Constructing a syntax for overcards

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Constructing a syntax for overcards

By Nikolaj

A question that I have gotten quite often in many variants goes something like:

“How do I construct a syntax for overcards”

A typical spot would be making a continuation range for top pair with 3 overcards to the middle card on a board like say:

where we believe an Ace + 3 overcards to the 7 will be part of that range.

The syntax for a card between X-Y is [X-Y], so in this case we use [K-8] to describe 1 card between (but not including) an Ace and a 7. Since we want the syntax to contain an Ace with 3 different overcards to the 7 we add [K-8] 3 times and write:

A:[K-8][K-8][K-8]!RR

The !RR stands for no pocket pairs, which rules out hands like AK88 from that range.

Now, had the flop been like this:

And you wanted a syntax for a King + 3 overcards to the 7 the syntax become slightly different:

K:[A-8][A-8][A-8][A-8]!RR

This would be a king with 4 overcards to the 7 and no pocket pairs. It is necessary to add an extra [A-8] or it would include hands like KT92 since it contains both a King and 3 overcards to the 7.

This would also be the way to construct backdoor straight draw syntaxes though slightly more complicated. I’ll make a post on that on a later occasion.