GTO Practical Use - Minimum Defense Frequency - Holdem


A big mistake that many Hold'em players make is in trying to choose between exploitative play and GTO play. It's a false choice. They can be used together, in a relatively simple and usable way, and result in a dramatically improved win rate. MDF ranges are easily used at the table using simple range tables developed away from the table. MDF works best against expert opponents and opponents that you have not been able to read or have no history on. You are leaving a lot of money on the table if you do not use MDF.


Based on simple math. MDF = pot / pot + bet.

A half pot bet is: 10/ 10 + 5 = 66.6% = MDF


Start with your normal play on the Flop. Fold, check, call, or raise as you normally would. You would never fold a set because of some chart. Most players have a continuation percentage ( MDF ) of about 46%. For a half pot bet, the MDF is calculated as 66.6%. 46% percent is exploitable, 66% is not exploitable.


Many players fill the gap by bluffing randomly. Random bluffs do not guarantee a good MDF range.


A better way is to use an MDF range table. Start by using your preflop ranges for open, call bet2, raise to bet3, and call bet 3. You already have these, in your mind or in a table form. These ranges determine what hole cards you will have on the flop.


A simple way to do that is to use the preflop range that you bet with and remove a about 33% of the weaker hands. What is left is your bluff range that will get you closer. Not exact yet, but closer.


You can do this with Flopzilla. Small Blind through Button, with your preflop ranges. You will need ranges that combined with your normal flop betting that give you 66%. Then, if you would normally fold, use your MDF range. If your hole cards are in the MDF range bluff. If it has been checked to you bet. If there ia a bet then call. These MDF ranges should improve your MDF frequency to the 66% mark.


It will take some experimentation to determine your actual MDF range. The numbers used here are of necessity only approximate. Holdem manager can help with that. The change in win rates can be dramatic. You were probably bluffing anyway, but now you can control the percentage much more precisely.


The best way to do that is through simulation, without risking real money.


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