Texas Holdem Hands Chart Rankings

01.03.2021by
  • Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker variant in the US. It is also the ranking game internationally, dwarfing other poker games by a long margin. This Poker Hands Guide is based on Texas Hold’em hand rankings, and it will reveal the best-kept secrets to forming winning hand combinations.
  • Poker Hand Rankings & Charts: Evaluate Your Poker Cards. Before you take us up on our free poker money offer on your way to becoming a World Series of Poker champion, you must first master the basics. The most important in the game is to understand the poker hand strength and rankings.
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Martin Harris

For a certain segment of new hold’em players, starting hand charts can be fascinating. Even those with many years of experience who have little need to consult such charts still find them interesting as debate-starters.

Texas Hold Em Hand Rankings

In hold’em there are 169 different combinations of hands you can be dealt. For those of us who enjoy working with numbers or creating lists with which to organize our lives, there’s something appealing about the idea of ranking all of those hands from 1 to 169, even if we know such a list probably might have only limited value when it comes to actual game play.

In truth, there are actually a lot more possible combinations of hole cards in hold’em — 1,326 of them, in fact. But that total also considers suits as distinct, when in fact before the community cards come the suits are all essentially of equal value.

Texas Holdem Heads-Up Preflop Odds. This table was created by enumerating through every possible board and opponent hole card combination for each of the 169 texas holdem preflop starting hands. The numbers are exact to the rounding I used, which was. This chart will give you the rank of Texas Hold’em hands from best to worst. This can serve as an easy list of all hands sorted by strength rather than separated by biggest starting card. I am including all 13 pocket pairs and 78 unique non-paired starting hands for a total of 91 hands.

That is to say, is of the same value as when playing preflop, while and are also of equivalent value. So, too, are the different combinations producing the same pocket pairs all equal before the flop in terms of their relative worth. While there are six different ways to get pocket aces — , , , , , — you're equally happy no matter what suits the cards are.

So we get rid of all of those redundant hands and say that in Texas hold'em there are 169 “non-equivalent” starting hands, breaking them down as follows:

  • 13 pocket pairs
  • 78 non-paired suited hands (e.g., with two cards of the same suit like or )
  • 78 non-paired unsuited hands (e.g., with two cards of different suits like or )

Notice now the non-paired combinations of hole cards neatly divide into equal groups, both of which are six times as large (78) as the smaller group of pocket pairs (13). The total of 169 combinations represents a square, too — 13 x 13 — another curious symmetry when it comes to hold'em hands. Bingo tumbler cage.

Still, that’s a lot of starting hand combinations — too many for most of us humans to keep in our heads — which is one reason hand ranking charts are appealing and even can be useful, since they help players think about certain two-card combos as “strong” or “average” or “weak” as possible starters.

Setting aside the idea of actually ranking the 169 hands from best to worst, we might think for a moment about other ways of categorizing starting hands in hold’em, using that initial breakdown of hands into pocket pairs, non-paired suited hands, and non-paired unsuited hand as a first step toward coming up with further, smaller groups that are easier to remember.

The 13 pocket pairs we might group as big or “premium” (, , and ), medium ( through ), and small ( through ).

Meanwhile, we might divide each of the other groups into “connectors,” “one-gappers,” and “two-gappers” (and so on), further thinking of them also as “big,” “medium,” and “small” while also keeping separate suited and non-suited combinations.

These categories of non-paired hands are created by thinking about straight-making possibilities (affected by connectedness) and flush-making possibilties (affected by suitedness). There are more ways to make straights with “connectors” — that is, two cards of consecutive rank like — than with two-gappers, three-gappers, and so on. So, too, do you have a better chance of making a flush with suited hole cards than with non-suited hole cards.

Another possible group to create would include “ace hands” — i.e., non-paired hands containing one ace — that can be thought of as “big aces” (e.g., , ), “medium aces” ( down to ), and “small aces” ( to ). Or “king hands,” too. We like keeping these groups in mind, as hands with big cards like an ace or king can connect with flops to make big pairs.

In any case, you can see how these criteria for making categories can help when it comes to building those starting hand charts. And in fact most of those charts feature a similar ordering of hands, with..

  • the premium pocket pairs and the big aces (suited and non-suited) up at the top;
  • medium and small pocket pairs and big-to-medium suited connectors and one-gappers in the middle;
  • and non-paired hands with less potential to make big pairs, straights, or flushes toward the bottom.
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However, there are problems with relying so heavily on starting hand charts that you don’t take into account factors that can make a given hand gain or lose value. Such as the flop. Or the turn. Or the river. Or other factors — including how your opponents are playing their hands — that can quickly affect the value of your starting hands.

After all, as anyone who’s played even a few hands of hold’em well knows, even if is the highest-ranking starting hand and a non-suited ranks as 169th, a couple of deuces among the community cards is all it takes to make the best hand worst and the worst hand best.

Learning the relative value of starting hands is definitely an important first step when it comes to getting started in hold’em. Other aspects of game play such as the importance of position, knowing when and how much to bet or raise, and thinking about opponents’ holdings and playing styles as hands proceed are good to learn, too, and help show how a great starting hand might not be so great five community cards later.

Poker is not blackjack, a game in which similar hand-ranking guides are sometimes used to inform players’ decisions about how to play. In poker you want to be wary about becoming too reliant on those pretty starting hand charts. They can be great for indicating which hands might be worth playing (and which should be thrown away), but troublesome if allowed to outweigh all of the other important factors that arise as a hand plays out.

That said, starting hand charts can be useful, especially for those new to hold’em. They also can be a big help when picking up other games, too, like pot-limit Omaha or the various stud games, if only to get an early idea what hands tend to play better than others.

But for many such charts ultimately are only themselves a way to get started, before the experience of playing helps players more instinctively recognize both hand groupings and how hands tend to compare in terms of profitability.

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    no-limit hold’emcash game strategytournament strategybeginner strategystarting hand selectionstarting hand chartsmath

Only starting out with poker in 2020?

I remember when I started with poker, I found remembering the important parts of the game challenging.

Texas Holdem Starting Hands Ranking Chart

But your journey can become easier with this printable poker cheat sheet for beginners (I wish I had this when starting out!).

Table Of Contents

  • How To Use This Texas Holdem Poker Cheat Sheet.
  • How To Use This Pot Odds Cheat Sheet – Facing River Bet Example
  • How To Use This Pot Odds Cheat Sheet – Facing Flop Bet Example
  • Poker Hands Cheat Sheet: Best Texas Hold em Hands

Poker Cheat Sheet For Texas Holdem:

Download the high-quality Poker Cheat Sheet printable (PDF) version:

The cheat sheet includes hyperlinks for further reading on any material you may not yet know.

Click here for more information on pre-flop and post-flop. We also discuss Texas Holdem bet sizing in the highlighted link.

If you like the cheat sheet, you may also enjoy these these awesome starting hand charts from upswing poker. They are a more detailed version of the starting hands section in the cheat sheet above which supplement it nicely. Amazingly they have been downloaded almost 200,000 times!

How To Use This Texas Holdem Poker Cheat Sheet.

Step 1: Find your hand on the chart (example KT suited)

Step 2: Determine whether you should follow coloured or number schematic.

Either:

  • If first to raise (no other player has raised before you), follow the coloured schematic.
  • If facing a raise or reraise, follow the numbered schematic.

Note: If playing on a 6max table (6 players as opposed to 9), the yellow coloured hands will also be able to be played from any position.

See the image below for the numbered and colour schematic.

Step 3: Take into account information give under headings preflop and post flop.

How to play poker preflop is a tough subject to cover in detail. There are many factors you need to take into account such as:

  • Your position and your opponents position.
  • Your opponents likely holdings
  • Board texture
  • Previous history

A brief explanation of why position is powerful and why we play fewer hands when there are more players left to act (still with a hand):

When playing on a fullring table, you will have to contend with nine players, who each have a chance of picking up a big hand. Therefore, when playing a full ring game, you will play fewer hands. You can read more on this concept at fullring vs. 6max.

The difference in player numbers is also why we play a wide range of hands from the Button, but very few hands from UTG (first position). When opening the Button, we only have two players left to act (unlikely for them to have a strong hand), whereas when playing from UTG in a full ring game, eight other players could potentially pick up a big hand.

For more in-depth details on this see Texas Holdem Strategy and Position is King!

Step 4: Take home some cash

Hopefully, this poker cheat sheet will help you ‘bring home the bacon' as they say, but there is always something more to learn in poker. Keep reading for some more cheat sheets which might be of use to you.

Get Your Miniature (Credit Card Sized) Texas Holdem Starting Hands Cheat Sheet

This cheat sheet only contains the most vital information you need so it can handily fit in your pocket. The legends have also been squeezed onto the hand chart in front of hands we always fold.

To download printable PDF which is scaled to credit card size, use the Facebook unlock button:

Poker Odds Cheat Sheet (for Texas Hold'em)

Get your pot odds cheat sheet below. You can use this to determine the number of outs required to continue based on the pot odds you are being offered. You can also use it to convert between percentages, required outs and ratios for all kinds of situations in poker. The pot odds cheat sheet is explained in more detail below:

Click here to get a high-quality printable pdf version of the Poker Odds Cheat Sheet.

When your opponent bets you will be offered odds based on the size of his bet. For example, if your opponent bets half pot you will be offered odds of 3:1 on a call (call 1 to win 3). Essentially, it is your risk to reward ratio.

Pot odds will tell you whether is it correct for you to call or fold based on what size our opponent bet and how many cards that will improve our hand.

If you are interested in the learning poker math, check out our best poker books recommendation page here for some awesome books on poker math.

How To Use This Pot Odds Cheat Sheet – Facing River Bet Example

1. Work out pot odds

In this hand, our opponent bets $26 into a $41.5 pot making the total pot size $67.5. This gives us odds of 67.5: 26 (67.5 = 41.5+26). Or approximately 2.6:1. You can also see how to convert this into a percentage in our article pot odds.

2. Find 2.6:1 on the card (or as close to it as possible).

We locate 2.6:1 on the chart tells us that 2.6:1 translates to 30.11% pot equity. In other words:

  • if we win 30% of the time, we will break even,
  • if we win > 30% of the time we will make a profit on average in this situation
  • if we win <30% of the time, we will make a loss on average in this situation

Texas Holdem Card Rankings

3. Determine our actual equity

This is the tough part, unfortunately.

Texas Holdem Odds Chart

You have to estimate how often you are beaten by your opponent in order to determine if you can profitably call or not. To do this you can use a program such as equilab to plug in hands that you think your opponent may have and the hand that you currently hold. To learn more about estimating what your opponent may be holding see the article poker hand range: the comprehensive beginner guide. From the example above, we plug in some hands we think our opponent may have and see that we have 34% equity:

4. Determine if we can profitably call.

Since our equity is greater than our pot odds, we can profitably call the river bet. If our equity were less than the pot odds being offered, we would have to fold as we cannot c call.

How To Use This Pot Odds Cheat Sheet – Facing Flop Bet Example

Let's take a similar situation (confronted with a bet), except this time we are on the flop with KQs, and we have a flush draw with nine outs. A King and Queen which could be considered outs, but they aren't clean outs. This means even if we hit our hand we still may not win (say for example our opponent has AA).

Chart

1. Work out equity percentage:

Since we have nine clean outs, we can simply go to the number 9 on the card and then determine our equity.

Texas Holdem Hands Chart Rankings Week 9

This means that we need a minimum pot odds of 1.9:1 or 38% when we have nine outs on the flop with two cards still to come.

3. Compare pot odds to odds given by bettor.

Our equity is 38%, so we need pot odds of less than 38%. The lower the pot odds, the more profitable the call.

Our pot odds are 12.5/33 which is 37%, and hence we just about have the pot odds to call. However, we are also in positon (and will act last with more information) and have two overcards to the board (both a King and Queen will make top pair good kicker). So this is an easy call.

4. Further reading

We need seven outs to continue, and we have nine outs with a flush draw. See calculating outs for more details.

For more information on how to use this poker cheat sheet see poker and pot odds.

This video will also be useful to you:

Poker Hands Cheat Sheet: Best Texas Hold em Hands

In case you aren't familiar with the hand strengths, and hand rankings of poker check out the printout Texas Holdem hands cheat sheet:

(You may also be interested in the rules of texas hold em)

There are a few important things to remember when memorising at the poker hand rankings:

Best Five Cards Win

In poker, it is always the best five cards wins. This means it is not only the pairs that matter if there is no clear winner (nobody has a pair), the decision will go down to high card wins.

Kickers

Kickers decide the winning hand when two opponents have the same pair or three of a kind. For example, if one opponent has AQ (ace-queen) and another has AJ, the opponent with AQ would win on an A7522 board as he has the five card hand of AAQ75 whereas the second opponent has AAJ75.

Texas Holdem Hands Printable

Split Pots

Split pots occur when opponents have the same hand. For example, imagine one opponent has A4 and the other A3 on AQ752 board. Both opponents would have five card hand of AAQ75. Neither the 4 or 3 would play.

You can get more information about hand rankings on our web page here.

If you are more visually inclined, check out this video on poker hand rankings:

For more on Texas Hold'em strategy, see poker 101.

Make sure you check out the fan favourite posts:

Common poker mistakes & Texas Holdem Poker Tips

Good luck at the poker tables with your new poker cheat sheet!

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