Mathematicly speaking. Is there a hand that is good for big tables and good for small tables. And not mathematicaly a nice real example from real life would be nice.

  • 1
    AA works regardless of the number of players - not entirely clear what you're asking here.
    – 3N1GM4
    Mar 1, 2017 at 0:31
  • 1
    I think he is asking about how particular hands play against a particular number of players dealt in. And Yes all hands play differently against different numbers of players. Their are many hand ranking charts that differ according to the number of players dealt in. You might consider being a little more narrow with your question, the answers can be very nuanced for any particular hand.
    – Jon
    Mar 1, 2017 at 2:11
  • Yes, I think the title is much clearer than the body of the question on a second glance - the body only seems to add more ambiguity to what's being asked.
    – 3N1GM4
    Mar 1, 2017 at 18:56

3 Answers 3


78s plays better at a big table than heads up.

AJo plays great heads up but 10 handed it is not so strong.

At a big table you (typically) need to make a big hand to win. So you are looking for a flush or straight. At a minimum 2 pair.

On a big table JTs - 65s all go up in value for the ability to make straight and or flush. JT is more likely to make a straight than KQ as KQ is blocked above. You can play them in mid to late if you are getting in cheap. Ace little suited is still a good hand. Short handed A8s plays much stronger than 87s. But 10 handed A8s and 78s are almost the same against a random table.

Heads up high card or a pair will win most pots so you are looking for big cards and pairs.

It is kind of hard to memorize as now you have position plus number of players to adjust your starting hand range. 6 handed does not come up much different from last 6 of 8 handed so you can just play UTG 6 handed like MP of 8 handed. 10 handed plays just a couple hands different than 8 so just you can just play it like 8 handed. 4 handed has some changes. If you memorize 8 and 4 handed you can pretty much adjust to any table size.

  • Why would you put AK under 99? If you that is due to math, shouldn't it be below 22? And if it is due to playable or pretty much standard poker thinking, shouldn't it be between KK and QQ? I'm pretty sure every player in the world would prefer AKs to 99 or TT, despite the mathematical fact of it being below 22...And if 99 is better than AK, why would AJ be better than 88? I find these lists suspect.
    – B. Alvn
    Mar 2, 2017 at 2:26
  • 1
    Regardless of the previous comments, including the rationale and/or calculations which led to the lists would improve the answer greatly and be both interesting and useful to many I'm sure.
    – 3N1GM4
    Mar 2, 2017 at 21:17
  • 1
    Ok, a link to where you found the lists would probably be helpful to people if they want to understand better how they were constructed if this info is not in your answer.
    – 3N1GM4
    Mar 2, 2017 at 21:34
  • 1
    No disrespect here, just couldn't find these lists with my own Google search, so figured other people might be in the same situation and would benefit from the detail. Seems somewhat spiteful to deny everyone the benefit of your research just because you feel one person has been disrespectful (although not sure what disrespect you think I've shown), never mind though.
    – 3N1GM4
    Mar 2, 2017 at 22:53
  • 1
    Went to chat a few times since you posted (including just a few minutes after you posted), but you were never there.
    – 3N1GM4
    Mar 3, 2017 at 13:08

What do you mean by "big table"? High stakes? 11 or 12 players? The kind of table King Authur used to eat banquets at?

If you mean number of players, it kind of comes down to the nature of the game...is there a lot of limping? If you can see cheap flops, small pairs and suited connectors (zero to two-gapped), and AX suited, all can be very good hands, because of implied odds, and maybe even unsuited hands like 9T, TJ. The beauty of these "speculative" hands is you know a lot on the flop and can easily fold if you miss.

If there is a lot of 3- and 4-betting preflop, you can only really afford to play big card hands, JJ+, KQ, AK, AQ are about it in a full ring (9-11 handed) game, although you might occasionally add TJ suited which is said to be the best hand to crack big pairs. Hell, in a tough, aggressive 10-handed game, I don't even like JJ or QQ that much..you are typically either crushed or looking at a coin flip, and they play poorly post-flop a lot of the time.

  • If people are going to downvote me here, perhaps they could help the community (yes, there are other people reading this!) by saying what they think is problematic about my logic here. Or are you just mad about my little "Round Table" joke? Come on..it's a joke, and others are also looking for clarification about what the OP really means too... So, what is downvotable about my reasoning here?
    – B. Alvn
    Mar 3, 2017 at 17:52

The more players at the table, the more important it is to play hands that can make the nuts on different run outs.

Two types of hands go up in value 9 handed:

  1. Hands like 10s-As, as they will flop top set.
  2. Suited aces, as they will make nut flushes.

Hands you should generally avoid playing especially in early position:

  1. Hands that make bad ends of a straight like 23 and 34.
  2. Suited hands that don't contain an ace.
  3. Low-mid pocket pairs.

These rules become more important as the number of players increases, but also when the amount of blinds increases.

  • You cannot flop a set with AT...sets are defined as making 3-of-a-kind with a pocket pair. Just sayin'...we all need to be on the same page when it comes to terminology.
    – B. Alvn
    Mar 3, 2017 at 18:00
  • 10s or Ts means pocket tens. As means aces. AT means an ace and a ten. ATo means an ace and a ten of a different suit. ATs means an ace and a ten of the same suit. Please these are basics. Check propokertools.com his documentation, it is a great place to start.
    – Raymond
    Mar 4, 2017 at 9:00
  • So with '10s-As' I mean 10s through As so every pocker pair with 10s or higher
    – Raymond
    Mar 4, 2017 at 9:52
  • @Paparazzi well sure, but the biggest pots are usually nuts vs second nuts. Especially on bigger tables with bigger stacks. The biggest swings happen here. If you can avoid these spots sometimes by not playing suited kings or low-mid pocket pairs it is extremely good for your roi. I honestly dont understand how you have 3000 rep, I am sorry.
    – Raymond
    Mar 8, 2017 at 8:55
  • @Paparazzi I will sure miss being educated by your comments like: "OMG 99% of hands won are not the nuts." Come on bro...
    – Raymond
    Mar 8, 2017 at 11:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.