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What Are Ranges?
As the saying goes: The best poker players know when to hold'em and know when to fold 'em. It's impossible to exactly identify what hand your opponent holds. In order to make the correct decisions, poker pros consider the different hands their opponent might hold in specific situation and measure the strength of their own holding vs. this 'range' to make an informed decision.
Poker theorist David Sklansky stated in his book 'The Theory of Poker', that to play a hand correctly, is to play exactly the same way you would if you knew your opponents cards. Whilst what Sklansky said is true, poker is a game of imperfect information and we do not 'know' for sure what our opponents hold. So when playing poker in practise, we play against a group of possible hands that our opponent might hold. It is this group of 'possible hands' that poker players call our opponents 'range'.
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