Texas Hold’em Poker Strategy: Hand Groupings

In online Texas hold’em the hands you can hold will be usually grouped with the help of two different big categorizations.

There was a need from the beginning of the poker game for some way to tell exactly which hands are weak and which are strong, which are weaker when comparing and which hands should be kept or thrown. This is why, sometime ago, there has been created a chart that explains and clarifies the hand rankings in hold’em. Each and every possible hand has been evaluated and included in this chart, and the odds for each hand, in all types of drawing situations, have been compared to the odds of similar hand and then accordingly classified. The hand grouping is made in eight distinct groups, starting from group 1, the group considered to have the highest odds and ending with group eight which is with little exceptions the group of very low hands, with very low odds, that are usually not to be played.

Also, in each group the hands are placed in order, from the ones that have been proved to be the strongest to the ones that are the weakest within that group.

The most known and appreciated chart of hands has been developed by two poker analysts and writers that have written book and analysis on poker strategies and theory. Their names are David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth and their hand grouping has been first published in the book named “Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players”. The Sklansky Hold’em Hand Groupings are presented below:

Group 1: A-A, K-K, Q-Q, J-J, A-Ks

Group2: T-T, A-Qs, A-Js, K-Qs, A-K

Group3: 9-9, J-Ts, Q-Js, K-Js, A-Ts, A-Q

Group4: T-9s, K-Q, 8-8, Q-Ts, 9-8s, J-9s, A-J, K-Ts

Group5: 7-7, 8-7s, Q-9s, T-8s, K-J, Q-J, J-T, 7-6s, 9-7s, A-xs, 6-5s

Group6: 6-6, A-T, 5-5, 8-6s, K-T, Q-T, 5-4s, K-9s, J-8s, 7-5s

Group7: 4-4, J-9, 6-4s, T-9, 5-3s, 3-3, 98-, 4-3s, 2-2, K-xs, T-7s, Q-8s

Group8: 8-7, A-9, Q-9, 7-6, 4-2s, 3-2s, 9-6s, 8-5s, J-8, J-7s, 6-5, 5-4, 7-4s, K-9, T-8, 4-3

After this table has been successfully used by many experts, someone has researched for a diploma paper in the university’s senior year a different hand grouping. This is based on the one above and it demonstrates it, but it also shows that it is not complete and additional hands have been added and improved. The Modified Hold’em Hand Grouping is:

Group 1: A-A K-K Q-Q J-J A-Ks

Group 2: T-T A-Qs A-Js K-Qs A-K

Group 3: 9-9 K-Ts Q-Js K-Js A-Ts A-Q

Group 4: A-8s K-Q 8-8 Q-Ts A-9s A-T A-J J-Ts

Group 5: 7-7 Q-9s K-J Q-J J-T A-7s A-6s A-5s A-4s A-3s A-2s J-9s T-9s K-9s K-T Q-T

Group 6: 6-6 J-8s 9-8s T-8s 5-5 J-9 4-3s 7-5s T-9 3-3 9-8 6-4s 2-2 K-8s K-7s K-6s K-5s K-4s K-3s K-2s Q-8s 4-4 8-7s 9-7s

Group 7: 8-7 5-3s A-9 Q-9 7-6s 4-2s 3-2s 9-6s 8-5s J-8 J-7s 6-5 5-4 7-4s K-9 T-8 7-6 6-5s 5-4s 8-6s

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