9 Poker Charts That Every Player Must Know

Last Updated on August 21, 2023 Author:Adrian Sterne

poker on the brainMany poker lovers use charts that help them when they play this game. Therefore, I decided to make a list of the essential poker charts that every poker player must know.

Poker is all about getting your math right. Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind that, by calculating your possibility of winning your hand, you’ll know how much is at stake.

By reading (and, hopefully, learning) these charts, you’ll have a better understanding of the game.

The charts should help you feel more comfortable when playing poker both online and in live games, as they depict essential information that many beginners often overlook.

Here’s a quick recap of what you can expect to learn in this article:

Poker Hand Rankings

In order to know whether you win the pot, you need to be familiar with how hands rank in poker. This is the basic knowledge that most poker players take for granted. However, it’s always a good idea to have this chart open in a separate window if you’re new to online poker.

This way, you’ll be able to have a better understanding of your hand. This is not a difficult chart to remember. After a couple of hands, you’ll get a hang of it and be able to make decisions without it.

Let’s take a look at the chart!

Hand name Definition Example
Royal Flush A straight with the highest cards of the same suit AKQJ10
Straight Flush A straight with the cards of the same suit 98765
Four-of-a-kind Four cards of the same kind X – JJJJ
Full House (Boat) Three of a kind + two of a kind JJJ1010
Flush Any five cards of the same suit 25810A
Straight Any five cards in a ranking order 56789
Three-of-a-kind Three cards of the same kind JJJ – X – X
Two pair Two pairs of cards of the same kind JJQQ – X
Pair A pair of cards of the same kind JJ – X – X – X
High Card If none of the remaining players at the table has a valid hand, the one with the highest card wins.

What You Should Take Into Account When Learning This Chart

The chart starts with the highest possible card in poker and is ranked towards the weakest poker hand, which is a pair. In case you don’t have a valuable hand, your highest hole card is something that counts.

Poker players who have the same high card will usually take the next highest card to determine the winner. If only two players remain and they have completely identical hands, then a tie is proclaimed and the pot is split. However, this doesn’t happen often.

Best Starting Hands in Poker

A starting hand in poker consists of the two hole cards you are given at the start of the hand. Although there are many possibilities at this point, you definitely need to have some insight into your odds from the very beginning.

Simply put, some starting hands are better than others, as it’s always better to get a pair of aces than a deuce and a ten unsuited. Therefore, let’s take a look at the chart of the best starting hands in poker.

Hand Abbreviation Hand Name
AA Pocket Aces
KK Pocket Kings
QQ Pocket Queens
AKs Ace-King Suited
JJ Pocket Jacks
TT Pocket Tens
AKo Ace-King Off-suit
AQs Ace-Queen Suited
AJs Ace-Jack Suited
KQs King-Queen Suited

What to Take Into Account

Although these are definitely the cards you want to see as your starting hand, don’t take this chart for granted. It’s up to you to assess the situation and try to understand whether a hand is worth playing.

Moreover, position plays an important role, and while the top five starting hands from this chart are playable under the gun, you might want to wait for mid/late positions for the hands that are in the second part of the chart.

Make sure to assess the situation and your opponents to determine whether a hand is worth playing, even if it is not on this list. Moreover, try not to play only these hands at one of our android poker sites, as you’ll come off as tight and passive, which is not always the best approach.

Common Nicknames for Starting and Made Hands

One of the ways to quickly learn poker is by getting the lingo right. Poker players love naming stuff related to the games, and naming hands is definitely their favourite. Therefore, I made a sort of an overview of starting and made hands and nicknames that players use for them.

This chart can help you follow the game smoother and get a better insight into poker strategies that are often discussed in various poker forums. Therefore, you will not have to google every single term if you spend some time studying this chart.

Here’s the chart of the best starting hands and their popular nicknames. The first listed nick is usually used the most.

Hand Hand Nicknames
AA Bullets, (Pocket) Rockets, Needles, Batteries
KK Cowboys, Ace Magnets, King Kong
QQ Ladies
JJ Fishhooks, Brothers
TT Dimes
99 Popeyes
88 Snowmen, Piano Keys
77 Walking Sticks, Candy Canes
66 Boots, Route 66
55 Nickels, Snakes
44 Sailboats, Magnum
33 Crabs, Treys
22 Ducks
AK Big Slick
AJ Blackjack
K9 Canine
T2 Doyle Brunson
Q7o Computer Hand

As you can see, some are witty, some describe the way numbers look, and some are plainly random. One thing is certain — it’s fun to call hands by using these nicknames. I didn’t list all possible starting hands, but only the most popular ones, as you’re most likely to stumble upon their nicknames in use.

I decided not to list ALL nicknames for hands that are included in this chart, as some of them are derogatory. However, thanks to the PC culture, their use is slowly fading away.

Made Hand Nicknames

Some players love some made hands so much that they decided to give them a name. Here’s a short overview.

Made Hand Nickname
A – K – Q – J – T straight Broadway
A – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 straight Wheel
A – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 straight flush Steel Wheel
K – K – K – K – X Four Horsemen
2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – X Mighty Ducks

Poker Position Names and Abbreviations

A playing position affects your poker strategy a lot. By mastering position names in poker, you’ll be able to understand how each position affects your play. Once you understand how positions work and how to recognise them, you’ll be able to improve your overall poker success.

Therefore, let’s take a look at the full ring, which is a 10-max poker and see how each position is named.

Position Name Abbreviation
Under The Gun + 1 / Early Position 1 UTG / EP1
Under The Gun +1 / Early Position 2 UTG+1 / EP2
Under The Gun +2 / Early Position 3 UTG+2 / EP3
Middle Position 1 MP1
Lojack / Middle Position 2 LJ / MP2
Hijack / Middle Position 3 HJ / MP3
Cutoff CO
Button BTN
Small Blind SB
Big Blind BB

If you play a six-max (short-handed) table, then MP2 is actually UTG, and MP3 is HJ. Other positions are named as in the rest of the chart — CO, BTN, SB, BB.

The Starting Hand Chart

The famous starting hand chart is perhaps the most important thing that you need to know from this article. It’s a chart that tells you which starting hands you are advised to play from certain positions.

Please don’t take this chart as definitive. You should consider it more like a guide on what you should do. However, it’s up to you to ultimately assess the situation at the table and decide whether to play the hand or not.

Chart Showing Starting Hands in Poker

How Table Stakes Are Named

Various cash games and tournament poker events have different stakes. Online and live players have a specific naming system for these, which could be quite confusing if you’re new to poker. That’s why I decided to make a simple chart that will help you learn how No-Limit Hold’em table stakes are named.

Stake name Starting blinds
2NL $0.01/$0.02
4NL $0.02/$0.04
10NL $0.05/$0.10
25NL $0.10/$0.25
50NL $0.25/$0.50
100NL $0.50/$1.00
200NL $1/$2
500NL $2/$5
1000NL $5/10
2000NL $10/$20
5000NL $25/$50

The lowest stake tournament you can play is 2NL or $0.01/$0.02. However, that is available only on certain sites. The majority of sites offer 4NL as the lowest stake game. Everything below 50NL is usually called “micro stakes” poker by poker players.

If you want to play poker live, the competitions with the lowest possible stake you’ll be able to find are 100NL. However, most live games start at 200NL.

What players usually regard as high-stakes games on the web are those above 1000NL. In live poker games, high stake games start with 5000NL+.

Poker Pot Odds Chart

Finally, poker is all about getting the numbers right and calculating the right odds. If you want to calculate the equities that are required to make a profit or to decide on your value to bluff ratio, you might find the following chart useful

Chart Showing Poker Pot Odds

Bankroll Management Charts

Whether you play cash games or participate in tournaments, learning how to manage your bankroll is essential. You must first set a starting point for building your poker funds, but this depends on your limits. The stakes you intend to start with should be meaningful but not so much that they negatively impact your bankroll.

Since there is no guarantee in poker and even the best players occasionally lose, the least you can do is learn a few bankroll management basics, which will help you save funds when on a losing streak.

Once you’ve decided on the bankroll you want to start with, you must determine the stakes you will play. The following chart can help you when playing cash games:

Game Blinds Standard Buy-In Recommended Bankroll
2NL $0.01/$0.02 $2 $40 – $100
5NL $0.02/$0.05 $5 $100 – $250
10NL $0.05/$0.10 $10 $200 – $500
25NL $0.10/$0.25 $25 $500 – $1250
50NL $0.25/$0.50 $50 $1000 – $2550
100NL $0.50/$1 $100 $2000 – $5000
200NL $1/$2 $200 $4000 – $10000
500NL $2/$5 $500 $10000 – $25000
1000NL $5/$10 $1000 $20000 – $50000
2000NL $10/$20 $2000 $40000 – $100000
5000NL $25/$50 $5000 $100000 – $250000

What You Should Take Into Account When Learning This Chart

Most cash game players will usually start with 20 buy-ins, meaning if you opt to play NL5 with $0.02/$0.05 and the maximum buy-in for the table is $5, you will potentially earn $200 – $500. I advise you to set a win/loss limit for each session and stick to it. For instance, your goal may be to win twice the buy-in, so cash out and walk away when you achieve it.

Tournament Bankroll Management Chart

This is how to manage your funds when participating in tournaments:
Standard Tournament Buy-In Recommended Bankroll
Freeroll N/A
$0.10 $5
$1 $50
$3 $150
$5 $250
$10 $500
$15 $750
$20 $1000
$30 $1500
$50 $2500
$100 $5000
$200 $10000
$500 $25000

What You Should Take Into Account When Learning This Chart

When it comes to poker tournaments, limit yourself to 2% of your bankroll, meaning if you have $400, choose those with a buy-in of $8 or less. You should also consider rebuys and add-ons. If you play a tournament that offers them, prepare to spend more than your initial buy-in.

Final Thoughts

Learning to play poker is not that difficult. However, learning how to win is something that definitely needs continuous learning. It’s a trial and error process.

Mastering the game was far harder more than two decades ago when charts such as the ones presented in this article were hard to come by. Luckily, its majesty the Internet is filled with dozens of charts such as these that can make your game of poker both easier and more entertaining.

Ultimately, the goal of such charts is to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls and learn how to improve your game.

As you can see, some of the charts in the article are actually more about naming things rather than actually playing poker. That’s because we live in the era of online poker where, in order to be able to understand the game, one must understand the terms and slang related to it.

Hopefully, these charts will help you improve your overall success. But before you start studying each of them closely, you need to take one thing into account.

Many poker experts like to say that poker is like jazz. It’s based on improvisation. That said, these charts do not represent final instructions on what you must do. They are rather a basis for further learning that will help you know how to improvise when you sit to play the game.


By looking at these charts, I’m certain that several questions popped up in your head. I understand that some of them might be confusing at first, so I will try to answer questions and clarify as much as possible. Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the most frequent questions regarding the charts.

How are poker hands ranked?

Statistically speaking, the higher the poker hand is, the lower the probability of making one. That’s why the odds of getting a royal flush in poker are 649:740:1 (or 0.000154%). On the other hand, the odds of getting one pair in poker are 1.37:1, meaning that poker pairs are pretty frequent.

Should I play the hand if I get a pair as a starting hand?

As you can see in the best starting hands chart, not all items are actually pairs. Sometimes, low-ranked pairs are only good to play if you are in a late position and there’s room to play them. On the other hand, high-ranking pairs such as AA, KK, and QQ, are almost always good to play in early positions.Everything is laid out neatly in the starting hand chart that suggests how to approach every possible starting hand.

What is an off-suit starting hand?

An off-suit starting hand is a hand that has two cards of a different suit. If your starting hand is off-suited and you failed to get a pair, such hands are often folded right away.

However, if you’re in a late position and you have to high-ranking off-suit cards, you might want to proceed to the flop if the situation allows it.

Are these charts applied to all poker variations?

It depends. Some charts, such as poker hand rankings, are often regarded as fixed, meaning that the majority of poker formats use them as such. On the other hand, the poker odds chart is mainly applied to Texas Hold’em when there are no limits imposed on how much you can bet.

Why have poker players named hands?

Although there might be interesting individual stories about how certain poker hands were named, there’s no particular reason why players are giving them nicknames in the first place. This is done mostly for fun, as it’s sometimes boring to call hands by their real names. Admit it — the Bullets sounds way cooler than a pair of aces.

  Contact Me

Hi, I am the Chief Editor of top10pokersites.net, this site is dedicated to all thing poker. I have been working around the poker industry for the last 15 years, with different brands. The main purpose of this site is to keep you uptodate with the industry and offer you the best deals around.

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