Out of all the strategic aspects at play in any given poker game, there is none more important than table position. Players who can manipulate the hand-to-hand shift in the betting patterns will have a greater chance to be successful, regardless of the cards in their hand. It is important to have a poker hands order, a set of starting hands which will dictate your action throughout each little skirmish.
With a full ring table, there are as many unique situations as there are seats. We’ll tackle the most basic in this breakdown of poker hands, and the appropriate time for their use. Depending on your order in the rigid betting pattern, you’ll need to take the strength of your cards into account. The later your position, the better you’ll be able to gauge the strength of the table.
Usually, players in early positions will want to open the betting with only strong hands. As the seats tick down toward the dealer, slightly weaker hands may be played with relative confidence. Here are our recommendations, modeled after a relatively conservative play style. This is especially true on full ring because there are more people to act after you. You want to be sure you’re opening the pot with a premium hand.
NOTE – Poker should not be played specifically by charts. However, they can be a very valuable indication of where to begin. Below you will see some examples of preflop hand ranges for full ring no limit texas holdem.
Texas Holdem Poker Hands – UTG (Under the Gun)
77-AA (Pocket Sevens or Better)
AJs+ (Suited Aces with a Jack or Better)
AQo+ (Unsuited Aces with a Queen or Better)
KQs (King Queen Suited)
As the the first player to act, this is the weakest of all strategic positions. Because a raise here can spark a big round of betting, you’ll need a good hand to be sure of your strength. You’re much more likely to run into a buzzsaw if you bluff, which makes it imperative to act only with a good hand. Beyond the obvious hands like pocket aces or kings, you should include pairs sevens or higher, ace jack suited or better, ace queen off suit or better and king queen suited.
Texas Holdem Poker Hands – MP (Middle Position)
55-AA (Pocket Fives or Better)
ATs+ (Suited Aces with a Ten or Better)
AJo+ (Unsuited Aces with a Jack or Better)
QJs+ (Suited Broadways)
KQo (King Queen Offsuit)
You can get a little more creative at this point in the poker hands order, but not by much. Depending on the flop, a move here can be just as dangerous as an ill timed raise from under the gun. If you’ve got weak players behind you, it’s possible that you’d loosen the reigns a little bit.
Texas Holdem Poker Hands – CO (Cutoff)
22-AA (All Pairs)
A8s+ (Suited Aces with an Eight or Better)
ATo+ (Unsuited Aces with a Ten or Better)
JTs+, JTo+ (All Suited and Unsuited Broadwaya)
98s+ (Large Suited Connectors)
For those that may be unfamiliar with this term, "Cut Off" signifies the player immediately to the right of the dealer’s button. This is one of the best positions in poker, since you’re the second-last to act. After observing the action around the table, you can then take advantage of any perceived weakness. Just remember, however, that there is still one person after you. Selective hand ranges and playing only the best Texas Holdem poker hands, is the first step to becoming a winning player.
Texas Holdem Poker Hands – BTN (Button)
22-AA (All Pairs)
A2s+ (All Suited Aces)
A2o+ (All Unsuited Aces)
JTs+, JTo+ (All Suited and Unsuited Broadways)
54s+ (Suited Connectors)
The dealer’s position – the most powerful spot in the poker hands order. From here, you are poised to control the flow of the game. A little creativity on the button can result in a nice win, though some obvious caution is still advised. After everyone else has acted, you’ll be in a position to judge the tenor of the table.
By following this poker hands order, players will be able to make the most of their winning opportunities. While it is certainly acceptable to vary your approach by occasionally operating outside of this hand order, it is generally advisable to follow these conditions.