Poker Cheat Sheet: Preflop Charts for All Disciplines

Poker cheat sheet

Poker charts are a kind of special tables consisting of ranges, that is, from certain groups of hands. These poker tips display the range of hands that are worth playing with. They show how to behave in a given situation with certain cards. Preflop poker starting hand chart tells you what cards to enter the game with and how to do it.

It is correct to use a separate chart for each discipline, that is, the poker cheat sheet of hands should be made specifically taking into account the format of the game. After all, what is good for cash games is not always suitable for tournaments, and what is good in head-to-head play looks completely different at 6-max or 9-max tables.

Poker Starting Hands

Starters are the pocket cards you enter the game with. Choosing the right starting hands is very important in Texas holdem, because what cards you play with often determines the result, and the poker combinations that you can collect. Roughly speaking, you need to be able to separate good cards from bad ones, fold trash hands and play with stronger ones. In the long run, this strategy will be positive.

Starting hand selection and basic charts

One of the most popular questions: “What are the statistically best poker starting hands?”. Unfortunately, there is no 100% correct answer to this one. You can either win the hand with 2-7 offsuit or lose with pocket aces. The outcome of a game is influenced by many more factors than just the quality of the hands being played. And yet, with the right approach at a distance, it will be more effective to enter the game with stronger cards: pocket pairs, suited connectors, high cards of the same suit, and the like.

Best starting hands

There are many different preflop charts of starting hands depending on the type of game, the chosen strategy, your position and the situation at the table. But there are some basic principles for choosing them.

Premium starting hands

Premium starting hands:

  1. Top tier (best 2% starting hands): aces, kings, queens and ace-king suited.
  2. Second level: ace-king offsuit, ace-queen suited, ace-jack and king-queen, as well as pocket jacks and tens.

Top 10 starting hands:

Aces, kings, queens, jacks, tens, ace-king suited, ace-queen, king-queen, ace-jack and ace-king offsuit.

Top 20 starting hands:

Top 10 hands

+ suited ace-ten, king-jack, queen-jack, king-ten, queen-ten, ace-nine, offsuit ace-queen, ace-jack, pocket nines and eights.

These basic charts are suitable for every beginner who decides to work with this topic for the first time. No further knowledge is needed here, these are just lists of the strongest possible starting hands for no limit hold'em. These charts are quick to remember and you'll soon be navigating strong starters with and without them.

Top-10 and top-20 starting hands

How to read poker charts

What hands to play in poker cheat sheet? You don't need to be an expert to read poker charts. Such a table shows all the possible pairs of cards that you can have in your hand in Texas Holdem (169 possible combinations in total). The suit of the cards is not taken into account here, only the fact that they are of the same suit or of the different ones is taken into account.

As a rule, the chart uses several colors, which are further explained. For example, if you have cards in your hands, the cell with which is painted blue, and it is written that the cards with which you should raise are indicated in blue, then the most effective decision in his opinion in this case will be to make a raise.

Important!
Important!

For poker charts, "s" means cards of the same suit (from "suited"), and "o" means offsuit (from "off suited").

If the letter is not indicated, most likely, off-suit cards are meant. In some cases, the suit does not matter.

Example: AKs are: A♥K♥; A♦K♦; A♣K♣; A♠K♠ (four possible combinations).

AKo is 12 possible combos of ace and king offsuit cards (for example, A♥K♦).

In some tables and texts, instead of a card, "X" is indicated, which means that any card can be in this place (usually smaller than the first indicated card). "Xs" means any card of the same suit.

Which chart to choose?

Each player selects an individual chart for himself and determines what percentage of hands he is going to play. The choice directly depends on the player's strategy. If he plays tight, his range will be quite narrow, and if he plays loose, his range will be wider.

A beginner can use poker range charts from the Internet, gradually adapting them to his game. It is important to focus not only on your range, but also on your opponents. In certain situations, even the tightest player can enter the game with "any two" cards. For example, if he sees that there is a high probability that the opponent will fold to his preflop raise.

On the web you will find a lot of poker charts and cheat sheets of starting hands. There are plenty of them in the books, forums and articles by professional players. Many poker schools give away free microstakes charts or provide specially designed tables for their students for a fee.

The main thing is to figure out which of them suits you best. You can create one yourself, but this is quite a painstaking work.

In this article, we have collected for you the most popular and useful poker range charts for cash and tournament players. Remember that different types of poker require a special approach.

Chart of starting hands 9max

Table of starting hands for short tables (6 max bss) depending on the position at the table:

Starting hands chart 6 мах bss

Chart for 6max middle positions

Cells with strong hands are painted in red. They are worth playing if you are the first to enter the game, or the opponent has limped. If the player in front of you raises, you should re-raise about 3.5x with these hands. If the raiser is behind you, raise 3x more or go all-in.

Yellow boxes (BB only) – these hands are good for stealing from players with stacks of 50BB and above. They should be played in the big blind if there was no more than 4BB raise from CO, BU or SB. If the increase was from MP2, MP3 or there were several raises, it is better to fold the cards.

The blue cells contain hands of medium strength. They need to be played if no one has entered the game before you, or there were limps. If before or after you there was a raise, it is better to fold the cards. The exception will be only for the BB.

Green indicates weak hands with which you can most often only steal the blinds. You need to play them if no one has entered the game before you.

Playing at high and low limits is different in many ways. But the charts are determined by the range of hands and are more dependent on the strategy you choose, so they are not divided into micro-stakes ones or for high-stakes players.

Charts for tournament players

In tournaments, blinds increase over time, and the ratio of player stacks to blinds is constantly decreasing. In addition, the game is played “to knock everyone out”, so it is worth using different tactics in the early, middle and late stages of the tournament, and, accordingly, use different ranges of starting hands in poker.

Chart for tournaments

At the late stage of the tournament (especially at the final table), it is not the pocket cards that play a big role, but the size of the stack. It's best to avoid playing with opponents who have big stacks unless you're confident in the strength of your hand. Texas hold em cheat sheet for the MTT late stage should be chosen depending on the number of chips.

The above charts can be suitable for both expensive tournaments and freerolls. In any case, they only guide you in situations where it is difficult to adapt to a particular opponent. In real life, it is difficult to play exclusively on the basis of the cards in multi-table tournaments.

For starters, you can check the poker cheat sheets on freerolls, the field in them is different from regular MTTs for money. At the same time, this is how you determine the comfort range for free.

Spin&Go charts

For Spin&Go beginners the table of starting poker hands will be very useful. It makes it easier for players to understand with what hands and in what position they should call, raise, shove, or fold. The charts below are best suited for 3-max Spin&Go with a starting stack of 25BB.

Poker chart for spin and go

On the button with a stack of 10-25 BB, it is recommended to enter the game with a 2BB min-raise, since the position is the most profitable at the table and has its own advantages. In the first table, cells with hands that can be raised on the button are highlighted with colors.

With a stack of 10 or less BBs, the “push-fold” stage begins in the Spins. And the fewer chips, the wider the range should be (purple cells for 10-8BB, red for 7-6BB and yellow for less than 5BB).

With speculative hands, you should not call opponents' bets larger than 10% of your stack. You should decrease the number of calls in the small blind. 

SNG Chart (Push Fold according to Nash)

Decision making in SNG games is influenced by many factors: starting hand, position, number of players in the pot, etc. If no one entered the game before you or did it with a limp, then generally the decision is made depending on your position at the table and pocket cards. In this case, the simplest and most convenient chart for low stakes SNGs can be expressed in the table:

Chart for SNG tournaments

The texas hold em cheat sheet indicates the maximum number of big blinds in the stack when with certain cards it is worth going all-in. Hands that are not in the table are not suitable for shoving.

Heads up chart by Nash

With Nash Equilibrium charts you can transform your game into one where you always make the right math decision. They indicate whether to shove or fold a hand based on your current stack size:

Heads-up chart

Nash Heads-up chart

How to use Nash Equilibrium charts

Find your hand in the poker cheat sheet above (the central blue diagonal is pairs, the green cells below the diagonal are non-suited cards, the orange cells above the diagonal are suited cards). If a player goes all-in against you, use the second table. If not, use the first one. If your number of blinds is equal to or less than what is written on the chart, then you should put all your chips into the pot. If you have more blinds than indicated, you must fold your hand.

Important!
Important!

Your winning edge may not be very large, but you will make a profit after playing hundreds or even thousands of poker heads-up matches using Nash equilibrium push/fold charts.

Sklansky Chart

Every poker player has their own unique approach to the game, but most have similar ideas about starting hand ranges. For the first time, their classification was made by the famous poker player and author of poker books David Sklansky. He singled out 8 groups of starting hands and explained when it is worth entering the game preflop with each group.

Starting hands by Sklansky

Sklansky writes that:

  • from an early position – groups 1-3 should be played .
  • from the middle – groups 1-5.
  • from the late – 1-7.
  • on the blinds – 1-8 (all groups).

For convenience, we have translated the Sklansky table into a poker chart.

Poker cheat sheet by Sklansky

Here, hands from group 1 are colored in blue, group 2 in light blue, group 3 in green, group 4 in light green, group 5 in yellow, group 6 in red, group 7 in pink and group 8 in purple. The white cells are marginal cards, which in most cases is better to fold.

Starting hands chart for 6-max ZOOM

The ZOOM 6-max format is characterized by the intensity of the game and the constant change of opponents, so the chart of starting hands in fast poker is slightly different from the usual 6-max one.

For early (EP), middle (MP) and late (CO, BTN) positions, the range of an open raise in zoom poker can be displayed as follows:

Poker cheat sheet for zoom

  • light blue color – EP 2.5x
  • blue – MP 2.5x
  • green – CO 2.5x
  • light green – CO 2.2x
  • orange – BTN 2x

Poker chart for open-raise in zoom

  • red – MB 2.5x
  • blue – MB 2x
  • yellow -– limp

You can analyze the ZOOM 6-max starting hands chart in more detail using the tables:

Against 3bet after an open-raise

Positions4bet/push4bet/foldCall
EP vs MP 3b
EP, MP vs CO 3b
EP, MP vs BU 3b
EP, MP vs SB 3b
EP, MP vs BB 3b
KK+A3s-A5sQQ-99, AQo+, KJs+, QJs, J9s+, T9s, 98s, ATs+
CO vs BU 3b
CO vs SB 3b
CO vs BB 3b
JJ+, AKATo-AJo, KJoTT-55, AQo, KQo, A5s-A2s, AQs-A9s, K9s, QTs, JTs, T9s, 98s
SB vs BB 3bTT-AAA2s, K9s, KJs, ATo99-44, JTs, QTs+, KTs+, AQs-A9s, A5s-A3s, AJo-AQo, KQo
BTN vs SB 3b
BTN vs BB 3b
QQ+A5o-A4oA5s-A2s, 55-22, JJ-TT, KQs, AK
99-66, 87s, 98s, T8s+, J8s+, Q8s+, KJs-K8s, AQs-A6s, ATo-AQo, KJo+
Если 3бет с SB/BB < 13: колл 22-55

The rest of the hands (which are not in the table) are better folded.

Against 1 raiser (all positions except BB)

PositionsCall3bet/push3bet/call3bet/fold
MP vs EP ORQQ-88KK+AKJTs, QTs+, KTs+, AQs-ATs, AQo, KQo
CO vs EP ORQQ-77KK+AKJTs, QTs+, KTs+, AQs-ATs, AQo, KQo
CO vs MP ORQQ-66KK+AKJTs, QTs+, KTs+, AQs-ATs, AQo, KQo
BTN vs EP ORJJ-44AAKK-QQ, ATs+, T9s, JTs, AQo+, A5sA9s-A6s, A4s-A2s, KTs+, QTs+, 98s, 87s
BTN vs MP ORJJ-44AAKK-QQ, ATs+, T9s, JTs, AQo+, A5sA9s-A6s, A4s, A2s, KTs+, QTs+, 98s, 87s
BTN vs CO OR99-55AA-TT, AK, A5s-A2sATs-AQs, KJs-KQs, JTs, T9s, 98s, AQo-AJoA9s-A7s, KTs-K7s, QJs-Q9s, J9s, T8s
SB vs EP ORQQ-77, ATs+, KTs+, QJs, AJo+, KQoKK+-A5s-A3s, 98s, 87s
SB vs MP ORQQ-77, ATs-AQs, KTs+, QTs+, JTs+, T9s, AJo+, KQoKK+AKA5s-A3s, 98s, 87s
SB vs CO ORTT-77AA-JJ, AK-AQs-A9s, KTs+, QTs+
SB vs BTN OR99-7755-22, AA-TT, AK, A5s-A2sATs-AQs, AQo, KJs-KQs, K9s, Q9s, J9s+, T9s, 98s, 87sA9s-A6s, A2s, KTs, K8s-K7s, QTs+, KJo+, AJo-A5o

+ SB vs BTN: Fold to 3 bet < 60, fold preflop 22-66, A5o-ATo, K7s, K8s, 87s.

+ SB vs BTN: 4 bet < 15, fold preflop 22-66, 3bet call with AQs, KQs, AQo, ATs.

+ SB vs BB: never call a raise after the limp.

Against 1 raiser (all positions and BB)

PositionsCall3bet/push3bet/call3bet/fold
BB vs EP OR
BB vs MP OR
QQ-44, AQs-A2s, AJo+, KJo+, K7s+, Q9s+, J9s, 98s, 87sKK+AKT8s, 97s, 86s, 76s
BB vs CO ORTT-44, A8s-A2s, ATo-A5o, KTo, QTo, K9s-K5s, Q9s-Q7s, J9s-J8s, T8s+, 98sJJ+, AK-AQs-A9s, AQo, AJo, KTs+, KJo+, QTs+, QJo, JTs
BB vs BTN OR88-66, A9s-A6s, ATo-A5o, K7o-KJo, Q8o+, JTo, K9s-K7s, Q9s-Q7s, J9s-J7s, T6s+, 96s+, 86s+, 75s+, 65s+, 54sAA-99, 55-22, AK, A5s-A2sAQs-Ats, AQo, Ajo, Kqs, KTs, QS, JTsA4o-A2o, KJs, K6s-K2s, KQo, QJs, Q6s-Q2s, J6s-J3s, T5s, T4s, 95s, 94s, 85s, 84s, 74s, 64s
BB vs SB OR99-66, A9s-A6s, AJo-A7o, K9s-K6s, KTo-K7o, Q9s-Q6s, Q9o+, J9s-J6s, J8o+, T8s-T6s, T8o, 86s-85s, 87o, 75s, 65sAA-TT, 55-22, AK, KQs, A5sAQs-ATs, KTs, QTs, JTs, T9s, 98s, 87s, 76s, AQoA6o-A2o, KJs, QJs, K5s-K2s, KJo+, Q5s-Q2s, Q8o-Q2o, J5s-J2s, J7o-J4o, T5s-T2s, T7o-T4o, 94s-92s, 84s-82s, 86o-85o, 74s-73s, 76o, 75o, 64s

+ call if BTN OR > 50% or if min-raise: J9o, T9o, J8o, T8o, 98o, Q7o, Q6o, K6o, K5o.

+ vs BTN: 3bet/call if 4bet >10, only with AQ, ATs, KQs.

+ vs BTN: if 4 bet <15, only call with A5s-A2s, 55-22.

+ vs SB: 3bet/call, if 4bet >10 only withAQ, ATS.

You can independently develop a chart for your game in each of the positions. Here is an example of another zoom 6 max cheat sheet (it was developed by the ZOOM regular, taken from the Internet):

Poker chart for zoom early and middle positions

Poker chart for zoom on blinds

  • blue and above – opening range from these positions
  • yellow – call/3bet hands against these positions.

Bet sizing here: 3x for EP, 3x for MP, 2.5x for CO, 2x for BTN, 2.5x for SB. Size of a 3bet in position is 2.5x, out of position is 3x.

Holdem 6+ charts

The main difference between 6+ holdem and classic texas holdem is a short deck, that’s 36 cards instead of 52. And this, in turn, means that in 6+ hold'em there are 81 possible combinations of starting hands instead of 169. In addition, the strength of starting hands in short deck poker games is different from regular holdem, as the value of combinations works differently.

We invite you to familiarize yourself with the short deck holdem charts in two game variations (where the straight is higher than the set, and where the set is higher than the straight) for full-ring, 6-max and heads-up tables.

The strength of 6+ hold'em starting hands is indicated by the equity percentage of that hand.

Short deck full ring chart

Short deck 6 max chart

Short deck heads-up chart

You can decide for yourself how to play starting hands in 6+ Holdem based on the equity of your hand and your strategy. High equity hands are definitely worth playing more aggressively and you can go all-in with them more often.

Special software

There is a special software that automatically calculates the range of hands according to the given parameters. Most programs offer free demo versions where you can work with your starting hands (preflop charts are the most common).

The most popular programs are Equilab and Poker chart.

With the help of special programs, you can also determine the poker ranges of specific opponents and adjust your game to them.

Are cheat sheets allowed in poker?
Are cheat sheets allowed in poker?

In some poker rooms, the use of such programs with the open client is prohibited. Moreover, some poker sites can block an account even for an open Excel document with multi-colored cells chart. For example, PokerStars, if it notices an open chart program or an Excel document, sends a warning to the mail, and then it can completely block the account. Therefore, before starting to play in a new poker room, it is very important to study its policy regarding this issue.

But since it is desirable to have the poker cheat sheets at hand, the way out of the situation is simple: open it on another device (laptop, phone) or print it, if possible.

Chart Tips for Beginners

Standard charts and designed poker ranges are good for beginners, but to be more effective you have to learn how to adapt to your opponents and optimize your game depending on their performance. For example, if your opponents often fold to a raise, you should expand your range of hands, and if you are against looser players, it may make sense to play only with the strongest cards.

To optimize your starting hand chart, carefully watch your opponents play, write down notes, watch educational videos and streams in your discipline, study modern literature, and pay attention to poker positions. Ideally, your chart should be as flexible as possible to adapt to your opponents.

Do not forget that all charts are advisory in nature, and even if you follow them unquestioningly, this does not guarantee you 100% profit. To customize one for yourself, you need to test it at the limits played. However, to get started, you can try it on freerolls.

If you are just starting out on your poker journey, you can also use the charts and tables in this article. Any table of starting poker hands will give you an idea of which hands to pay more attention to during the game, and which to ignore, as well as the role that probabilities play in poker.

FAQ

🎯 What is a poker chart?

In poker, a chart is a table with various poker combinations. These tables provide a visual representation of certain poker ranges for players to use. The charts can be used as hints and teaching materials for beginners online and offline. Most often, they indicate the recommended ranges for open-raising, 3-betting, calling and pushing. It is important that appropriate tables be used for different disciplines and formats.

💡 What are the ranges in poker?

In poker, a range means the totality of all hands that a player can have at a given point in time. This term can be used both preflop and postflop. For example, a player's range can include all pocket pairs and AKs. Such a range can be formed based on the analysis of the player's actions, his playing style and bet sizing.

💸 Does the chart guarantee 100% profit?

No. The chart is only advisory in nature, and even if you do everything point by point, this will not mean your 100% victory. Most of all, the charts are suitable for beginners to show the basics and give basic recommendations. Professional players do not play by charts, they take into account many factors.

🎲 Which hands to fold in Texas Hold'em?

It depends on the discipline in which you play (multi-table tournament, jackpot spin, 6-max cash, fast poker, etc.), on the number of players at the table, on the depth of the stacks. In tournaments, the stage is also important, as the ranges will be different for the start of the game and for the final table. For example, you can use poker charts for various disciplines. There, hands for open-raising, all-in and for folding are usually highlighted in a certain color. The most common cards to fold in Texas Hold'em will be marginal unpaired hands of different suits that can't make a straight, flush, or strong top pair.

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