Trying to figure out what starting hands to play, how to play poker and how poker positions change the way you play preflop? You are not alone.
This article is not a crash course in poker strategy. Instead of focusing on general winning poker tips and bankroll management advice like many other poker training sites do, it offers you something different.
It is a collection of advanced poker charts that improve your poker game by showing you how to play preflop. It gives you a clear overview of the range of starting hands you should consider with some helpful poker hand images, PDFs and Excel files.
Why the Poker Ranges Charts?
All the online poker players were there. Short-stacked. Bleeding chips on every spin and staring at junk hand after junk hand. Their chances of winning the tournament keep shrinking while their stack keeps shrinking.
They finally get a halfway decent hand. No one stepped into the pot.
Is it time to shuffle?
There is an easy way to find out. Enter the poker range charts. These handy tools allow players to figure out what poker hands to play in preflop scenarios where the pot is not open and the player plans to shove or fold.
Playing the correct ranges according to the preflop charts will ensure that your game cannot be exploited, so remembering these ranges is key to playing short.
Read on to learn more and find the attached printable poker spread chart as a tool you can study to improve your short-stack performance.
What are poker ranges?
For those who don’t know, a poker hand range in real money games India is simply the set of poker hands that a player can hold. We try to guess the range of our opponents, because guessing the exact cards is in most cases fruitless, almost impossible.
For example, if the tightest player you’ve ever seen reraises preflop in hold’em, you can guess that their range is only aces and kings.
On the other hand, if a player who hasn’t folded a hand in an hour calls your raise, you can estimate his range to include any two cards in the deck. Of course, most hand ranges will be somewhere in between.
How do you calculate poker ranges charts?
Analyzing ranges can be tricky, and a poker player can only get better at it by learning game theory and playing thousands of hands.
Incorporating the right preflop strategy into your poker training will help you understand what poker hands will be played.
The more time you spend playing and watching your opponent’s showdown hands, the more clues you’ll get about their strategy. This will allow you to get more accurate estimates of their ranges when playing future hands.
This video by poker pro Jonathan Little explores this concept a little deeper and attempts to answer the question “how do I think about hand ranges?”
How to use Preflop range charts?
Each position at the poker table has a certain range of starting combinations that can be profitably shuffled at a given stack depth.
Generally these stack depths are 20 big blinds or less.
Preflop range charts show the hands that form a winning shoving range.
A player who knows these tables can shove with a positive expected value (+EV) regardless of what cards the opponents are holding remaining to act.
Here at PokerHigh, you’ll find free preflop poker charts following all poker rules for five different stack depths at six-max and nine-player tables.
Here’s how to use them:
- Find out how many big blinds you have in your stack.
- Go to the corresponding chart. If you have a stack that doesn’t exactly match one, choose the closest one.
- Go to the column that corresponds to your seat.
- Scroll down until you reach the row that corresponds to your face down cards – the chart starts with pairs at the top, then ace-high, then king-high, and so on.
- You can push all hands listed here, as well as all hands to the left that were pushed in an earlier seat.
How to memorize poker ranges?
Since there are 169 different hands in Texas hold’em online poker games, different table sizes, and slightly different shoving ranges for each stack depth, it is unreasonable to think that you can perfectly memorize the exact correct shoving strategy.
Besides, it would probably be counterproductive, as your brain and efforts are better spent elsewhere.
Getting a rough idea of ??the right pre-flop poker ranges to push will allow you to play well with the short stack while improving in other aspects with the remaining study time.
There is no handy acronym like ‘Roy G. Biv’ (colors of the rainbow) or ‘PEMDAS’ (order of mathematical operations) to help you remember the shoving strategy offered in all the preflop range tables on this site.
And despite what other poker guides and poker training sites say, the purpose of poker rankings like these is not for you to memorize everything. You won’t improve your win rate this way.
The best way to learn this is to do a push and then keep checking to see if it was correct. Eventually, the increment ranges will begin to form in your memory.
Here are some poker tips to keep in mind:
Pairs are great for jamming. If you have under 10 big blinds, you can jam with almost any pair from any position. With such a small stack, waiting for top pairs is not a good idea.
If your cards are unpaired, it is obviously preferable to have high suit cards.
Small suited hands lose a lot of value in preflop shoving situations compared to their deep stack playability. Many hands end up unimproved on the river, so the higher cards win in those spots.
Still, high-low hands (something like a king-five offsuit) can be favored against something like a ten-nine in a head-to-head suit, but the latter works better against the opponent’s calling hands, so it’s better to shove them with.
The biggest jumps in shoving range occur the closer you get to the big blind – meaning that the difference in shoving in the first two spots is much smaller than the difference in shoving between the button and the small blind.
This is because one extra fold represents a much larger portion of the remaining opponents, meaning that the probability of hitting a big hand is significantly reduced. So make a comfortable shoving very wide in the small blind and still quite wide from the button and cutoff.
Now that you have our series of starting hands and all the information you need in your printable Excel file, it’s time to continue this poker lab experiment with more poker guides.
If you are truly determined to play better poker, here is a list to help you achieve your goals. Download poker apps just like PokerHigh.
Essential Poker Tips: a complete collection of the most effective poker tips we know. While some may be more beginner-oriented, others can help even more experienced players.
Poker Equity: one of the most popular poker articles ever published in our advanced poker strategy section. This is one of those must read poker guides you need.