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Using Hand Ranges to Win at A Poker Table


In a game of cricket, there are different positions that a player holds to cover a significant area of the cricket field. Players are not positioned at random, no matter how effortless the formation may seem to the untrained eye. A great amount of thought and strategic planning is involved in the positioning of players to make sure that they are able to catch the ball every single time the batsman hits it. Poker online also considers a similar strategy, exactly like cricket. 

A Hand Rage refers to all the sets of hands that you or your opponent may hold at a particular point in time. Picturing what hand range your opponent may hold is a valuable strategy because it allows you to think about all the possible outcomes of their move. Poker hands are also visualized in the form of grids. Here is an example:

This grid is used as a graphical representation of a range which is useful to easily determine what cards you hold and what your opponent may hold. A range starts before the flop where each poker player online is dealt with their set of cards. Once a player decides to put money into the flop, some of the cards from the deck are revealed and we can accordingly refer to the grid to predict what hand the people in the table hold.

We shall cover the following topics in this article:

  • Forms of poker Hands
  • Hand Range Skills
  • Pre and Post flop Strategy to play Hand Range
  • Forms of poker Hands

There are mainly 4 forms of hand ranges in poker online as mentioned below:

  • The Poker Hand Matrix: It is a grid of 13×13 with 169 possible starting hands. A poker online hand matrix is one of the most popular ways to visualize the set of hands that your opponent might hold. 
  • Percentage Form: This poker range tells you the percentage of all possible standings of hand. Percentage form is very helpful to mend your opponent’s preflop range. 
  • Range Combo: To count your way down to how many combinations your opponent can make, it is useful to use a ranged combo. 
  • Range Stand: It is a series of texts that highlights all of the chosen hands.
  • Hand Range Skills

The tell of a good poker player online is their understanding of their opponent’s next set of hands within seconds. Of course, it is easier said than done but it is not something impossible to achieve. Practicing hand ranges away from the poker table can leave onlookers in awe of your play.  A few keys to improving your hand reading are mentioned below – 

  • Calculate the rough estimate of the possible plays. You do not have to know the exact number to win the game- so be aggressive. 
  • Always remember- even if you make a mistake while assigning ranges, it won’t change the face of the whole game. 
  • Understanding hand ranges requires tons of handwork and invested hours. Exceptional poker players practice these skills off the table as well as on the table to understand their hand ranges. 

The hallmark of a good player and a new player with good luck is pretty much the same but the only difference is that the professional player knows his calls and folds as if he is reading into their opponent’s soul whereas a new guy just relies on his luck. And believe me, the one who knows his game tends to get better poker ratings than the one who is simply relying on good luck. Which one are you?

There are so many hand ranges and tactics one can follow to win an online poker game but it is not necessary that all those tactics fit you right. So, what do we do? We make our own Hand Range. Create Different ranges for yourself to use during different situations to analyze what cards your opponent holds.

  • Pre-Flop & Post-Flop Strategy every player needs to know 
  • Pre-Flop: This is a stage or time in-game when both players are allocated their 2 hole cards and here, players are awaited to make a decision to enter the game or not. 

Strategy to play Pre-Flop: 

  1. Be advancing 
  2. Pay attention to your opponent’s body language and a stack of cards.
  3. Start playing with bold body posture and lighten with every move. 
  • Post-Flop: As the name suggests all the decision-making is done after the flop         unlike during Pre-Flop.  

Strategy to play post-Flop: 

  1. Fold your cards when necessary 
  2. Don’t play rough 
  3. Keep away from flipping the coin 

Besides all of these, there is one very specific concept i.e GTO (Game Theory Optimal) to help us correctly counter the opponent’s bet & raise. 

  1. Minimum Defense Frequency– It refers to the minimum no. of calls or raises to bet. It explains how overfolding can turn the game in your opponent’s favor. 
  2. Big Blind Defense– This theory talks about how thoroughly you should be thinking about defending your large part of range during Pre-flop. 
  3. Varying Playstyles– Playing various opponents differently 

By rightfully using Game Theory Optimal you are more likely to win regardless of how strong the person in front of you is. Using Game theory Optimal you can avoid thinking in circles as it helps you with level-based thinking on what your opponent has or what your opponent might use. Game Theory Optimal also helps you with objective analysis and making adjustments to your range and most importantly helps you to not make sudden moves on assumptions. 


There are a ton of possibilities and tricks we can try to win a game of online poker but none of these tips & tricks promise you victory. Beginners and professional players both are still trying to figure out the game of poker and with every game, we end up finding something new and exciting. There are no promises of winning in this game but practice and hard work can surely take you a long way. This means working on your game on and off the table. It is also important to understand that all the strategies are merely nothing if you’re not willing to always be on your A-game. We hope we were able to convey a good idea on playing Hand Ranges in poker and their variations that can help you win games.

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