has a lot of trips hands we need to start checking. We almost always use a small size on paired boards.

Overarching strategy: Pure small bet, unless BB has higher proportion of very strong hands and then we go small bet and check.

12. Monotone

On monotone boards our equity is quite high, but there is a reasonable amount of checking especially on Ace high boards, which might be because the Ace makes it impossible for us to have the nut flush, which reduces the frequency of our very strong hands considerably. On the low connected monotone boards the big blind can have a high proportion of straights, sets and 2 pair hands.

Overarching strategy: Bet a lot for a mix of sizes, check on some boards like A high or low boards.


As you can see, aggregate reports make it easier to filter for different flop types and textures.

The way you group the flops together makes learning the overarching strategies much quicker. When the strategy of a specific flop in that group wants to do something different from the rest of the group, it's worth spending some time diving deeper into the sim to find out why.

If you don't have access to a postflop solver like PIOSolver to run your own scripts, GTOWizard and DTO Poker Trainer have built in aggregate reports that help you quickly analyse strategically different flops.

Armed with a better idea of what to do on lots of different boards types and textures, I hope you can now give your new strategies a spin both on and off the table.

Good luck!


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