15 Tips on Poker Hand Selection

1. Play only premium hands while in early positions if the table has had a lot of late position raisers in previous hands. Don’t waste a bet trying to limp in to an aggressive game.

2. Play medium strength hands in early positions only when you think you’ll be successful at limping into the hand. If enough players enter the hand you’ll get proper pot odds on the weaker hand.

3. Play medium strength or better hands in middle positions unless there’s been a raise ahead of you; if there has, only play premium strength hands in this situation.

4. While on the button you can play any two cards if there has been no raise ahead of you, and medium strength hands or better if there has been a moderate raise ahead of you.

5. In a multi-table tournament you should only play premium hands in the early stages of the event, and only increase your aggression if your chip stack shrinks too much.

6. In a sit-and-go setting you should play premium hands early on, and gradually widen your range of starting hands as the number of players at the table decreases.

7. In general you should play stronger hands at a table that has a lot of action, and you should loosen up your starting hand selection if the table is full of tight players.

8. Learn to put down medium strength hands when faced with a raise and re-raise before you. Fold hands like medium pairs and A-Q or A-J in this situation; they’re likely to be dominated.

9. Stay away from playing two cards just because they’re suited, unless it is A-x. Suited cards should have value other than just being suited, i.e big cards or connectors.

10. While heads-up you have to give more value to your starting hands. Play any hand with Q or higher, and raise medium strength or higher hands pre-flop if your opponent has shown no aggression.

11. If you’re new to poker you should only play strong hands until you get a better feel for the game. The chances of you out-playing an opponent are low, so keep your pre-flop winning percentages high.

12. You should be folding at least 65% of the starting hands that you see. Any more than that will be too many hands and will eventually lead to losing poker.

13. Don’t play medium strength suited connectors if there’s been a raise ahead of you, unless there have been multiple callers before it’s your turn to act.

14. Raise the action while on the button with medium and premium strength hands, periodically changing things up a bit so you’re not predictable in your play.

15. Stay away from playing the costly ace/rag hand from all positions except the button. These hands will cost you bets more times than it will win them for you.