If you’re looking to improve your Texas Hold’em game, look no further! This handy Texas Hold’em strategy chart will give you the edge over your opponents. This guide shows how a Texas Hold’em strategy chart will improve your game.
Texas Hold’em Strategy Chart: The Ultimate Guide
Good preflop hand selection is key to success in Texas Hold’em. If you are playing a winning poker strategy, you will fold preflop more often than 70 percent.
It is crucial to be able to understand the poker hand rankings and how they change depending on your position at a table. Follow the Texas Hold’em strategy charts and learn how to play your starting hands.
Some poker hands like AA and KKK should be played from any position. Hands like 83 should not be played past the preflop betting round.
When deciding whether to place money in the pot preflop, you should consider factors such as position, number, and playing style of your opponents.
Preflop mistakes can ruin your game. Let’s review the essential elements of choosing your Texas Hold’em Starting hands.
- Poker Hand Notation
- What Starting Hands Should You Use?
- Categories of Hands
- Pocket Pairs
- Offsuit Hands
- Suited hands
Poker Hand Notation
Let’s start by familiarizing ourselves with the most common poker starting hands you’ll see in articles in the Upswing Poker Strategy section or elsewhere.
There are two types of Texas Hold’em starting hand: “suited” and “offsuit”. Two cards from the same suit are considered suited hands. These include J9, AK, and KQ.
All other starting hands fall under the offsuit category (A8, 75, and K9)
When you read an article on the Upswing Poker blog or look at our free preflop poker charts online, suited hands will be marked with an “s” and offsuit hands with an “o”.
JTs, for example, is the notation of jack-ten suited and includes JT. It is any combination of jack-ten suits, such as JT.
Many of the Staring Hands from the Upswing Preflop poker Charts recommend suited combinations of hands but not their offsuit counterparts. JTs is a hand that you will be playing most of your time, while JTos is something you will play less often.
Another important notation that you will often see is “+”, which can refer to different things depending on the hand it’s attached.
The notation 22+ indicates that you should be playing 22 as well as all other higher-ranking pockets pairs. 77+ is the highest possible range, which means you should play all pocket pairs, including 77 and higher.
This excludes pocket pairs 22 through 65.
The “+” at the end of a hand such as A7s+ indicates that you play all suited aces at least A7s+. In this case, that would be A7s, A8s, A9s, ATs. AJs. AQs. and AKs. The notation A7o+ refers to playing all offsuit Aces A7o or higher.
Another example: K2s+ refers to all suited kings (K2s and K3s, respectively).
The most important concept in poker is position. It refers to where you are relative to other poker players, the dealer button, and the blinds in a hand.
Texas Hold’em poker hands start with two players placing the “small blind” or “big blind” bets. These are mandatory bets that must be placed after each hand. The “dealer” button is always immediately counterclockwise from the small blind.
These are the positions at a table with nine poker players:
The player clockwise from the big blind is always the first to act in the preflop betting rounds. This position is also known as “Under the Gun” or “UTG”.
The UTG, UTG+1, and UTG+2 positions collectively are called “early position” or “EP”. Their starting hand ranges must be tighter because they are the first to act preflop. Many players will follow them.
The “LoJack”, “HiJack”, and “middle” positions are sometimes called “middle” and “late” respectively.
Preflop betting starts with UTG and ends with the big blind closing the action. The button closes all betting rounds.
You’ll always use a looser starting range when you sit on the button, as the player on the button will be the last to act in all post-flop betting rounds (the flop turn, river, and turn). This is because you will have the most information of all the players in the hand and all others must act before you.
“In-position”, also known as “IP”, is the player who acts last in any betting round. All other players are “out of position”, or OOP. If a player is referred to as “has position”, it means that the player with position is acting first.
What Starting Hands Should You Use?
Let’s begin to understand Texas Hold’em starting hand and position by looking at the Upswing Poker free preflop tables
Let’s start by looking at the Under the Gun (UTG), starting hand ranges in a nine-handed game.
This hand matrix shows all possible starting hands in Texas Hold’em. The matrix is divided diagonally by the pocket pairs 22 through AA. All suited hands are to their right, while their offsuit counterparts are to the left.
The hands in red are the starting hand range that you should play from UTG. This is the tightest range of all the starting ranges. Using our notations above, you can represent this range as 77+.
You’ll often face callers when playing from UTG. This means that you need to limit your hand range to the strongest starting hands. These hands are good post-flop.
Let’s compare this narrow range to the LoJack open range. These are the hands you will “Raise First In” (RFI), and these are the hands you’ll raise with the LoJack after all other players have folded.
We are now in a more advanced position relative to UTG. This means we include all suited aces and pocket pairs 55+ (55+), suited connectors starting at 76s (76s+), one-gappers starting at J9s (J9s+), two-gappers Q9s (Q9s+) and up.
We have also added a suited three-gapper with the K9s as well as an offsuit “broadway hand” with AJo. (“Broadway” hands are hands in which both cards are an ace or king, queen, jack or ten). We can now include more hands in our starting range, as there are fewer players to follow us.
Let’s look at our range while playing from the button.
This is a wider range than the LoJack or UTG ranges. It now includes almost all of the suited connectors (43/43s+), one-gappers (53/53s+) as well as all pocket pairs (22+).
We also raise first in with a wide variety of suited two-gappers and three-gappers, most of our suited queens, (Q6s+), as well as a few offsuit hands like T9o+ and J9o+.
We raise the first in with more hands than before, since we are now playing against the blinds. There is a good chance that both blinds fold, and we win the pot without ever having to see it. This is what makes even the weakest hands profitable when playing from the button.
Premium Pocket Pairs Hands such as TT+ should be raised from every position. These hands are long-term profitable and can withstand aggression from 3-bets as well as callers.
Middle Pocket Pairs The pocket pairs between 55 and 99 are great preflop holdings, but should not be played as aggressively as the premium pairs. The weakest hands (55 and 66) should be folded in the early part of a full-ring game.
Low Pocket Pairs 22 through 44 are hands that you should not raise from the early positions but can be profitable when played from the latter positions. You will often look to hit a set (three of a kind) on the flop when you play with low pocket pairs.
Premium AKo and AQo hands are premium offsuit hands. They should be raised first from all positions, even a full ring game. You can add hands such as KQs or AJs to a 6-max game or shorthanded game and open with these hands in any position.
Sometimes Playable AJo and KQo should be folded from the earliest positions of a full ring game. JTo+ through ATo, QTo+, and KTo+ are other offsuit hands that can sometimes be played. Hands such as A2o andA3o are very low in this range and should not be played from a late position.
Trashy Hands such as Q5o, J6o 52o, 84o, and 52o are among the weakest hands in Texas Hold’em. They should not be used to raise first in. This category is home to the majority of Texas Hold’em’s starting hands.
It’s important to make sure you only choose the right poker hands to play from each position. Sometimes you will have long periods of unplayable hands. Don’t let this get you down and open with pathetic hands!
Using these guidelines will give you everything you need to perfect and improve your Texas Hold’em game. This handy Texas hold’em strategy chart will give you the edge over your opponents.