Using the Teamo8 Hand Range Guides

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Earlier today one of our members emailed me to ask about using the hand range guides - the Hand Range Guides are available to all Associate and Premium Members.

To understand the notation you should also read the Key to Teamo8 Hand Notation.

The Purpose of the Guides

They were not designed for the following purposes:

  • To tell experienced players how to select starting hands
  • To be Game Theoretically Optimal - these are not equivalent to Nash Tables or S-C Tables
  • The Level 1 & 2 Guides are specifically for 2 Table Turbo SNGs - they don't apply to MTTs

They were designed to take complete beginners at split pot games and turn them firstly into profitable SNG players (with additional training), then onto becoming profitable MTT players as they work their way up through the first 4 levels ensuring they won't be too exploitable while learning.

Weaknesses

The Level 1 & 2 guides have a number of weakness which were intentionally designed in order to keep them simple enough for beginners to understand. Here are the two major ones:

Blind Defense

The Level 1 & 2 guides provide no mechanism for defending the blinds. To understand this imagine you're in a game where you know the player on your left is playing exactly to one of these two guides. Every time it folds to you when you're in the Small Blind, you should always min raise if you're hand isn't strong enough to shove. This is because your opponent will always either fold or shove over the top of you and in effect giving you all the information you need to play profitably against them. The rest of the time you will have a field day stealing their Big Blinds!

Blind defense was left out of the guides because the topic is simply too complex to include for beginners.

Undervaluing High Only Aces - AAbb

The guides for the first two levels don't provide the opportunity to shove AAbb hands until your stack has dwindled to 5bb or less. You can profitably shove or call all in with High Only Aces at much larger stack sizes - an analysis is available in the report The Relative Strength of High Only Aces in Omaha Hi/Lo.

This was done quite deliberately because the value a beginner gets over the long term when forced to think about both sides of the pot outweighs the value they give up by not playing these hands in the short term while they're learning. IE a beginner from Holdem typically overvalues AAbb and their thinking has to be adjusted for split pot games.

How Experienced Players Can Use the Guides

Level 2

PLO8 players who are transitioning to NLO8 generally lack the experience of knowing when to shove stack sizes under 10bb - by studingy the Level 2 guide and using those hand ranges to put into an equity calculator, they will learn how much equity various hand ranges have in these situations. By doing this they may also discover hand ranges that would never have made sense to play in PLO8 but which make perfect sense when you can simply shove pre flop.

Levels 3 & 4

These guides are far tighter than an experienced player might use, however they provide ways of thinking about pre-flop play that you might not have considered before.

In Holdem & PLO you won't give up much value if you always open raise with premium hands, however in split pot games this isn't always true as we often want to encourage players to enter the pot behind us with lows that we have dominated.

That's just one example of how the level 4 guide for MTTs in particular gets you to think differently about position in a split pot game - there are others as well.

 

If you have any questions about the hand range guides, just ask in the comments section below.

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