I started reviewing my sessions for improve my game but I'm feeling a bit skeptical because I can't answer my own questions.

I mark the most problematic hands or when I got doubts, but when I'm analyzing these hands, I'm like: Pffff I really don't know if I played well... Always the same questions: Here, I bluffed right? meh! I had to give up barreling... or should I call here? should I fold here?

I put them some ranges with flopzilla and all this stuff, I know how works all these tools, but the question is always the same.... Am I putting them on good ranges? and anyway his range is good, how I know if with this combos would bluff, or he would just value bet in this situation... I feel like I'm doubting on everything. For example:

Let's say villain OR on BU I call on BB. I put him preflop range. Then he Cbet flop, I update his range according to the board, what can he Cbet here... on turn he Cbet again... I update his range and Cbet river half pot...

In this point I know I have a bluffcatcher and I need him to bluff more than 25%. Okay! But when I see my guess of river Cbet range I'm doubting of everything... How I know I guessed right all his actions? Maybe on flop he doesn't bet FD, he could prefer X/C these type of hands... and Cbet bluffing projects less strong like GS or OC, maybe he can feel this flop impacted good on my range and he decided to not betting...

I know you will say, for this reason you have the HUD! Okay but... here I go again... this is another aproximation... for example, let's say villain has 70% of Cbet flop and 50% X/F. First of all 90% of the times I won't have so much hands to be sure about this information... and although I have, what? What can mean this 70%? there are a lot of variables yet... like type of flop, and I don't know what villain considers a good flop to bet or don't... My image...

Well that's all... I only wanted to share my thoughts about this subject because I feel like I'm on a nightmare with all this doubts.

2 Answers 2


I think you're on the right track, as in thinking about the right questions. You'll feel better about your uncertainty if you can embrace the reality that poker often does not have clear-cut right/wrong solutions. In fact, if you did think you had all the answers, that's a sure way to know you're on the wrong track.

We're looking at a game of imperfect and limited information. Indeed, you might not know your opponent's raising range or continuation betting range or bluffing range and that seems to give you some doubts. But for even the best players, all you can do is come up with the most educated approximation possible for these things. You'll be wrong sometimes. Your educated approximations will get better with experience. Even then, you can keep throwing in other variables or factors that make the hand unclear and seemingly too complex. But realize that even life-long players who are pros can have intense disagreements about hands--nobody is ever sure.

So my advice for one way to have meaningful review sessions is to take a hand or a few hands, go over the math including the ranges you assign your opponent (like it seems you've been doing); but on top of that, when it's a "close" decision, input a wider hand range for your opponent--what happens? Give them a narrower range--what happens? Give more weight to some part of their range--what happens? You'll end up with a better feeling of where the inflection points are that change your hand from a call to a fold or a fold to a raise, etc.

So ultimately, you're not going to be able to avoid tough decisions--you can only better understand the little factors that could sway it one way or another--and you'll still be wrong a lot of the time!, but hopefully just a little bit less so.


If you don't have enough info how the villain plays his range you should go with the GTO approach. Find out how your defending ranges should look like and after you get some info - adjust. You can also adjust accordingly to population reads. Players at certain stakes never bluff in certain spots or don't valuebet thin enough, that also could be a good indicator how you should behave in many spots - by expanding or cutting your defending ranges.

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