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How to Understand Check/Push Calculations?
How to Understand Check/Push Calculations?
Valentin Kuzub avatar
Written by Valentin Kuzub
Updated over a week ago

ICMIZER is a preflop calculator and can easily handle any preflop outcome, like all-in, raise or fold. However, when we are facing a check option that leads to postflop play it faces a difficult task of calculating the EV of checking. Since a precise solution is impossible, we are using a simplified approach of postflop equity calculation. ICMIZER takes the strength of the hero’s hand on BB and calculates its equity against the limper's range, and then divides the preflop bank in accordance with these results.

Let’s consider this with specific examples.

Example #1:

Why is QJo in the red zone here?

As you can see, the SB player’s limping range is 95%, which means he limps almost any two cards:

But he will call the Hero’s push from BB just with 18% of hands:

In that case, Hero’s QJo looks weak against SB’s calling range. If you open QJo detailed result:

you will see that the EvPush = t1514 and the EvCheck = t1515. It means, that in this particular hand checking QJo is more profitable than checking QJo. It’s because SB has a strong calling range which includes strong Queens. But if you add some weak Queens in his calling range:

you will see that now pushing QJo is more profitable than checking QJo:

The EvCheck is the same (t1515), but the EvPush is increased (t1517):

Example #2:

Our customer’s request to support:

I had built the limping/calling range, pushed the “ICMIZE” button and got the result that surprised me - I can push 32o with +49, but pushing 99 is a mistake with a negative EV. Why so?

To answer this question we need to look at the detailed result for 32o and 99:

The EvCheck 99 (22.77%) is more than the EvCheck 32o (21.53%). It means that when you are checking 32o you lose your chips in case of a tie because 32o is a weak hand and your opponent has a strong range.

Now let’s look at the EvPush. The EvPush of 32o (22.01%) is less than the EvPush of 99 (22.63%), which means that pushing 99 is profitable too, but not as much as pushing 32o. But among these two options - push or check, checking 99 is more profitable because you better realize the equity of your range, i.e. you earn more by checking 99 than by pushing it.

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