Preflop ranges are an essential element in poker. Indeed, they are applicable preflop and shape the basis of the entire game that follows!

In the Spins and Nitros formats, they are even more important, because a large part of the game takes place preflop. The number of positions is limited and the slightest error is important given the small depth of the starting stacks and the speed of levels.

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Why have ranges?

Having precise preflop ranges will allow you to have the starting points on preflop and have a clear understanding how to play your hands. You'll be able to select the right starting hands and the action to take with them, whether it is folding, checking, calling or raising. The ranges will vary depending on your position, the effective stack, your opponent's types, and the actions taken before you. The potential number of combinations of these parameters mean that even in a format like Spin, there will be a huge amount of ranges.

Understanding Range Matrix

To visualize poker ranges, the starting hand matrix is usually used. A range matrix brings together all the 1326 unique combinations possible in Texas Hold'em into 169 cells - starting hands. The table is made up of three types of hands:

  1. Pocket pairs, in the diagonal (13 hands of 6 combinations each);
  2. Suited hands, in the upper right part (78 hands of 4 combinations each);
  3. Off-Suited hands, in the lower left part (78 hands of 12 combinations each).

Once the organization of the table is understood, simply follow the legend to find out the correct actions to take.

Example: Big blind defense 15 deep versus open 2x from the button

Poker BB Spin Preflop Range

Learn your ranges

It is important to work on your ranges in all poker formats, but even more so in Spin&Go. In fact, the situations you encounter in game are more limited than in other formats such as MTT, therefore the same spots come up much more often! Adding this to the fact that the stacks are small and the levels fast, it is crucial to make as few mistakes as possible in preflop play. Mastering your preflop game will allow you to free up time to play more tables simultaneously, which is a very useful ability in formats where rakeback is important.

Also, If we have learned our preflop, we always keep in mind the range of hands we are in the current situation with. And this is very important for determining our strength against the opponent’s range in any game spot. Also, understanding ranges will make it easier for you to visualize your opponent's ranges and adjust your game according to their behaviour.

Finally, knowing your preflop leaves more room to concentrate on the postflop game where decisions can be more complex. This is why at Spin Elite we recommend that all our players learn preflop ranges by heart.

Tip: To make the learning easier, FreebetRange offers a very useful training tool.

GTO or Exploitative ranges

GTO ranges cannot be exploited by an opponent. On the other hand, they are not exploitative. This is why we will use them against opponents who we consider competent and whose game we do not really have the possibility of exploiting. Against other players, it will be preferable to use exploitative ranges. This distinction between exploitative game and GTO game will be the subject of a second article to be more precise.

Simplified GTO ranges: Simplified GTO ranges should be used rather than purely GTO. The latter are impossible to apply exactly. Example: In SNG 3-max format with an effective stack of 15 BB, we have A6o on the big blind position. The player on the button opens to 2 BB. The GTO says that you have to call 48.64% of the time, re-raise 26.21% of the time and re-raise all-in 25.14% of the time, which is very complicated to reproduce accurately. It is therefore preferable to simplify our strategy.

For the exploiting ranges, we can cite two main categories:

  • Those set up against a field: to be used against an unknown player from a studied field;
  • Those set up against a particular profile: to be used against players meeting specific criteria of deviance in relation to the GTO.

Example of a simplified and exploitative GTO ranges (on BB vs SB limp, 15 BB effective stack):


  • Green: Open shove
  • Blue: Iso 2.5x / call vs all-in and non-all-in raise
  • Red: Iso 2.5x / fold vs raise
  • Yellow: Check

At SpinElite, we believe that it is necessary to have the best ranges to be ahead of the pool, which is why we provide both simplified and exploitative GTO ranges to all our staked players!

How to get Spin ranges?

It is possible to make your own preflop charts. To do this, you need to use software such as SimplePreflop, or GTOwizard and carry out numerous simulations. Then enter the results obtained in a range editor software like Freebetrange which allows visualization in the form of tables and ordering them by position and effective stack .

Creating a complete set of ranges can be difficult and very time-consuming. In Freebetrange you'll have ready-made Spin&Go ranges in the Library (available after sign up).

Join SpinElite! Given the importance we attach to it, we provide our players with the best possible ranges, both GTO and exploitative, to be able to respond to all situations and player profiles. These were created by our coaches, whether in Nitro or classic Spin, and are updated regularly.

Original article in French

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