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.
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.
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.
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:
- Hands like 10s-As, as they will flop top set.
- Suited aces, as they will make nut flushes.
Hands you should generally avoid playing especially in early position:
- Hands that make bad ends of a straight like 23 and 34.
- Suited hands that don't contain an ace.
- Low-mid pocket pairs.
These rules become more important as the number of players increases, but also when the amount of blinds increases.