The GTO Ranges App by Red Chip Poker constitutes the end-point of the most ambitious and extensive GTO research project we have ever conducted. It is also very much an ongoing project. Not only do we have a mountain of data on hand that we intend to disseminate to you, we are also continuing to run our servers to further investigate the nuances of preflop GTO poker.
If you are a Red Chip Poker subscriber, you already have access to some or all of the app features. The table below indicates which features are accessible through our two subscription tiers.
Additional information about accessing the app for current subscribers can be found on the app FAQ page. That page also contains an overview of the app features, and the types of games and players who would benefit from it.
If you do not currently subscribe to our products, but wish to purchase the app as a standalone, you can do so via this link.
For many of you, the introductory explanation of what the app is and does given in the FAQ link above may be all you want. However, questions on our Discord server indicate that some of you want a deeper understanding of the input parameters and assumptions used in developing the app. We are happy to oblige!
In addition to the remainder of this article, please note that videos in support of the app are currently being published on a rolling schedule both the Red Chip YouTube channel and our sister channel at The Poker Bank. Some of the pertinent videos are embedded below, and we will continue to feed them into this document as they are uploaded to YouTube.
GTO Ranges App: Input Parameters
The underlying mathematical engine that drives our app is MonkerSolver. As for any model, the results are only useful and applicable if one understands the assumptions and input parameters on which they are based. In the remainder of this article, those assumptions and parameters are described for the various different solutions which we have already published, along with a preview of material that is currently working its way through our production pipeline.
6-Max Cash Ranges
The app includes two distinct preflop ranges for 6-max tables, simplified GTO and exploitative ranges. As explained in more detail below, the exploitative ranges are built from the GTO ones, so we begin with a fuller description of those.
Simplified 6-Max GTO Ranges
The GTO 6-max ranges are close to the pure output from the solver. The important modification we made to the solver output was to make all choices binary. In other words, while the solver returns mixed solutions for many combos, we converted such cases into either raises or folds. The simplification was carried out in such a way that the overall frequencies for each position and action were preserved.
Why did we simplify the mixed solutions? Primarily because getting to grips with even simplified charts is as much as most human beings can handle. Attempting to memorize mixed solutions, if even possible, introduces a massive additional workload with negligible gain in EV. Besides, as we discuss below, the modern art of playing poker involves deviation from pure GTO ranges anyway.
The only exception to this simplification can be found in the 5-bet-or-call ranges. Here we included some mixes in the solution for a couple of reasons. First, with so few combos to work with, it is difficult in practice to preserve the original solver frequencies without using mixes. Moreover, the small number of combos also means that forcing them to binary decisions may start to introduce significant EV losses. Second, the small number of combos means that it is now reasonable to remember that a given combo is 5-bet half the time and called the other half.
The preflop sizing used in these runs will be familiar to our PRO subscribers:
The exception is when the preflop action folds to the SB, in which case the open is pot (total of 3bb). We additionally assumed that any 5-bets are all in.
All runs assumed a stack depth of 100bb, with a 5.5% rake capped at 5.5bb. This was based on the PokerStars rake structure at 50NL.
Facing an open raise, all positions other than the BB were compelled to 3-bet or fold. For higher-level raises, the option to call a raise was only allowed if that raise was one level higher than the previous action taken by the player of interest. For example, if UTG opens and CO 3-bets, the solve allows the option for UTG to 4-bet or call. However, had UTG opened and faced a 4-bet, the solve requires UTG to 5-bet or fold.
Exploitative 6-Max Ranges
When we talk about a “GTO range” in poker, we are discussing an equilibrium solution to an iterative calculation. In essence, a solver incrementally adjusts the preflop ranges of those remaining in the hand until neither player can exploit the other. There is an excellent discussion of this topic in the book “GTO Poker Gems.” The video below also describes some of what solvers do and why poker players should care.
In practice, we know that our opponents are not playing perfect GTO ranges. More importantly, the herding mentality that is rampant in poker means that player pools tend to converge on similar ranges and lines, despite the fact those ranges are objectively weak. Most commonly in low-to-mid stakes, both live and online, players play opening ranges that are too wide and play them too passively. Similarly, many players have predictable “forking” tendencies, in which they will limp or call raises with their medium-strength hands, but only open raise and 3-bet with their premiums.
These marked deviations from GTO ranges exhibited by our opponents have interesting and profitable implications for us. We will always generate an edge against such players by employing the GTO 6-max ranges described above, but we can often create a greater edge by deviating appropriately from GTO ranges ourselves.
This practical reality led us to develop the exploitative 6-max ranges contained in the app. Since 6-max is common online, but rare live, our baseline was online 50NL. In other words, we used the experience of our team of coaches, along with concrete population analysis data, to modify the GTO 6-max solutions to ranges specifically designed to exploit this population. Again based on player pool tendencies, these exploitative ranges will be effective down through the microstakes, as well as stakes above 50NL. At some point you will run into sufficiently tough opponents that reverting to the GTO ranges should be preferred.
A full discussion of these ideas in the specific context of our app can be found in this podcast episode presented by coach w34z3l:
Full-Ring Cash Ranges
For those of you who prefer to play poker at 8- or 9-handed tables, as is the norm live, we have you covered as well. Indeed, the largest solve we have yet run was based on typical low-stakes, live games. We recently added to the app the results from that massive run, but for most of you the most useful ranges will be the exploitative full-ring ranges.
Note that the exploitative ranges were inspired in part by the raw ranges described later in this article. The input parameters assumed 100bb stack depth, 4x opens (the larger sizing reflecting the reality of live play), with trees incorporating a small and large flop bet size, modified to lower sizing for multiway pots. Preflop 3-bets were 3x (IP) and 4x (OOP), with 4-bets of 2.75x (IP) and 3x (OOP). Like the 6-max runs, 5-bets were assumed to be all in.
Exploitative Full-Ring Ranges
Based on the title of this section, your first question may be: “Why exploitative ranges? I thought this app presented GTO results?”
The main issue is the following: In live play where 9-handed tables are common, your opponents’ opening ranges and sizes don’t just “deviate” from GTO solutions; they are in a completely different zip code. This is also true to a lesser extent in online 9-max cash games. It has been the experience of our coaches that the rarer 9-max online tables share many similarities with live play, likely because such tables are dominated by live players who sometimes cannot get to the card room.
SplitSuit gives further elaboration in this video:
It is important to note that, in addition to our GTO solutions providing a reality check on these exploitative ranges, the fundamental testing of them has comes through thousands of hours of live play conducted by our coaches and team members. That said, game textures vary regionally, and even in low-stakes live games in which most players are unstudied, the game of poker evolves. Thus while we have great confidence in the applicability of these ranges to all full-ring live games, it is likely that you will be able to tweak them further to fully exploit the games in which you play. How to go about such adjustments is described throughout our training material.
Live rGTO: The Raw Ranges
Our 8-max live GTO computer runs are the most extensive and complex live solutions ever published. Indeed, as far as we know, they are the most sophisticated live ranges ever produced. They are available on our GTO Ranges app in the “Live rGTO” ranges section. The introduction of the following video explains the motivations for undertaking this gargantuan project, along with a description of how you can benefit from the results.
As discussed in the above video, the data in our raw-GTO live ranges took three months to generate using a machine with 2TB of RAM. This military-grade computing power run over such a period naturally produced a phenomenal amount of data. We wanted to share those raw results on our app, but rest assured we are also sifting through the information, looking for additional gems to present to you in a more simplified form.
Ranges For Straddled Pots
Whether you like or loathe straddled pots in live cash games, they are a common feature in many poker markets such as Las Vegas. Typically an extra blind around twice the size of the big blind may be posted either UTG or on the button. Not only does this impact effective stack depth (and thus opening ranges) by halving it, the extra dead money and position of the straddle also impacts ranges from every position.
Despite the ubiquity of straddles in live poker, they remain understudied from a GTO perspective. Consequently, we fired up our server and determined ranges for both UTG and button straddles. Other assumptions such as opening and subsequent raise sizing followed that described above for our live ranges.
One of the results that’s triggered some discussion on our Discord server is that the solver recommends a pure limp-or-fold strategy in the big blind. This was not imposed as an external condition on the solver, it simply prefers to limp fairly wide in this configuration and includes premiums in that range.
Here’s a quick video in which SplitSuit highlights the salient features of our straddle results:
Over the last couple of years, Red Chip Poker has been expanding from its traditional cash-game base into the world of poker tournaments. Our CORE tournament course by WSOP bracelet-winner Chris “Fox” Wallace has received excellent reviews, and to continue that trend, we have also directed our GTO solver work at MTTs.
In our October 2022 update, we added 40bb and 60bb stack-depth ranges to the previous 20bb ones. For the 20bb ranges, the input parameters assumed an open-raise size of 2.2x, with up to two callers allowed. 3-bets and squeezes were assumed all-in. When the open was just called, postflop trees allowed donk betting and incorporated the small sizings typical of MTT play.
For the 40bb and 60bb ranges, we assumed an open size of 2.5x. In the 40bb case, 3-bet sizes were set at 2.7x (IP) and 3.5x (OOP). 4-bets were fixed to be all-in. The same 3-bet size was used in the 60bb case, but now we set the 4-bet size at 2x (IP) and 2.25x (OOP), with 5-bets being all in.
Additionally, the push-fold charts we recently added to CORE L1 were released on the app in the 2023 Q1 upgrade. This large array of charts includes 5bb/7bb/10bb/15bb shoving and calling ranges, all evaluated for three distinct ICM cases. A fuller discussion of these charts and how to use them in practice is provided in this article.
We hope the above technical description of the app provides all the information you need to use our ranges to their maximum effectiveness. As always, if you have any queries or comments, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or join our Discord server and contribute to the discussion about the app, our other products, and all aspects of poker strategy.