If you plan to turn your no deposit poker money into a real bankroll, you will want to take a hard look at the hands that are good poker hands and those that are not. THE BIGGEST MISTAKE BEGINNING POKER PLAYERS MAKE IS PLAYING TOO MANY HANDS. If you just want to have some quick fun, then any two cards will do. If you want to win, then you’ll need to be selective and aggressive. Play only the best hands and play them aggressively. This selective/aggressive trait is one that all of the professional poker players share.
Getting a “poker education” can be expensive. If you have not done so already, it would be wise to take advantage of a free poker bankroll or no deposit poker bonus. This will get you experience in real money settings, while using the “house’s” money. Online poker rooms offer real cash to attract new players, no deposit required. Even better, if you decide to make your own deposit, you still get all of the usual benefits like first deposit bonuses, VIP programs, etc. Check the two links below to get started with your own free bankroll.
For a full explanation of this chart, click here.
The starting hand chart above is a great guide on hand strength. The first chart shows pairs and suited cards. The strength of pairs is pretty obvious. With a pair, you already have a made hand that can possibly win without the help of the community cards to follow. Suited cards also add strength. What we mean by suited is two cards sharing the same suit. So an Ace and King, both hearts is referred to as “ace king suited”. If the two cards are different suits, say an ace of hearts and king of diamonds, this is “ace king offsuit” or unsuited. Suited cards are more valuable than unsuited cards because they give you a better chance of making a flush. Finally, you will notice that many of the playable hands are “connected”. Example, a queen and a jack. They are close together in their rank. Playing connected cards gives you a better chance of making a straight. Cards that are suited and connected are good hands to have, because they give you more ways to win. Ace King suited is one of the best hands in poker, as you have outs to making big pairs, the best straight and the best flush.
The second chart shows unpaired and unsuited combinations. You’ll notice that there are many more unplayable hands on this chart. If someone else raises, the vast majority of the hands on this chart are unplayable, even among the hands that are color coded red and yellow! A raise from another player generally means they have a strong hand, and the only two hands that could be considered very strong on this second chart are A-K and perhaps A-Q, both offsuit.
Both of these charts deal with “position”. What this simply means is your position at the table relative to the dealer chip or button. Most authors vary on what they consider early, middle and late position, but a good quick guide is this. Consider the first 3 seats to the left of the dealer button to be early position. The next 3 seats are middle position, and the final 2 seats and player with the dealer button is late position. The later position you are, the better, because it allows you to see the actions of players ahead of you. You will have a better idea of whether or not your hand is good when the action comes to you. If you hold QJ suited in late position, and there are 3 big raises ahead of you, that QJ suited doesn’t look nearly as good as it did when you first peeked at it!
This starting hand chart is actually very loose by most standards. It wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to cross off some of the lesser hands if your goal is to build a bankroll from just a few no deposit bonuses. The better the hands you start with, the more aggressively you can play them and the better chance you’ll have of stacking the chips up in your pile.
Many players jump into poker and play any two cards because they’re just looking to have some fun for the evening. In my opinion, it’s a lot more fun to still be playing a year later thanks to the kind donations from those “good time” players! One final thought: A winning poker player is a studious poker player. One doesn’t have to be a genius to make money at poker, but you do have to be willing to read and study the game. The short explanation of position and starting hands here is a good point to begin, but do yourself a favor, skip a couple of fast food burgers and invest $10 or $15 into a good texas holdem strategy book. You will be amazed at the edge you’ll have after learning the basic fundamentals of poker strategy.