When to call all-in in heads-up game?

if I've a A/4, and my opponent raise all-in, is a good idea call?

PS: I have the same amount of chips than my opponent.

  • 3
    This question is very broad. There are some methods that result in a near unexploitable strategy but you'll have to add details of blinds, stack sizes, possibly some information of your perception of your opponent to anaswer this. Thanks.
    – Toby Booth
    Apr 15 '14 at 21:56
  • I closed your question for the reasons @TobyBooth specified. Edit your question to add more details and then file a reopen vote. Apr 20 '14 at 13:13

You haven't provided enough information. This is entirely dependent on what the action was leading to the all-in, current stack sizes, and the frequency with which your opponent is taking said action. I can tell you, just from experience, that your opponent would either need to be very short stacked, ~13-15BB or less, or jamming all-in with a very wide range, ~40%+ of hands, for you to call off with A4.

Regardless, you should learn to use a program like ICMIZER or CREV which will enable you to come up with maximally exploitative calling ranges based on the current variables. Here's an example:

You're playing a $30 heads-up hyper-turbo on PokerStars. You both start with $500 chips and the blinds are $10/$20, giving you a 25BB stack. Villian is the small blind and also has the button. You're the big blind.

Villian jams all-in on the first hand. You have A4o. What do you do? You fold. Villian would need to be jamming here with 42.08% of hands to justify calling with A4o. As such, you can't call off this wide until you gain reads that Villian is jamming a maniacal range. This is even more important as stacks get deeper.

Villian Jamming Range (42.08% of hands)

Villian Jamming Range

Hero's Maximally Exploitative Calling Range (22.17% of hands) Hero's Maximally Exploitative Calling Range

The numbers below each hand are the expected value, or EV, of calling with each hand, using percentages of the prize pool as the unit of measurement.

  • In the Hero's calling range table, what are the numbers below each hand ? Apr 16 '14 at 7:27
  • The number below each hand is its expected value, using percentages of the prize pool as the unit of measurement. In the example I used a $30 heads-up hyper-turbo on PokerStars. Due to rake, only $29.37 of each buy-in goes into the prize pool, resulting in $58.74 going to the winner. So calling with AA has an EV of 36.99% of said prize pool — $21.73. Apr 16 '14 at 8:10
  • That was my first guess too, but I rejected the idea because the EV values seem very low to me. It's a heads'up match, how can Kings have only a 30 % EV there ? And AKs only 18 % ? Are you sure this is right ? Apr 16 '14 at 8:49
  • Here after I had my 10 minutes of fun with ICMIZER bofore it ruthlessly redirected me to the purchase page :). I think the numbers mean (call EV - fold EV) this is why they are lower and A4 is the last hand with a positive number. If you note that you have only 1 blind invested you can add a bit less than 50 to each one and they look allright.
    – Daniel
    Apr 16 '14 at 9:16
  • @Radu Yes, something is wrong with the numbers below. I'll look through the documentation and edit the post once I have more info. CREV is a very complex piece of software so I likely missed something along the way. Apr 17 '14 at 0:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.