Poker Gap Concept – Poker Strategy

The Gap Concept is a poker theory that applies to poker tournaments and cash games. It was first introduced by famous poker author David Sklansky and is an important concept for every serious poker player.

In short, the Gap Concept claims that it requires a stronger hand to call a raise than to do it yourself. It sounds pretty obvious at first glance, but if you take the time to fully understand this concept, it will help your game tremendously.

Let’s use an example to explain the gap concept:

Let’s say you’re sitting in the middle position with one hand like ATs. Under normal circumstances dominobet, it would be a perfectly acceptable move to open the pot with a raise with this hand. But what if someone in early position makes a raise first? In that case, you probably wouldn’t want to call because the hand is too dubious to play against a starting position raiser.

This is a perfect example of the Gap Concept. As you can see, there is a gap between the relative strength of this hand under each circumstance. As we raise, we feel perfectly confident with our hand, but when we face a raise, we fold the same hand.


The Gap Concept exists because it requires less strength to make a raise than to pay a raise. When you raise with one hand, you have the advantage of entering the hand. When you raise, it is easier to get your opponents to give up because you have already shown strength.

On the other hand, it takes a stronger hand to call a raise because you have no boost. You will have to fight harder to win the pot because your hand looks weaker. To make your opponent give up, you will have to risk more money by raising (while he only has to place a bet).


Just as important as the Gap Concept is the question of position. When an opponent raises first and then it is his turn to act, it usually means that the opponent is playing from a position earlier than yours. As you may recall from the basic poker strategy, people tend to play stronger hands from the starting position.

If we look at our example from above, the opponent who raised was in the starting position. When someone gets up from the starting position, he knows he still has to beat everyone else at that table. This early position lifter believes that his hand is stronger than everyone else’s, even without seeing their hands.

Using the gap concept

Gap Concept will eventually become an instinctive part of your poker game. You know that when people raise in front of you, you need to have a stronger hand to call that raise. There are always exceptions to the rule, but it is usually a safe rule to follow.

Steal the blind

You can also use Gap Concept from the standpoint as a raiser. When you are playing late and the table is folded, you can raise with a wider range of hands.

Since you have the advantage of the moment and face fewer hands, you can raise with weaker hands than in any other position. The opposite applies to your opponents who need to act out of position. They will have to have stronger hands to defend their blinds because they lack the initiative and will be working out of position.

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