Pre-Flop Hand Groups

The basic pre-flop decisions about whether to fold, call the big blind, or raise are usually based on hand groupings. The following chart contains the standard Modified Hand Groups (filling out the groups at the bottom) arranged into Pairs, Suited, and Unsuited columns and sorted inside the non-pair columns by gap size. A dash ('-') indicates that the gap remains constant, while an ellipsis ('…') indicates that the high card remains constant.

Modified Hold 'Em Hand Groupings for Full Table Play (9 or 10 players)

GroupPairsSuitedUnsuited
Group 1AA-JJAKs
Group 2TTKQs AQs AJsAK
Group 399QJs KJs KTs ATsAQ
Group 488JTs QTs A9s A8sKQ AJ AT
Group 577T9s J9s Q9s K9s A7s…A2sQJ-JT KJ-QT KT
Group 666-2298s-43s T8s-64s J8s Q8s K8s…K2sT9-98 J9
Group 732s 53s-42s T7s-74s J7s87-54 T8 Q9-J8 K9 A9
Group 863s-52s Q7s…Q2s J6s…J2s T6s…T2s43-32 97-75 T7-96 Q8-J7 K8…K6 A8…A2
Group 995s-62s 94s-72s 93s-82s 92s64-42 85-63 T6-95 J6…J5 Q7…Q2 K5…K2
Group 1052 84-62 94-72 93-82 92 T5…T2 J4…J2

The strategies for using this charts are too complicated to explain quickly, but the basic premise is to play only the better hand groups, adding the lower hand groups when you have better position at the table, when there are fewer players, and when the blinds are bigger relative to your stack. Beginners should start tighter (fewer groups) and play more groups as their post-flop skills improve.

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