SSHE Preflop Charts & Pot Odds

Here are two charts that I hope you find are useful:

Small Stakes Hold’em’s preflop hand chart and Turn Card Pot Odds calculation.

Usage:

I printed the hand selection charts on a single page, but cut out each chart and taped it to the left and right edges of my monitor. The turn odds chart is printed out in landscape on a separate page. I cut it out and taped it to either the top or bottom edge of my monitor (or both if I had thought of it).

The turn pot odds chart is used for the third betting round to calculate whether you have the correct odds to profitably call with your hand. However, I use it for the second betting round as well, as it’s a good approximation of the odds needed for a single-card draw. I prefer to look at most of my draws as single card draws. For example, consider an inside straight draw on the flop. You need about 10.5:1 pot odds to call that profitably. If you call and don’t hit, you have another 4 out draw that needs around 10.5:1. Implied odds? I tend to view implied odds as an excuse to make borderline unprofitable calls as long as my draw is to the nuts.

What’s a half out? In Small Stakes Hold’em, Ed Miller discusses the idea of discounting overcard outs as 1.5 for each overcard as well as considering three-straights and three-flushes on the flop as 1.5 outs each. This results in situations where you’re trying to approximate between whole outs. I decided it was more important to know these odds than knowing the odds for 15 outs, as they came up more often and were easier to make mistakes on.

Motivations:

Loose hand selection is one of the biggest problems which beginning players have, and one of the easier to correct, with a properly constructed cheat-sheet.

I tried several times to memorize the Sklansky Hand Rankings as discussed in Hold’em Poker and … For Advanced Players. It never really stuck for me. On top of that Hold’em Poker For Advanced Players had a very confusing discussion of what actions to take based on the hand catagories, including modifications (”add these holdings,” “don’t play these other holdings”) that were not based on the catagories. Small Stakes Hold’em dispensed with the catagories, but continued the other confusing practice of stating which hands were good to “play” then which hands to raise with instead of enumerating which hands to raise and which to call. Personally, I didn’t find it that useful. On top of that, the next section would start out “play all the hands from the last section and add…” In the middle of a game, I couldn’t take the time to refer back to the last section, which might recursively refer me back to an even further section! I needed a chart which would tell me what action to take based on the cards I had in the position I sat.

Other Sources:

There is a thread in the 2+2 Forums, here which starts with a link to this chart. I, of course, found this only after I was about to announce my chart after testing it out over 10,000 hands, but found that someone else had done it already. I like the format of this one because it clarifies the need for a certain number of callers in front of you in certain situations, so I switched to it. After about a week, I switched back, for the following reasons:

  • It was a lot less compact, and didn’t fit on the sides of my monitor as well as my own version.
  • I like the fact that the cards which shared the action I was taking were grouped together by action and by type of card. So I could look up my Late Position action as see that not only was I going to raise, but that I’d should raise with all suited Aces down to Ace-8 in loose games (as well as the the other raising cards right there).

I ended up liking my charts better, but it’s probably not suprising that I organized information in the way that my brain works. I encourage you to use whatever tools you think will allow you to learn good pre-flop hand selection the fastest. My ego can handle it. If you like the way I organized the information, I’d apreciate hearing about it.

6 Responses to “SSHE Preflop Charts & Pot Odds”

  1. Rod Maupin Says:

    Thanks a lot. for the preflop charts. I taped them to both sides of my monitor like you did. A big help since I am studing the Small Stakes Hold’em book now.

  2. juanblanco Says:

    Thanks for taking the time to let me know, Rod. Check out the review of “Getting Started in Hold’em” if you feel like you’re drowning in SSHE.

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