Understand the relevance of the Gap Concept in your gameplay

If the Gap Concept seems simple, that's because it actually is. However, like other simple concepts, the Gap Concept often ends up being looked over because of its seemingly clear nature. But it is still very much relevant and is worth every poker player's consideration, especially those who want to play a tight aggressive match. Majority of novice players, and some experienced ones, violate the Gap Concept frequently without thinking of the reasons for doing it. In the long run, it leads to the creation of several leaks in their gameplay. By knowing how to use the concept, you could avoid three challenging situations that are usually common pre-flop.

Losing Your Own First in the Vigorish

If you're the first player to join an unopened pot that has a raise, you are giving yourself two means to gain the hand. You could win by holding your cards as the strongest hand in a showdown. You could also acquire other hands to fold as a response to your move. As soon as a pot has been raised, you lose the chance of being the initial aggressor. This means the cards that could be usually right for you to use to open a raise with in a closed pot may no longer be playable.


A lot of the players that you face at low stakes matches could be aware of their positional advantages, and they could choose stronger holdings to raise in earlier positions compared to the ones they'd utilize in a later position.

Getting Sandwiched

Coined by David Sklansky, the Sandwich Effect happens when a person makes a raise and you choose to call it with a bordering holding then another person behind you reraises, which is also called a squeeze. At this point, you will find yourself in the center of the Sandwich Effect and trapped directly between 2 players' aggression. You will now start to realize that you should have never called on the raise earlier. There might not be an outstanding solution in this situation especially when at least one of the players has a wider range than they let on.

By acknowledging the consequences of ignoring the Gap Concept, you are more likely to use it correctly during pre-flop. You can successfully use this concept by tightening your requirements for starting hands if you are up against aggressive players. The strength of your hands somewhat depend on your assessment of the raiser for pre-flop. Understanding this concept is the reason why veteran players advise beginners to lessen emphasis on hand charts in making pre-flop moves. Your position and card strength forms only one part of your decision-making process during the match. The action in your front and back including the kind of players making the actions is the bigger factor to consider when deciding whether you should play a certain hand.