The Ultimate Guide to GTO Poker in 2024

Jan 4, 2024

Most poker players understand the significance of strategy in poker games. A great strategy is required to reach high levels in this game. A decade ago, the vast majority of poker players relied on exploitative poker strategies. 

AI Generated Image of Cards on a Black Table

Exploitative strategies are decent, but not particularly useful in modern poker. We live in a technological age, in which using an outdated exploitative strategy in casinos may not be good for your wallet. 

However, there is no need to worry because we have a modern GTO poker strategy, commonly known as GTO.

An infallible poker strategy is now a reality thanks to mathematical modulation and computational statistical techniques! GTO is the best

example of it.

If you’re looking for the most optimal poker strategy, GTO poker strategy has all the necessary characteristics. 

In this article, we will explain GTO and everything you need to know about it. 

Let’s go gamblers!

What is GTO?

GTO, which stands for game theory optimal, is a poker strategy trusted by millions of poker players across the globe. It is also known as poker game theory. This is the playing style in which you try to play perfect poker yourself, allowing your opponents to make mistakes against you. 

It includes bluffs or semi-bluffs, with respect to your value bets. They can be used to get more clarity on the bet size.

AI Generated Image of Burning Cards    

Here are some of the features of GTO:

  • Works against anyone because you are guaranteed to break even or win.
  • Perfect strategy when facing very good players who also use balanced ranges.
  • Excellent against new players about whom you know nothing.
  • In a situation where you are unsure how to proceed, this is the best way to play.

GTO Poker Strategy vs. Exploitative Strategy

Undoubtedly, the GTO poker strategy has replaced a decade-old exploitative poker strategy and is now considered the best strategy for poker. It is mainly focused on bluffing and value betting instead of exploitative betting, which revolves around finding flaws in the opponent’s game. 

For more clarification, we have compared both of them in the following table: 

          Exploitative Strategy            GTO Poker Strategy
Playing against weaker players who make numerous errors.Playing against tough players where you are unlikely to exploit them.
Easy to implement, best for beginnersHard to understand for a beginner.
There is no mathematical background.Having a strong mathematical background.
It is effective in multi-way pots, as there are fewer variables.It is not very effective in multiway pots, as there are high variables.

Poker GTO Strategy

Here’s a list of some well-known GTO strategies. Note down all the important points from the following strategies:

Preflop Hand Ranges

There are some poker charts that can be used by the players to compensate for positional disadvantage. For each position, there exists a unique road map of moves that may lead you to a guaranteed win.

Irrespective of the position, a pre-flop poker chart is highly beneficial for you; it works great in low, mid, and high positions.

Preflop Poker chart

The following is a poker GTO pre-flop beginner poker chart for starting hands for online 6-max play, indicating which hand ranges should be opened-raised after the action has folded to them. The table is color-coded to represent different table positions.

They are almost identical to the poker cheat sheets used in casinos. Make sure to develop a good understanding of how to deal in poker before implementing this preflop poker GTO chart.

We advise you to use solvers (software used for the creation of poker positional charts) before the start of the game to understand the nature and worst possible outcomes of a game. 

Deepsolver - Poker Solver

Keep in mind that there are different solvers for different types of games. In some solvers, there are options through which you can change the game type as per your need.

Deep Solver is one of the most reputed solvers, used by professional poker players for better performance. However, unfortunately, this masterpiece is not free to use.

Pot Odds

Pot odds are simply defined as the ratio between the pot odds and the bet size. A probabilistic approach towards the highest possible chances of winning by using ratios. 

If you are not a beginner, you have probably heard of poker cheat sheets, which can be used to calculate the probabilities of different card combinations in poker. The probability sheet used in poker is also a type of poker cheat sheet. For more distinction, we are going to take some examples:

Poker Probability Distribution Chart

For example, if a player puts $20 in the initial pot and then deals $5, The pot size is now $25, and the bet size is $5. So the odd pot in this case is 25:5 or 5:1. 

Professional players use a mathematical formula for the calculation of pot odds, and you can also use this formula to calculate your pot odds.

Bet Amount / (Your Bet + Pot) = Pot Odds

For a $50 ongoing bet, if you place a $40 bet, then the pot odds are 30.7%.

$50/($40 + 90) = 30.7%

This means that the minimum bankroll must be greater than 30.7% in order to maximize your profits. It may seem frustrating to implement for a beginner, but this formula will be helpful for you in the long run.

If you don’t like doing math, there is an alternative available in the form of online software that can be used for calculating pot odds; this software is also known as an equity calculator. 

Equilab is a popular equity calculator that is available on PCs, whereas, for MacBook, PokerCruncher is an option.


Additional Factors

Regardless of the two poker strategies you’ve learned above, there are some things to consider! We included them as additional factors, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are equally crucial to understand and when properly implemented, can be game changers in most cases.

  • Positional Disadvantage:
    At a positional disadvantage, it would be extremely difficult to take the lead against a good opponent. Raising the equity may not be the best thing to do since the opponent will be able to realize our equity in the hand.

    As a result, it is advised to add 7% to your pot odds to balance the game.
    This method is one of the few ways to tackle a positional disadvantage and continue the game’s profitability against the villain’s hand range.
    Poker Card Distribution
  • Villain’s Hand Range

    For a better understanding of the game, it is necessary to have a good command over the villain’s hand range. Different colors represent different card combinations. There are mainly two types of hand ranges; polarized and depolarized hand ranges. Let’s go through both of them.
  • Polarized Hand Range (7.54% of hands)
    Polarized Hand Range                   
  •  Depolarised Hand Range (7.4% of hands)  
     Depolarized Hand Rang

Minimum Defense Frequency

                      Bet Size    Minimum Defense Frequency
                100% of the Pot                        50%
                  75% of the Pot                        57%
                  66% of the Pot                        60%
                  50% of the Pot                        67%
                  33% of the Pot                        75%

MDF is a mathematical concept used in poker to decide how much of your hand range you should protect and continue with either by calling or raising when faced with a bet from your opponent.

This method is typically applied in off-table studies and it could be challenging to implement it in a new game.

Here is the simple mathematical formula for the calculation of MDF- 

Pot Size / (Pot Size + Bet Size) = MDF

Mastering these beginners GTO poker ideas away from the table will help you make better decisions during a hand, especially when playing against aggressive opponents.

MDF is a pretty complex topic in and of itself, and it will be a part of your learning experience as you begin.

Balancing Bet Size

In GTO poker, balancing a bet is one of the most essential steps in the game. Value bets and bluffs should be balanced hastily to win the game. However, balancing a bet is not rocket science, one can easily learn to balance the bet by having a good understanding of minimum defense frequency.

            Bet Size      Value Bet %            Bluff %
          25% of the Pot                83%                17%
          50% of the Pot                75%                25%
          66% of the Pot                72%                28%
          100% of the Pot                67%                33%
          150% of the Pot                62%                38%
          200% of the Pot                60%                40%

By splitting your money into different proportions, you can make it difficult for your opponent to exploit you. Both 25% and 200% got some value bets and bluffs, making it impossible to take a lead for your opponents.

If we can split up our range exactly like this, it doesn’t matter if our opponent calls or not; we won’t lose money in either circumstance, whether we’re bluffing or value betting.

Pros and Cons of GTO Strategy

                          PROS                          CONS
You can track your gameplay and use it in future games.Software is required for effective calculations.
You can influence others’ games without their knowledge.A good understanding of the game is required.
Can help you against experienced gamblers.Not applicable in every aspect of the game.
It is completely authentic and based on mathematical concepts.Professional players can easily catch you using this technique.

Poker GTO Software

There are several online programs available in practically every field these days. The same is true for poker GTO poker since there are numerous software programs available for calculating pot odds and the minimum defense frequency. 

These poker software applications, known as solvers, are used by all professional gamblers. Our experienced staff has chosen some of the most genuine solvers from the internet for you. Let’s take a look at some of them.

PioSolver Website Interface

PioSOLVER is a high-speed GTO solver for Holdem. It can handle heads-up post-flop positions with configurable starting ranges, stack sizes, bet amounts, and accuracy levels. It’s the first of a new generation of technologies aimed at transforming poker from an intuitive to an analytical and mathematical game.

Website Homepage

GTO+ is a powerful poker game theory analysis software with one of the most user-friendly interfaces on the market. You can quickly design decision trees with GTO+, fill in any play as you see fit, and let the GTO solver figure out the best play for the rest of the tree. 

GTO Wizard Website Homepage

The GTO Wizard has changed the game of poker. With an amazing user-friendly layout, this website is very useful for beginners. There are different annual subscriptions, but the best thing is that you can start building your GTO Poker strategy for free!

Read Next: Best Blackjack Betting Strategy For Beginners – Progressive Blackjack Betting in 2024


Ans: GTO stands for game theory optimization, it is a modern-day technique used by most of the advanced poker players.

Ans: It is simply GTO; this term is used to describe gameplay that one plays after implementing a poker GTO strategy.

Ans: Yes, it is completely safe and secure. It is a well-known strategy used by most of the professional poker players.

Ans: Nothing is 100% loss-free in a game of poker. There is a constant risk of loss in a casino game like poker. Using game theory optimal poker strategies may enhance your odds of winning, but even now it is not 100% loss-free.