Playing poker is lots of fun. However, it is necessary to understand the game and develop the right skills. Becoming a top poker player requires consistency. This includes knowing when to draw or hit the pot and how to choose the correct odds.
Whether you play at a land-based or online poker room, having all the knowledge at your fingertips is essential. We have created a portable poker cheat sheet for online poker players to use any time. This guide can serve as an easy reference for all things poker hands, down to where you need to draw.
We also explore other vital information that will benefit new and advanced players. Please note that this won’t turn you into a pro overnight! However, practicing is an excellent way to give you an edge over other players.
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Basic Rules of Poker
Before we get to the poker cheat sheet for beginners, it’s vital to go over the general rules for online poker.
There are ten different hands, with rankings pretty similar for all poker game types.
Here’s how poker cards are ranked according to their value: ace, king, queen, and jack. The numbers come next, from 10 to 2. This means that having a pair of aces is better than a pair of kings. At three of a kind made up of Queens beat an opponent with a three of a kind made up of 10s.
Poker Hands Ranking
Let’s look at the hands as the rank in Texas hold ‘em, high to low.
This is the best hand you could possibly get. However, it is also rare to land the card cluster for this hand. A royal flush includes an ace (A), king (K), queen (Q), jack (J), and a 10 all of the same suit..
With a royal flush, victory is guaranteed. Well, except if another player gets a royal flush too – then you’ll both have to share the pot.
A straight flush is the second best hand to get. All cards must be consecutive to each other, from the same suit. The higher the card starting the straight flush is, the better your chances of winning.
Four of a Kind
This hand is another strong contender for a win since it ranks third. Four of a kind means you have four cards with the same value, and a higher card in your hand completes the equation. For example, getting an ace in addition to four cards with the same value is a good contender. As usual, the higher the cards’ value, the better your chances.
Next is the full house. It’s the three of a kind and a pair of another value. Suits do not matter here. If two players have a full house, whoever has the highest card value wins. If the three of a kind are equal, the pair becomes the decider. A split pot becomes the only alternative if the pair is the same.
A flush consists of five cards of the same suit. If you have two diamonds, and there is a minimum of three or more on the board, you have a flush on your hands. The chances of making this hand are high.Since the chances of occurrence are high, the better your card is, the higher your chances of winning.
The straight is a hand combination of five cards following each other consecutively. The chances of landing a straight are high, sois its winning capacity is minimal. An ace can either be the highest card or the lowest.
Three of a kind
Three cards of the same rank and a pair of any other makes up three of a kind. This particular ranking becomes better when the three of a kind is made up of higher cards.
This hand is possible if you have a minimum of a pair and three others. Suppose you have a combination of ace, queen, and on the board there is an ace, king 9, 10, 10. You have pairs of aces and tens. With the queen, your hand is complete. The single card is referred to as the kicker.
Two cards of the same value. A higher pair will beat your hand, of course, since the ranking will be decided by the highest card in the cluster.
This is the most common hand in a game of poker. You only need a card to determine your fate here. The high card is the card with the highest value. This is a weak hand and you shouldn’t expect to win with it.
Key Things to Note
Here are a couple of things you should know:
- The lower the hand ranking, the lower your chances of winning the pot.
- The highest card becomes the determining factor if you have the same hand as your opponent. If the highest card is the same, the second highest becomes the decider. For pair, two pair, or four of a kind hands, the lowest or separate card is known as the kicker and becomes the decider when all other higher cards are equal.
When You Should Not Use the Cheat Sheet
One thing to note with the cheat sheet is that it is designed from a theoretical view. While it is intended to limit the way you lose, combining it with an excellent strategy to increase your winning opportunities is also important.
A little bit of logic should also be applied, so studying your opponent’s moves should give you an idea of either sticking to the script or not.
Poker Cheat Sheet
A crucial point to note when starting out with poker is knowing which hand to start with. Everything in the game of poker depends on the hands and their ranking. While it is desirable to get aces, the lower hands are also important. A proper cheat sheet will provide suggestions on which hand to start with, which to proceed to, and which to discard.
Any hand that is possibly the best choice will likely contain top cards, like aces or kings, which we advise playing no matter the hand type. Mid-position hands are okay if your sitting position is in the middle. The late position should only be considered when the sitting position requires you to play last and if the previous plays were okay.
You can consider that you have a strong hand if a few players have made moves before you, and there have been no raises thus far. It is safe to assume your hand is better than theirs, and you can safely place a raise. Again, this depends on your hand and position on the table. Suppose you have a J and Q and are seated in the middle; the raise could be okay to go for.
However, you should be wary of up to two players at sitting positions before you have made a bet. This signals either they have strong hands, or they’re trying to bluff and shake you off position. In either case, there is no point raising or calling, but we recommend throwing in the cards. If one player was betting, you could risk it. Two players and there is a chance you could lose.
Another example is a card cluster of 7 and 8, both unsuited in your hand. If your sitting position is among the last on the table, and a player or two before you make a raise. It’ll be preferable to fold since your chances of winning are slim. If no one has raised before you, it’s an excellent chance to raise, as it means your hand has a good chance that the players after you won’t have anything worth raising for.
Remember that in the game of poker, the general rule is knowing if the starting hand you were dealt should allow you to get involved in vying for the pot or not. There’s also the matter of your sitting position at the table and the players’ actions before you.
Next, let’s discuss the odds of hitting a draw with the odds at your disposal. Getting a real chance of landing good cash money prizes depends on the odds. A great poker player must combine the pot odds and their own as the play continues. Here’s a simple review of the odds for making a draw.
First, working out the chances of landing outs as you play is important. For example, if you are dealt 7 and 8, all unsuited, and the board has many 10, 9, K, A. This means you have eight outs, including the jacks and sixes. A regular chart could also show the chances of landing one of those eight cards, which will be at 17%.
To calculate it yourself, it is easy to approximately calculate the chances of landing a win. Take the total number of outs, multiplying it by four. The answer will give you the percentage chances of landing your choice card.
It is better to get a good understanding of the probabilities when starting out. Here’s a simple illustration of the odds of hand increase after a flop.
|Outs||2 cards (%)||1 card (%)|
|Your hand after a flop||Probability of the hand being flopped|
|One pair or higher||32.3%|
The pot odds are not usually found on cheat sheets because of the many variables involved. However, several calculators online can give you an estimate of the pot odds. Having at least one open on a separate tab every time you play online poker is recommended.
Pot odds refer to the ratio of the pot’s size and how much more you may need to call. Suppose the pot size is $6, and you need at least $2 to stay on the table. The odds or ratio will become 6:2, which can be broken down to 3:1. To get the percentage value, you can simply divide the second number by the first and then multiply by a hundred.
Hence, with a ratio of 3:1, 1 divided by 3 will give an average of 0.333. Multiply this value by 100, and the value will become 33.3%. So, a ratio of 3:1 is the same as 33%.
The pot odds on their own do not hold much information. More clarification comes when you combine this information with the draw on the cheat sheet.
Say you have pot odds of 33%. Combine this with the earlier hand consisting of 7 and 8, all unsuited, and the board has 10, 9, K, A, which landed a chance of 17%.
If the pot odds are higher than the chances of hitting a draw, it will be best to fold. However, you can call if the chances of hitting a draw are higher than the percentage value attached to the pot odds. In the situation described above, the best decision would be to fold immediately.
This rule can help you get a good bankroll management scheme, protecting your budget in the long run.
Basic Tips for Texas Hold ’em Poker
Here are simple tips that can put you on the road to winning. Don’t forget that the basic rule of winning for Poker is about adjusting to a new strategy that can counter the effects of the plays made by your opponents.
- Always plan for a suitable bankroll. Playing with a good bankroll is essential to winning here. It will protect you from wagering all your money on a game.
- Table selection is important if you’re playing to win. Always go for tables with the most profitable offers, which can affect your winning rate.
- A poker game is a game of numbers for the majority. So, having a quick guide and understanding of the odds involved is necessary to win.
- The seat position is also essential if you want to have an impact on the game. The choice of where you sit can determine the outcome. Depending on where you sit, it is essential to know when to adjust to either draw, fold, or bet.
- There is no need to rush to make a play on poker. Remember that it is a social game; people often minimize their screens to attend to other activities. Hence, you should take as much time as needed before making a decision.
- Make a decision based on a range of play from opponents and not a single move. Establishing your next move based on the immediate play made by the opponent is a recipe for failure. It will be better to analyze all recent actions.
- Research the best tools available and use them to play. Several online poker tools can assist you in making a play decision.
Here are some things to avoid at the poker table
- You don’t have to prove to anyone you know how to play at the table. Hence, avoid games with no profit. Playing at such a table means you’re wasting valuable time and missing the thrill attached to a good table.
- While a poker card cheat sheet is a great way to start, you should not stick to it throughout the game. As the game progresses, find ways to adjust based on new information and perception of new schemes your opponent may employ.
- If you’re playing against recreational players, it’s a waste of time making a bluff. They are just there for fun and not looking to fold, no matter their hand. You should rather play against opponents who fear losing their funds and employ proper tactics against them.
- Do not gamble with weak cards. It is preferable to wager when you have better cards. Forcing yourself to play with such cards will bleed your budget dry in the long run.
- Know when to fold. A good bankroll will be to know when not to over-wager with a mediocre hand. A middle-rated hand does not require a high bet since it is a 50/50 chance. Also, players with a low bet do not make many bluffs.
Positions on a Poker Table
As stated, one of the essential strategies to help you have a winning chance is knowing how to adjust game strategy based on your position at the table.
Basically, you have a higher chance of winning better cash wins when you land at later positions on the table. Keep this in mind as we discuss position advantages as part of our poker cheat sheet.
In a typical game of poker, gameplay starts with the Early Player (EP) – the player immediately after the blinds – and continues in a clockwise fashion. If there is a flop (dealer issues three cards face-up after the first betting round), the first player to start will be the Small Blind (SB), or the next player from the dealer if the SB decides to fold, then play continues in a clockwise manner.
The dealer is regularly referred to as Button (BTN) and is indicated with a ‘D’ in front. It’s the most advantageous position because it plays last after all betting rounds and after a flop. The player in this position has the chance to note all the plays made by all opponents and can analyze them to make a move.
The regular number of players at a table is six. However, it is possible to find higher numbers at other poker game types, like nine or ten.
The EP position is the least valuable. It is the first to play, and others will capitalize on this to better their strategy. The good thing is after the game round, the positions are shifted. Everyone left gets to be the BTN and will have the same advantages.
This section is a good chance for beginners to understand their betting options. However, it can also serve as a reminder for pros. Here are the different bet options open to a player at an online poker game.
- Fold: the fold means you are ending participation at the table. All bets placed will be lost, and you need to wait for another round of the game when the dealer deals cards fresh to start playing.
- Check: the check option becomes available when no opponent has bet or raised for any round. You don’t have to place another bet and still maintain your hand. After calling the check option, anyone who bets again gives you a chance to either call, fold, or raise.
- Call: the call option signifies you want to match the bet placed by a previous player to remain in hand.
- Bet: with the bet option, a player can willingly place wagers in the pot to begin the betting round.
- Raise: if you decide to raise, it means to increase the bet placed by another person. Hence, you’re adding more money to the pot than was required, so you can also call and open another round of betting. Everyone else will need to either raise, fold, or call.
This is important, especially for an EP. If an opponent places a bet, you can either bet or allow the opposing player to see your hand so he can bet.
Cheat Sheet Poker for Live Games
Let’s end the discussion with a comprehensive look at some things to know for live poker games. Since the gameplay is different from regular online poker, it makes sense to adjust your strategy slightly.
Here are things to do to help you adjust to a game of live poker.
- Utilize your bet size options. The bet size on live poker and regular online poker is different, and many players do not understand how to adjust. Hence, you should go for a smaller bet if you intend to bluff and higher from there. If your bluff is caught, you don’t lose much and win a good amount if it is not.
- It is not recommended to limp when playing live poker.
- Nobody bluffs when playing a game of poker. So you should not fall for the temptation of overcalling or folding when you can adjust in a rare case of bluffing.
Do suits make a difference in poker?
The suit can be a determining factor depending on the poker game type played. Poker variants that do put value on suit rank them spades, hearts, diamonds, then clubs. Be sure to ask the dealer if the suits make a difference on the table before gameplay begins.
What is the highest card for online poker?
The order is ace, king, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and ace. The ace can be either high or low, depending on the case.
What makes a good poker cheat sheet?
A good poker cheat sheet contains information on how to understand the starting hand, including a basic understanding of the poker hands. Also, the value of positioning at the poker table is essential.