Poker Articles

The Gap Concept

The Gap tournament poker concept idea is that you need better cards to re-raise than to open a raise. You may want to open the raise with AT but if there is already a raise in front of you AT becomes a difficult hand. Depending on the size of the bet you may not even call the re-raise. The worth of your hole cards depends a lot on the action before you on the table and if there hasn't been any sign of strength yet, the range of cards with which you can raise is wider. So there is a gap between the hands that you can raise with and the hands you call a raise with.

The concept of the gap is most important for tournament players, because ring games necessarily allow players to be tight and in tournaments the blinds will eventually force players to become more aggressive. Another reason the gap is important for tournament players is that it's inportant to steal blinds in tournaments. Especially in the late stages of the tournaments where the blinds are quite large and players are forced to ante as well, the pot can be a big steal even before any raising. Every time you steal the blinds you buy yourself at least ten more rounds. A goal of stealing the blinds is to keep you on the table long enough to get a decent hand, but the real art of stealing the blinds doesn't need a strong hand , like the gap theory. When you are in the blinds you should consider the gap when considering whether you defend your blinds from a suspected blind steal.

Basically, the reason that the gap makes sense is that a raise from early position carries more weight than a raise from late position. A raise under the gun is totally different then a raise from the button. Players generally play tighter the in early position because they have to make decisions with less information and more risk. So a raise from early position usually means more.

Why this influences your own hand consideration is that you want to avoid playing hands where you are dominated. That's why ATs might be fine to raise with but suddenly calling a raise from UTG with AT is totally different. You are risking being totally dominated by a hand like AK or AQ or even worse. This illustrates that understanding the gap can help you avoid these situations, and will eventually show in your EV cause you will be avoiding some big losses.

› Online Poker Reviews › PokerStars
› Resources › Webmasters › Perspectives Weekly › Gambling Resources › Contact Us › Sitemap