A hand range is the combination of likely hands that your opponent is holding.
Because it is impossible to consistently pin point a players’ exact hand, narrowing down the hand range makes it easier to play your hand optimally.
HAND RANGES ARE NOT EXACT
First of all, this is not an exact science.
Sometimes you’ll see unexpected hands show up that you never would’ve put your opponent on, and that’s okay.
All that is important is that when you are assigning a range to your opponent, your thought process makes sense and is logical.
“A man with money is no match against a man on a mission.”
HOW TO NARROW DOWN OPPONENTS HAND RANGES
1. How is my opponent playing?
Loose, tight, or anything else specific. If they are loose, then they are capable of having more bluffs and weaker hands, and vise versa if they are tight. Paying attention to your opponents is crucial for this.
2. How did my opponent react on this board?
If you bet, how did your opponent react? What kind of flop is it?
If you bet on a flop of Q,7,3 and a very-tight opponent raises you, his range can be closely narrowed down to a pair of queens, trip 3s, trip 7s, and trip Qs.
3. Can I beat his hand range?
Now that you’ve decided what your opponents likely hands are, you have to make a decision. If your hand beats a decent amount of the hands within his range, then you can put more money in the pot with confidence.
The total pot size will also factor into this. If it is a huge pot but you only beat a few of his possible hands, it still may be worth gambling knowing that you may be ahead and the pot is worth it.