Using G to Play Draws in Poker

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Playing draws can be confusing, but with some basic tools you can handle these situations more profitably.  The good thing about draws is that we can usually use a lot of math to “solve” them, or at least create a more profitable line.  In this article I am going to introduce you to “G”, a metric I created to help play draws in poker better (although G can be used in a multitude of situations!).

First off, what is G?  G is a metric of how much we risk when shoving compared to the size of the pot.  So if the pot is $70 and our shove would be $70, it is a 1 G situation.  If the pot is $100 and our shove would be $300, it is a 3 G situation.  So how do we use G?  Let’s look at an example…

BB: $38.5 (38.5 bb)
Hero (BTN): $100 (100 bb)

Preflop: Hero is BTN with A Q
3 folds, Hero raises to $3, SB folds, BB calls

Flop: ($6.50) T 6 4 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $4.50BB raises to $11.50Hero ???

So on the turn, once he check-raises, the pot is $22.5.  If we were to shove we would be risking $24 given how much he has left in his stack.

G = $Shove/$Pot = $24/$22.5 = 1.07 G

This is obviously a very low G situation, but what does this mean?  How can we use this information to create a profitable line and/or understand our options better?  Well the next step is to pull out a fold equity calculator and PokerStove.  To use a fold equity calculator we only need 3 pieces of info: the effective stack size, the current pot size, and our estimated equity.  Now, it’s important to note that we estimate our equity against the range he would give our shove action with.  If he would CR KQo and then fold to a shove, we wouldn’t want to factor our equity against that hand.  To estimate our equity we can pull out PokerStove.  Let’s run this against a worst-case range of TT, 66, 44, and KdJd.

AdQd: 31.091%
TT, 66, 44, KdJd: 68.909%

Now let’s plug everything into a fold equity calculator… 

What we see here is that we need villain to fold 8.5% of the time in order for this to be a breakeven shove.  This means a few things…First, we need his CR range to include more hands than just TT, 66, 44, and KdJd.  Secondly, we want to focus on making +EV shoves, not just breakeven ones.  Thirdly, if we change any parameter the EV can change quite a bit.  What if he would CR and then call our shove with sets, KdJd, and also AT, KT, QT, and JT?

Now let’s run the math…

AdQd: 46.317%
TT,66,44,ATs,KdJd,KTs,QTs,JTs,ATo,KTo,QTo,JTo: 53.683%

Now this is actually a +EV shove even if he never folds!  That means if his CR & stack range ONLY included those hands this would be a +EV shove given the equity and math.  This is just one of the many edges that math players can use to their advantage.  And the great thing is that this helps you understand the necessary equity and fold %s to make shoves at various Gs.  For instance, you could just as easily say “what if this were a 2 G situation and I estimate my equity to be 25%?”  Well simple, just do this:

The great thing about G is that it is useful on every street.  For instance, take a spot where everyone has 100bb, the CO opens to 3bb, and you resteal from the BB to 10bb with A8s.  He 4bets to 24bb and you are considering what to do.  Well if you were to shove you would be risking 90bb to win the current pot size of 37.5bb, making this about a 2.5 G situation.  Say you also think he’d only call your shove with JJ+/AK.  Let’s run the math:

As8s: 29.434%
JJ+/AK: 70.566%

This means that we need his 4bet range to have a considerable amount of hands that are not JJ+/AK.  Now you still need to be able to read ranges to estimate their width and also estimate your equity correctly, but this gives mathematical backing to shoving draws and other semi-bluff hands.  I personally think G is very powerful and if you can understand its applications you can easily become a better player.  Just for the record, G can be used in NL games and even in PLO games in certain situations.  For more information about G and also my SPR/G chart, check out the “Playing Poker Draws Video” and see how useful it can really be!


My name is James "SplitSuit" Sweeney and I'm a poker player, coach, and author. I've released 500+ videos, coached 500+ players, and co-founded the training site Red Chip Poker. Contact me if you need any help improving your poker game!

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