Your range is capped if the top of your range is missing.
This is the basic definition. This is very important because people often cap their range if they are afraid they get shoved on or if they are afraid of losing a hand postflop.
BB: 20BB, SB: 20BB, BU: 20BB. BU openshoves.
Ask yourself, what is his range there? Does he really openshove AA, KK? Def not.
But if he doesnt openshove those hands, what hands does he openshove?
For most people the hands they openshove are hands that are two weak to induce, which means calling off with them is bad, but yet are fairly strong.
Capped Range – Common spot
The most common spot for capped range is the following. The guy to your immediate right is very laggy. He opens a lot. Thus you start shoving a lot on him. He gets upset by it and starts openshoving himself. His range is almost always capped at this point.
Capped Range – Usual Range
Often when people openshove their range consist of broadway, very weak aces and small pairs and some suited connectors.
If this is the first time you hear about capped ranges, I highly suggest you open up PokerStove and find a range you want to call vs that. The range there is massive.
Capped Range – Determine your calling range
As a rule of thumb, you can always call with the hands you think are capped off your opponents range and a percentage of his capped range. The actual percentage will depend a lot on ICM. Most people cap at around AT,KQ,66. Thats probably a good start for a calling range. Add in some hands depending on how much more you think its capped. Please make sure his range is actually capped!
Capped Range – Weak tight opponents
A word of warning, just because somebody shoves 18BB, doesnt mean his range is capped. There are some players that are scared to play TT postflop and just shove. Capped ranges is something that comes with table dynamic and opponent type. Be sure you know who you are up against before justifying a call with the concept of capped ranges.
Capped Range vs Inducing Range
This is very important, your opponent can only have a capped range if he has an inducing range in that spot. If your opponent only has been shoving with a certain stack size than you cant cap his range.
Next time you see somebody make a big overshove think about his range, think about whether he is afraid of getting shoved on or whether he is scared to play postflop. Consider the current table dynamic and your opponent type and make a great call!