Pre-flop play in PLO 6max. Chapter 2. Entering the pot on preflop (UTG-range)

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Pre-flop play in PLO 6max. Chapter 2. Entering the pot on preflop (UTG-range)

I continue to publish the study " Preflop Play in PLO 6max".
Previous articles:



Rundowns (straight, with a gap, with a double gap, with two gaps)


Most straights do not have very big preflop odds against the upper ranges. However, this drawback is counterbalanced by the ease with which they play.


In addition, the rundowns tend to do decently well against good hands with pairs (AAxx and KKxx). This fact allows us to extend our range of UTG hands to include good rundowns. Thus, in addition to their tactical values , rundowns have strategic value, making our game from early position, in particular UTG, less predictable - opponents can not make assumptions about our hand, it may be a rundown or KKxx / AAxx.


The quality of a rundown depends on the following factors :


  1. The presence of suits
  2. Card rankings
  3. The presence of gaps in the rundown


Let's discuss each factor.


1) The presence of suits


As an example, let’s take the rundown of 789T and consider its chances against the 10% , 15%, 20% and 25% ranges.


-2 Suits (42.51% - 43.44% - 44.37% - 44.94%)

-1 Suit (39.26% - 40.17% - 40.86% - 41.49%)

-rainbow (36.18% - 36.98% - 37.84% - 38.35%)


Of course, apart from the generally improved odds for hands with suits of around 6-7%, having suits makes for an easy game after the flop.  Thus, when UTG it is best to play mostly double-suited court cards or very good rundowns (see below) with additional suits.


2) Card rankings


This is a no less important factor, as it not only increases our chances to catch one or two pair, but also increases the value of existing suits (possible flushes are higher than the opponent’s).


Also note that the presence of an ace and a king helps to reduce the probability of running into Aaxx or KKxx from one of our opponents .


Let us look at the winning chances of 4 different rundowns, we will ignore the influence of suits (for rainbow hands lower the chances by 3-4% and for double-suited hands raise them by the same). Ranges are the same as previously.


-JQKA (44,94% - 48.76% - 50,97% - 52,51%)

-TJQK (39,87% - 42,97% - 45,17% - 46,84%)

-789T (39,25% - 40,19% - 41,00% - 41,68%)

-3456 ( 38.89% - 39.21% - 39.42% - 39.47%)


Note that the rundowns with an ace do very well against KKxx, which improves its chances against the higher ranges. The important point is that all the rundowns are more or less alike with regards to kings and aces, but they have different chances with respect to a wider range. In general , as seen from the calculations, being double-suited is more important than having cards of high rank.


3) The presence of gaps


Perhaps the most interesting and least studied factor. It is a somewhat complex system and we shall start not with the pre-flop odds , but with the simplicity of drawing.  Calculate the probability of catching a flopped straight to rundowns with different numbers of gaps. We shall considered flops that give us a straight.


-6789: TJ9, TJ8, TJ7, T98, T97, T96, T87, T86, T76, 985 , 975 , 965 , 875, 865 , 765, 456, 457, 458 - only 18 flops

-5689 : 347 , 7TJ, 745 , 746 , 748 , 7T6, 7T8, 7T9, 756 , 758, 759 , 768, 769 , 789 - only 14 flops

-579T: QJ8, J87, J89, J8T, 867 , 869 , 86T, 685, 684, 346 - only 10 flops


Thus, each gap in the original rundown in some way reduces our chances of catching the straight (this is, of course, true not only for the flop - but also for the whole hand). Similarly, for each type of rundown, we can calculate the probability of catching a straight draw on the flop, which also decreases with increasing number of gaps.


Several pre-flop probabilities :


-789J (40,01% - 40,68% - 41,65% - 42,32%)

-789T (39,25% - 40,19% - 41,00% - 41,68%)

-589T (38,17% - 38,99% - 39,68% - 40,26%)


As you can see, the decrease in pre-flop odds is not as extreme as that of the probability of catching a straight. This is due to the fact that in most cases, rundowns win not by a straight but by making another hand - and , in analysing the results, we assume the presence of a only one gap when rating our rundown. Having two gaps has a stronger impact on the hand.


We now turn to the question of what rundowns are appropriate to play from UTG and how to respond to a re-raise from the opponent.


Depending on your level of looseness, we can take a larger or smaller range of drawing hands, guided by the aforementioned factors.  The exception to the rule of thumb of avoiding low cards without suits is double-suited aces with connectors.  The specific hands you choose are up to you, but you should pay attention to the following points:


-Playing a short stack requires a narrow range due to the increased role of mathematical odds against simplicity in drawing 

- Have a table amateur 3bet preflop and bet aggressively on the flop reduces the strength of rundowns because of their weakness in all-in situations.

Low rundowns, even double-suited ones, are difficult to draw to because of the weakness of the possible flush draw.


In conclusion, after a raise and reraise KKxx and QQxx are generally best discarded unless they have suits and connectors to go with them as well as a deep stack.  By contrast the rundown hands are rarely discarded. The reason is that they make for a simple game on the flop and compared to other hands, they have decent odds against AAxx KKxx. An example of a situation where rundowns should be folded in response to a 3bet - is a drawing hand of the type AKQJ without suits because of the weakness of our series against AAxx, due to the "dead" ace.


Next article: 

Chapter 2 (UTG-rundowns with danglers, rundowns with an ace, rundowns with duplication, two pairs)