Hand Ranges Play a Significant Role in Poker
Note: This article deals with hands only in No Limit Hold ‘em Poker.
You’re sitting at a low-stakes cash game either online or live. All the players seem to be amateurs - lots of calls pre-flop, everyone plays too many hands etc. This should be an easy way to pick up some chips for you, but for some reason, the cards aren’t flopping!
While being tight-aggressive is the right way to play at such a table, you can still be hit by variance or make a mistake due to playing out of position. In such cases, it can be hard to know how to go about your game pre-flop.
With this handy cheat-sheet though, you’ll always have a reference point to use when playing loose low-stakes games. Bear in mind this is specifically for loose-passive tables, when players aren’t raising often pre-flop and tend to always call.
These hands are self-explanatory. When you’re holding such hole cards, you want to maximise value for them by raising. Generally you would like to raise 4-5 BBs, and 1BB for every player that has already called or is left to play.
Raise from late position, otherwise call
These are hands that are still great, and you’d definitely want to see a flop when holding these hole cards. However, when in an early position, you don’t want to raise and be forced into a situation where someone 3-bets or 4-bets. It’s best to raise with these hands when you’re in a middle or late position.
Low pocket-pairs and high suited connectors are hands that offer good value in a game where everyone is calling pre-flop. If you happen to hit a set, straight or flush with these hands, then you’re in a dominant position where other players are betting big against you with top pair. Such hands don’t hit often, but when they do, the sheer number of players betting in to the pot will give you a great chance to win big.
Call from late position
These hands are similar to the previous set, except the chance of hitting a winning hand is lower. There is also the need to be more cautious here since you might be on the losing end if you have a lower straight then your opponent. All in all, you want to play these hands when play is passive and many players are in the pot.
As mentioned, this chart only covers play for a specific type of table play. Watch this space for more opening hand combinations for other types of gameplay!