Ultimate Poker Cheat Sheet 2024 (Free Download)

free poker cheat sheet
Learning how to play consistent winning poker isn't always so easy these days. 

So that is why I decided to put together this ultimate poker cheat sheet for you.

And it is totally free, no signup, no email, no nothing.

This guide below is going to give you everything that you need to know in order to start winning big right now at the lowest stakes online (NL2 or NL5) and live ($1/$2 or $2/$5).

This also goes for low stakes tournaments like $10, $20, $50 buyins and so on.  

Now, let me be clear though that this guide is NOT going to turn you into the next Daniel Negreanu or some other high stakes pro by next week.

That takes years and years of practice and dedication.

However, you are going to learn exactly what hands to play for example (just memorize the charts below).

Or if you prefer, I also show you exactly what hands to play in my new video: 9 PREFLOP Poker Tips For Beginners (Just Do This!)

Never miss my new poker videos, join 100,000+ who are already subscribed.

So, what you will find instead below is instead a simple set of guidelines to get you beating the lowest limit games right now.

If you follow everything in this guide and apply some patience as well (remember that results don't always come right away in poker), then I promise that your winnings will start improving dramatically in low stakes games.

How can I be so sure? Because I have used these same strategies myself as a 10+ year online poker pro traveling the world and making money from my laptop.

Your Poker Cheat Sheet

So here is your poker cheat sheet. All you have to do is right click and save.

You can also just click on it to view full screen.

poker cheat sheet

Now don't worry if some of this poker advice is still a bit confusing for you.

Because all of the details of this poker cheat sheet will be explained step by step throughout this article.

Let's get started!

1. Poker Cheat Sheet - Play at the Right Poker Room

The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you are playing against poker fish. So you have to pick the right poker room to play at. Now there are countless options if you play online.

But the #1 criteria that I always have is the number of fish (bad poker players). And the reason why is because the fish are how we make money in this game.

By the way, if you want to know the exact strategy I use to crush the fish (what hands to play, when to bet and raise etc.) just grab a copy of my free poker guide.

You also need to make sure that there are enough games available. For example, do you play tournaments or cash games?

It is important to make sure that the poker room you choose to play on has enough games running at the stakes you play.

Having a big player pool will also help you find the fish because it gives you more tables to choose from. This increases the chances of playing against the bad players.

Lastly, choosing the right poker room to play at will also depend on where you live. For example, both America and Australia currently have government regulation surrounding this.

If you have any doubts surrounding this, your best bet is always to just email the poker site directly and ask them about it.

If you are brand new to poker, I would also recommend that you watch my free poker course on YouTube.

Never miss my new poker videos, join 100,000+ who are already subscribed.

2. Poker Cheat Sheet - Have the Right Poker Bankroll

The next thing that you need is the correct poker bankroll. This is the total amount of money that you have available to play poker with.

I recommend having at least 30 buyins for any limit that you choose to play these days.

1 buyin = 100bb (big blinds).

So for example, if you play at the lowest limit online, which is typically 1c/2c with a $2 buyin, then you should have around $60 in your account before you play this game.

The reason why you need to have such a big bankroll is because of variance. "Variance" is the technical term that we use in poker to describe the natural ups and downs of the game.

Many people are surprised to learn that you will often need to play as much as 100k hands before you can really know your true results in poker.

As I said before, results don't come overnight in poker and sometimes you will lose for days or even weeks even though you are making all of the right decisions.

This is why it is so extremely important that you are adequately bankrolled for the games that you are playing in.

For more on bankroll, download my free poker cheat sheet, right here.

3. Texas Holdem Poker Hand Rankings Cheat Sheet

Also, before I get started with the poker strategy cheat sheet it is important that you know all of the poker hand rankings in Texas Holdem.

This is because I will be discussing them frequently throughout this article. If you are brand new to the game of poker then make sure that you study and memorize the chart below.

Poker cheat sheet

4. Texas Holdem Starting Hands Cheat Sheet

Alright, so now that we got that out of the way let's get to the real important part which is the Texas Holdem Starting Hands cheat sheet.

I am basically going to give you the keys to the vault below to beat the lowest stakes games online or live. If you follow everything that I say, I can guarantee that you will win.

How can I make such a bold claim? 

Because I have been a poker pro for 10+ years now and I have made over 6 figures playing in these games using the exact same strategy.

I want to stress once again though that these strategies are for the very lowest stakes games only. You should absolutely NOT use these strategies in mid or high stakes poker games.

My strategy is also very simplistic and will have you playing very tight. It is purposely meant to be that way.

And if you don't believe me that playing tight is the best approach, even the great Phil Ivey discusses this in his new advanced poker training program.

He has made $45,000,000 playing poker, enough said.

What Poker Starting Hands Should You Play?

Here are the positions at the poker table in Texas Holdem.

Texas holdem starting hands cheat sheet

EP = early position
MP = middle position
CO = cutoff
BTN = button
SB = small blind
BB = big blind

The action always starts before the flop in poker with EP and ends with the BB. After the flop, the action will always begin with the SB and flow clockwise to the BTN.

Here are the Poker Starting Hands You Should RFI With From Each Position

RFI stands for "raise first in." This means that you are the first person to enter the pot.

I recommend always raising when you are the first person to enter the pot. Why not limp (just call) though you might be asking?

Because it is simply a proven fact that raising is more profitable than limping over the long run.

Here are the results taken from my own database over very large sample sizes. They were published in my first book and they prove this point beyond a shadow of a doubt.

My Winrate When Limping

texs holdem cheat sheet

My Winrate When Raising

texas holdem starting hands cheat sheet

Conclusion: If you like money always raise, never limp.

So How Much Should You Raise It?

You should raise it to 3 times the size of the big blind as a default strategy. For example, the big blind is $1. You should make it $3 to go.

However, in low stakes live games or extremely loose online games you will often want to raise it more than 3x with your really good hands. After all, you don't want 5 callers when you have AA!

One last quick point. If there are limpers before you get a chance to act, you should raise with all of the hands listed below, just add an extra big blind to your raise size for each limper.

Note: If you see an "s" below it means to only play that hand if it is suited

EP - AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT, 99, 88, 77, 66, 55, 44, 33, 22, AK, AQ, AJ, KQ

MP - AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT, 99, 88, 77, 66, 55, 44, 33, 22, AK, AQ, AJ, KQ, KJ, QJ

CO - AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT, 99, 88, 77, 66, 55, 44, 33, 22, AK, AQ, AJ, AT, A9, KQ, KJ, QJ, JTs, T9s, 98s, 87s

BTN - AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT, 99, 88, 77, 66, 55, 44, 33, 22, AK, AQ, AJ, AT, A9, A8, A7, A6, A5, A4, A3, A2, KQ, KJ, KT, K9, QJ, JTs, T9s, 98s, 87s 76s

SB - AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT, 99, 88, 77, 66, 55, 44, 33, 22, AK, AQ, AJ, AT, A9, A8, A7, A6, A5, A4, A3, A2, KQ, KJ, KT, K9, QJ, JTs, T9s, 98s, 87s 76s

BB - You can't RFI from the BB. If it folds to you in the BB, then you win the pot (this is also called a "walk").

Special Note: If you play full ring (9 or 10 players at the table), then there will be 3 seats before EP which are often referred to as UTG or "under the gun."

From these seats you should RFI with these hands: AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT, 99, 88, 77, 66, AQ, AK

My Free Poker Book Teaches You How to Make $1000+ Per Month From Poker

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Best free poker cheat sheet
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Here are the poker starting hands you should call a preflop raise with from all positions.

  • TT, 99, 88, 77, 66, 55, 44, 33, 22, AQ, AJ, KQ, QJs, JTs

Here are the poker starting hands you should re-raise (3Bet) with from all positions.

  • AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK

Here are the poker starting hands you should call a re-raise (3Bet) with from all positions.

  • QQ, JJ, TT, 99, AQ, AK

Here are the poker starting hands that you should re-re-raise (4Bet) with from all positions.

  • AA, KK

5. Postflop Texas Holdem Cheat Sheet

Alright, let's get to the real heart of this Texas Holdem poker cheat sheet now and talk about what to do after the flop.

This is the most important part of the game because what you do on the flop, turn and river is what will have the largest impact on your winnings.

This is why most advanced poker training programs these days focus almost exclusively on postflop poker strategy.

Preflop poker is pretty straightforward and easy once you get the hang of the basics above. Postflop poker however is a lot more complex with many more moving parts.

That is why postflop poker is where the biggest winners truly get ahead!

I discuss this in my latest video: 5 Easy Poker Strategies EVERY Beginner Should Know

Never miss my new poker videos, join 100,000+ who are already subscribed.

When Should You Bet on the Flop in Texas Holdem?

If you followed my advice above then you should be the preflop raiser the majority of the time heading to the flop. This means that you are in control of the pot.

Always a good thing in poker.

You should make a continuation bet (CBet) in most situations against a single opponent. You should bet around 60% of the pot.

For example:

The pot has 10 cents in it on the flop. You should CBet 6 cents.

You should be making a CBet on the large majority of flops no matter what your hand is. Here are a few example flops that you should almost always CBet on versus one opponent:

  • AQK
  • KJ5
  • QQ6
  • K72
  • 888
  • T53

I think you get the idea, most of them.

This is why it is much better to focus on the flops that you should NOT make a CBet on when you have nothing.

These are:

  • 678
  • 89T

You want to avoid CBetting highly coordinated flops with all middle cards like these (when you have nothing) because the chances that you get called are just too high.

The reason why is because there are so many hands that hit these boards in some way with a pair, draw, pair + draw and so on.

The final note here is that if you are facing multiple opponents on the flop (two or more), then you need to have a much stronger hand to make a CBet. Top pair or a good draw (flush or straight) at least.

By the way, I discuss this in much more detail in my new Elite Poker University training. 

Learn EXACTLY how to start crushing small and mid stakes poker games, play semi-pro or even full time pro. Use my proven elite poker strategies to start winning fast.

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When Should You Call or Raise on the Flop in Texas Holdem?

What if you were the preflop caller though or somebody bets into you first on the flop?

Well, there are a few situations where you should just call.

Here are the Poker Hands You Should Call a Flop Bet With

  • You have a good draw (flush or straight)
  • You have top pair
  • You have middle pair

You should fold everything else.

Ok. So what about raising though?

Raising also has it's place in a good flop strategy. You only want to do it with really strong hands though.

Here are the Hands You Should Raise a Flop Bet With in Texas Holdem

  • Overpair
  • Two pair
  • 3 of a kind (trips or a set)
  • Monster draw (12+ outs, pair + flush draw for example)

I should also note that on the rare occasion you flop something ridiculously strong like a straight, flush, a full house, quads or better, then you should usually just call on the flop (slowplay).

Turn Poker Strategy Cheat Sheet

The turn is where things start to get really interesting in poker. I call the turn and the river the "big money streets" because this is where the bet sizes start to get significantly larger on average.

That is why it is very important that you make smart decisions on the turn and river.

I recommend that you only bet again on the turn with really strong hands such as:

  • Top pair (with a good kicker)
  • Overpair
  • Two pair
  • 3 of a kind

And so on.

Against weak/tight poker players (people who fold too much), you can also bluff sometimes if the turn comes with an Ace or a King.

These are called "scare cards" and you can often take down an easy pot against a weak player with a simple bet.

What if they bet into you on the turn though?

If they bet into you on the turn, then you should call with hands like top pair and legit draws like an open ended straight draw or a flush draw.

You definitely need to be folding everything else at this point though. I really cannot stress this point enough. Do not try to get fancy. Winning poker at these stakes is all about staying disciplined.

Lastly, you should only raise on the turn with extremely strong hands (two pair or better).

By the way, in case you were wondering how I keep reads on everyone like this while multi-tabling online poker, yes, I do use several software tools and aids.

For the complete list of all the poker software and tools I use at the tables, click here.

River Poker Strategy Cheat Sheet

The strategy on the river is very similar to the turn. The bet sizes are often very large on this street and so you need to be extremely careful with your decision making once again.

You should often only be betting again on the river for value. This means hands that are very likely to be the best hand, usually top pair or better.

It is ok to bluff the river once in awhile against the weak/tight players but once again it needs to be done on the right river scare cards.

For instance, you DON'T want to bluff the river on a board runout like:

  • J9642

Because that 2 on the river is not going to scare anyone from calling you down!

If the river was an Ace or a King instead though, then this can be a good card to bluff against a weak/tight player who folds too much.

I want to be very clear that you should never try to bluff the recreational poker players or even most of the regular players because they like to call too much at these stakes.

By the way, if you play online and need help quickly getting reads on all the bad players, I highly recommend getting a good free poker HUD.

River Value Betting Poker Strategy

With all that said, value betting is really the biggest key to your success at the lower limits. When you are playing against a bunch of players who like to call too much, making them pay when you have the best hand is how you crush them.

So you should be consistently trying to get value out of them on the river with all of your strong hands like top pair or better, but also with hands like 2nd pair, 3rd pair and sometimes even worse.

And remember that you do not need to make a big bet in these situations. In fact this is a very common mistake that people make, sizing their value bet too high.

As I discuss in multiple examples in Modern Small Stakes, often a value bet size of 1/2 pot or even 1/3 pot is optimal versus their calling range.

6. Stop Tilt From Ruining Your Poker Strategy

The final part of this texas holdem poker cheat sheet, which honestly is more important than anything else, is learning how to maintain your composure at the poker tables. Or in other words, stopping yourself from tilting.

Here's the thing:

When you are playing at the lowest limits you are going to encounter lot's of wild and unpredictable players. 

They are going to hit their suckouts, their coolers and their bad beats.

I discuss this in my latest video: 5 Things You Will NEVER See Good Poker Players Do

I even break down the math for you near the end of this video.

They simply will get lucky against you sometimes.

This is just a mathematical fact of the game. You can't change it. You can change how you react to it though.

You always need to remember that the long run is the only thing that actually matters in poker. Once again, 100k+ hands.

If you follow all of the advice given above in this poker cheat sheet, then I can pretty much guarantee you that you will win in the long run.

But if you get frustrated and go on tilt every time your aces get cracked or they hit that flush on the river, then you can ruin your entire poker career.

Believe me, I have seen it happen to so many people over the years. Even really talented players who may have been great one day if they could just learn to control their emotions a bit better.

It extremely important that you learn how to take these natural ups and downs of the game in stride or at the very least learn how to quit when you feel the frustration building.

You've worked too hard for this. Don't allow yourself to go on tilt and throw away all of your profits because of a few bad beats.

To learn more about how pros prevent themselves from going on tilt, grab my free poker cheat sheet, right here.

Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament Cheat Sheet

Now, everything that I have talked about so far in this Texas Hold'em cheat sheet is mostly geared towards cash games, because I am primarily a cash game player.

poker cheat sheet
My main online poker "office"
I have played 10+ million hands of poker in cash games and 1 million hands of tournament poker.

In a cash game you buy-in to the game with your own money and the blinds never change. You can also quit at any time.

A poker tournament is different though.

When you buy-in to a poker tournament you get chips instead. The goal of the tournament is the accumulate everyone's chips.

Usually the top 20% or so of the field get paid according to final finishing position, with most of the money going to the top 3 finishers at the final table.

The blinds go up at regular intervals and you cannot just get up and leave like in a cash game, or your chips will slowly get blinded away and you won't win.

Now, the great thing about Texas Hold'em poker tournaments though (compared to cash games), is that you can potentially win a huge amount of money.

My first big poker tournament win was for $800 and the buy-in was only $2. Not a bad ROI! (return on investment).

Early Stages and Middle Stages Poker Tournament Cheat Sheet

The best poker tournament strategy for you to use varies greatly depending on what stage of the tournament you are in.

Typically in the early going the average stack size is about 70bb-100bb which is the same as most cash games. BB stands for "big blinds" by the way.

Therefore, you can just use all of the same strategies that I already outlined above in this cheat sheet in the early stages of a tournament because the stack sizes are basically the exact same as a cash game.

However, by the middle stages of a Texas Hold'em poker tournament, the stacks are often 50bb or less. This means that you have to tighten up your ranges a bit.

You can't be playing a lot of suited connectors or suited aces for example anymore:


And the reason for this is that any time the stacks are shallow in Texas Hold'em, your implied odds go down, big time.

And what this means in plain English is that you can't fish around with speculative hands like this anymore, because the potential payoff just isn't there anymore.

It is better instead to stick to stronger hands like:


As these hands have a better chance of either making a strong top pair or even winning at showdown unimproved.

Bubble Tournament Poker Cheat Sheet

The "bubble" in a Texas Hold'em poker tournament is when the last few people (who won't get anything), are being eliminated.

Therefore, the play slows down tremendously as people sometimes stall and basically play extremely tight in order to try and make it "into the money."

So that is why this is a perfect opportunity to abuse the bubble in a poker tournament and make a lot of shoves with decent hands like:


Especially if it is folded to you in late position (button or the cutoff).

It is extremely important that you check who is in the blinds first though. You don't want to be shoving light if one of the big stacks (50bb or more) happens to be there.

You want to instead shove all-in versus the shorter stacks (especially the medium sized ones ~20bb). The reason why is because these guys are folding everything but AA or KK trying to make it into the money.

You this means that you can often profitably get away with shoving their blinds with a much, much lighter range.

Hands as weak as:


Because if they literally are only going to call you less than 5% of the time, you can make an absolute killing by stealing their blinds again and again.

Daniel Negreanu actually talks about this at length in his new Masterclass poker training.

He discusses how he has won many poker tournaments by building a big stack during the bubble by shoving on all the medium sized stacks who were too afraid to call.

It's a brilliant tournament poker strategy and I highly recommend it!

Final Table Tournament Poker Cheat Sheet

Ah the final table in a Texas Hold'em poker tournament, this is where dreams are made! This is usually the final 9 players still remaining in the tournament.

This is where a little known amateur named Chris Moneymaker for example won $2.5 million USD at the WSOP in 2003 to kick off a worldwide poker boom!

So if you have made it this far in a poker tournament, congratulations. But please study this part of the my poker tournament cheat sheet the most closely.

Because the difference between 9th place and 1st place can often be thousands of even millions of dollars!

Therefore, it is extremely important that you approach the final table with a winner's mentality and not "just happy to be here" like everybody else.

This is the time to go for the jugular, take chances and play like a beast.

The first thing to remember about the Final Table in a Texas Hold'em poker tournament is that most people will come into it with a short stack.

That is, they will have a stack size between 10bb-50bb.

This will change the nature of the way the game is played. Just like I mentioned before, you can't be playing all sorts of speculative hands like:


And this is because when the stacks are shorter like this, most of the action will take place preflop and on the flop.

In other words, there is very little postflop play on the turn and the river.

This means that you mostly want to only play strong hands like:


That have a strong chance of making a good top pair or winning the hand unimproved in the case of a pocket pair.

Now with all of that said, like I mentioned before, there is typically a vast difference in prize money between 9th place and 1st place.

There is an entire theory behind this called ICM poker strategy (independent chip model), which I have discussed in detail before.

But basically, like I just mentioned, you must play to win. So this is why my main advice for you in this tournament poker cheat sheet is to go for it at the final table.

You need to be aggressive and you need to take chances. If you just sit there waiting for pocket AA like everybody else, then you are going to get blinded out and finish in 8th or 9th.

The Final Table is when poker champions are born. This is where you need to unleash that inner poker beast and make it your mission to absolutely dominate the Final Table.

So whenever I make it to the final table I will be shoving preflop (especially in late position), with most reasonable strength hands:


And so on.

If I know somebody is playing extra cautious and has come to the Final Table to play it passive and wait for AA or KK, then I will be attacking them non-stop with even weaker hands than this.

You get the idea. I am not there to be a spectator like everybody else. I am there to win.

Basically, if you want to win a poker tournament, then you must be brave. You must have no fear. You need to play for 1st place money!

Final Thoughts

The poker strategies in this article and the Texas Holdem cheat sheet is extremely basic for the most part, and they were meant to be so.

There is tons of advanced poker training available these days to help you learn the elite strategies to crush good players once you start moving up.

But the reason why I kept it simple in this article is because if you follow the advice that I outlined above in the lowest stakes games, then you will turn a profit over the long term, guaranteed.

And that's the whole point. To get you turning a profit right now, no matter how unimpressive the results are. Winning is simply winning.

Some might complain that the advice above will have you playing too tight and it will be "boring." Well, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but winning poker was never meant to be fun or exciting all the time!

It requires discipline and dedication to the fundamentals no matter what. This is what winners do. And this is how I made a career out of this game and travel the world.

Now of course there is a lot more deeper level strategy that you need to know especially if you want to truly crush these stakes and move up to the higher limits.

So that is why I have actually put together a free poker strategy guide with my complete strategy on how I have crushed the micro stakes for the higher winnings in online poker history.

You can download my free poker cheat sheet right here.

Let me know your thoughts on this poker cheat sheet in the comments below! What poker strategies do you use in Texas Hold'em poker games?

Lastly, if you found this poker cheat sheet helpful do me a quick favor and hit that "Like" or "Tweet" button below. Thanks!

no limit holdem poker cheat sheet


  1. Hi Nathan

    Many thanks for your continued articles. I think the most overlooked point in many of these though is how to react in face of a re-raise, or big river bet. I think mostly it's correct to fold but obviously some opponents will begin to take advantage of this if you fold too often, or bluff you off the river if you check and don't 3 barrel. I know it's always case/opponent specific, but some pointers in this regard would be very helpful. Are there any HUD stats you consider with regards to these? Could be an idea for your next article!

    1. Thanks DaFrench glad I could help! I agree that the situations you describe are difficult. They are very player dependent as well.

      I didn't want to get into that too much in this article though because I wrote it for low stakes players in order to get them winning right now. And that means keeping everything as simple as possible.

      Also, I don't think you will find many opponents at the stakes discussed in this article who are capable of finding imbalances in your river play and then exploiting that correctly as well.

      But I do cover this in more advanced articles on this site and in even greater detail in my books, Modern Small Stakes and The Micro Stakes Playbook in particular.

    2. Well, I wouldn't say they're exactly finding imbalances in river play per se. It's more a case of if you're aggressing OOP and they've called your flop and turn bets, you get to the river and suddenly you check, then generally they will have a stab at it whether they have it or not, and it will generally be expensive - like 2/3 to 3/4 pot, which leaves us in tricky spots if you have say just TPTK, a lot of the time they have it as well like they've fluked a 2 pair or their draw hit on the river card, which is likely why we checked in the first place hoping for a cheap SD, but a good percentage of the time they also have air, busted draws, etc. I'd say maybe 2/3 of time they do actually have it and 1/3 time they don't. SO for me it's about settling on a sound basis for making that decision on whether to pay the piper or not.

    3. @DaFrench since you said 2/3 of the time they also have it and 1/3 they dont ... then statistically 2/3 it's more than 1/3 so you already know what to do if you base your answer on statistics

  2. Ok Nathan,I get it. Strict fundamentals first. Its amazing hkw easy it ia to deviate even a little bit and bad habits creep in and whammo lol.
    Excellent cheatsheet. Exactly what i was looking for. Today I am starting my own bankroll challenge @ 888 and will follow these instructions to a T. If anyone wants to follow my progress I go by the name ReneEmmell!
    As always Nate...Thank you!

    1. Thanks Rene! And all the best in your bankroll challenge as well. Are you blogging about it anywhere if people want to follow your progress?

    2. The thought hadnt crossed my mind. But i did sign up to your forum. Lol

  3. Hello there! My name is Sabin, and i Thank you from Romania for this wonderful article...this is the summary that I needed. I'm wondering still...is there a limit for a raising for wich I should call? I guess this is my biggest problem.
    For example, on the flop, if i have top pair and someone else raises before me 2-3 * pot or goes all in...should I call?

    1. Thanks Sabin glad I could help! Usually with top pair on the flop you don't want the pot to get too big. And you certainly don't want to go all-in because somebody will often have a better hand. So I would suggest just calling a bet with your top pair on the flop. If a raising war is going on though, then you should often fold.

    2. @Sabin I am also from Romania .. I never heard of a Romanian name called "Sabin" ... are you a man or a woman ?

    3. Against fish who can't fold to 3bets try to set up a 3spr pot and shove on the flop with top pair. Works best with good pocket pairs and fish who take 3bets personally and never fold to them :)

  4. I play on bovada,u can't table select or use a HUD, your opinion on playing on bovada?also I play 50nl and100 nl,is your cheat sheet that much difference as we move away from the micros,I understand the player's are much better,tha tha for all your hard work,your information is awesome.

    1. Hi 123shank thanks for the kind words!

      This cheat sheet is a beginner level article written for NL2 and NL5 players, not NL50 or NL100. I have many more advanced articles on this site meant for higher stakes and of course my books also cover much more advanced strategy as well.

      Bovada is one of the poker rooms that I recommend since the games are typically pretty good and they are USA friendly. Their use of anonymous tables and the inability to table select changes things a bit though. I have covered how to play against unknowns before here on my blog, in my books and in my Youtube videos. There will be more content on that in the future as well.

  5. Hey Nathan

    Me again. Just to give you some feedback as I applied the sheet to my session tonight. Stuck to it to a T and I have to say the results were really positive for a first try. Made me realize I'd been playing way too many hands before, hands like suited Ax's that I would always grab a look at a flop with, and they're not on your sheet so I folded them all, and behold the improvement. I guess I was getting myself into complicated spots by trying to be too tricky. Obviously was just one session but I'll keep you posted as I do a load more.

    Just a couple of questions that came up while using the sheet: How are we treating limpers before us? Do we carry on as if they weren't there and go ahead as if we are raising first in? It's what I generally did which seemed to work ok, adding an extra blind onto my initial raise, just had to be careful to steer clear of those trappy EP limp-shoves, cos we know what that means! But should we also maybe tighten the range slightly with a prior limper?

    Also, do we have no 3bet flatting range? are we just sticking to 4bet or out?

    1. Hey DaFrench,

      Glad you found this poker cheat sheet helpful. It was meant to be incredibly basic for extremely low stakes players to get them winning right now.

      Ya I forgot to mention limpers in this article but what you are doing is exactly what I would recommend. Raise the same range as suggested above and add a big blind to the raise size.

      Same thing with the 3Bet flatting range, just forgot to cover it in this article. My recommendation would be tight once again, 99+, AQ and AK.

      I am actually going to edit both of these into the article right now. Thanks for pointing them out.

  6. Nathan would you change these ranges (calling and 3 betting) when we're on the blinds?

    1. No I wouldn't change them. This is a beginner level article to get people who are struggling at the very lowest stakes to finally start winning right now. So therefore, simplicity is key.

  7. Hello Nathan

    about your opinion where to play with the most amount of fishes in 2018 you recomended 888 poker and PartyPoker.
    888Poker room has to big of a RAKE and almost no RAKEback so i dont see how microstakes grinders can survive there despite soft game.
    PartyPoker is regheavy ( 9regs/1 fish) + more and more people saying there are a lot of BOTS and the RAKE is big on micros as well.
    I am looking forward for your opinoin.

    1. Hey miha,

      Most of the major poker sites these days are comparable in terms of rake and rakeback. However, you should always do your homework before signing up for any poker site and check for yourself.

  8. I know its a small variance but QTs is my favorite hand but you don't play it at all. Is it just too weak against other ranges?

    1. Hey Michael,

      These ranges above are just rough guides. If you add a hand like QTs into the mix it is totally fine. I certainly play this hand in many situations myself.

  9. Hi Nathan and all readers!
    Great article, lays the basics of ABC Poker.
    I have a question about a special situation.:
    sitting at a table full of loose passive players.
    Their stacks are between 15bb and 40bb
    Preflop they play is limp, if any rise happens they call.
    You cant steal their blinds because they call with any 2 piece of paper.
    On the flop they will call if they have any pair or draw.

    My question is :how would you change your prefop game?
    Does it worth to raise with small pairs or better just limp with them?
    (If you raise 3 bb you dont have the implied odds against a villain with short stack)
    Does it worth to play small suited connectors at all against short stack loose passive opponent?
    How would you change your preflop starting hands in that situation?
    Thanx for answer

    1. Thanks glad this article helped!

      Shortstack poker is a completely different game. I was assuming full stacks throughout this article since this is how the vast majority of online games (and even most live) are. I am by no means a shortstack expert so I wouldn't want to comment on this hypothetical game.

  10. Hi Nathan, have loved watching all of your videos and reading your blog posts for some time now and this one is another example of great content that so many of us can learn from.

    The only thing that I think you didn't talk about that I would love to get some insight on is your Big Blind defending range against open raises from different positions. I try to play a mostly 3Bet or fold strategy from the BB but will just call to close the action with a lot of suited broadways which I find to have a fair few reverse implied odds when I flop Top Pair with a worse kicker than my opponents.

    Is there any chance you'd be able to make a short post or even a YouTube video about your optimum nl2 big blind stategy?

    Thanks for everything as always,

    Nic from the UK

    1. Thanks for the kind words Nic! My goal in this article was to keep everything as simple as possible. A cheat sheet isn't going to be very useful if it is super complex. So stuff like big blind defending ranges I cover in other articles and in my books.

  11. Hello Nathan.

    First of all, great article, once again. :)

    I've some doubts. This raise hands in preflop are more tight that the hands you talk in your CTM book. Should be that tight or it was just a way to put it even more simple to a sheet?

    In BB we can be the first to raise, if their was a SB complete, or some limps. What is the range that we should raise in BB against a complete or against one or more limps?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi andrtins,

      Thanks! This is a beginner level article and therefore the ranges are extremely simple and very tight.

    2. Thank you Nathan!

  12. I agree with you, Nathan: it's critical to master the basics before trying to get creative. The Milwaukee Braves had a pitcher back in the day named Bob Buhl. He commented that "young pitchers today want to learn the tricks of the trade before they've learned the trade". It's true in poker today. Tight play won't get you miraculous results, but as a rule it will keep you out of trouble and will get you steady returns, kind of the difference between what you earn on municipal bonds and what you can get out of junk bonds. And every top pro has gone down in flames with creative play and a refusal to believe that the other guy really has them beat. I've seen this happen to Negreanu more times than I can count. Best not to raise up more demons than you can lay down.

  13. Hi Nathan,

    First of all thank you for your articles and for your books - you are a great inspiration.

    I have a question about how to proceed in a 3bet pot when you are the caller. Often I find myself with middle pair or an overpair facing a big bet. I am struggling a bit on how to proceed. Any insights would be highly appreciated.

    Best regards,


    1. Hey Ronny,

      I wrote a big article which covers everything to do with 3Bets. You can find it here:


  14. Hi Nathan,
    I have a question.. Whats happen if there are limpers at BB? Which it will be our hands to RFI are?

    1. Hey Miguel,

      That is a more advanced situation that depends on the players involved. I talk about this a lot in my books.

  15. Hi Nathan....I'm still not quite certain about something....In your Cheat Sheet, you strongly recommend RFI (Raising 1st In)...but then you include an addendum stating
    "One last quick point. If there are limpers before you get a chance to act, you should raise with all of the hands listed below, just add an extra big blind to your raise size for each limper."....So which is it? If the latter, then there will be/cannot be, any "RFI situations", it becomes Raising with ALL starting hands am I correct?....Thank you.....Ron

    1. Hey Ron,

      I don't view limpers as any different than an RFI situation because limpers are essentially dead money to me. So I just raise my entire normal range and then add an extra big blind for each limper as discussed in this article.

    2. Me again Nathan.....I just want to be sure that I am right about your cheat sheet. You are saying that I should raise any and all limpers from the button with 76s, 22, and A2 offsuit?.....Surely you jest?....Ron

  16. Hi Nathan!
    This poker cheat sheet just work for NL2-5 or I can use it too for nl10-25?
    Or for example, should I use this strategy with fish and play a balanced loose agressive strategy vs reg on nl10-25?

    1. Hey Murilo,

      This poker cheat sheet is good for all low limit games that have some weak regs and fish. If you happen to be in a game with all strong regs (I wouldn't recommend playing in a game like this in the first place), then you should definitely make some balance adjustments.

  17. Hey Nathan, thinking of moving to Thailand soon to grind and work on my game. Mainly focusing on low-mid stakes MTTs for now but want to get into cash as well if profitable. Played professionally from 2007-2011 then was doing engineering but life has come full circle and poker is the only option for me now. Only have a few thousand in my stars account and planning to stay 3 months with my accommodations paid and $2000 in living expenses. Do you offer coaching in Thailand? Best areas/places to rent a place? Thanks

    1. Hey Ryan,

      Sorry but I don't do coaching anymore.

      Best place to live in Thailand totally depends on what you want. Most poker players are in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Phuket.

      I cover all of this in my massive moving to Thailand post which I just updated:


  18. Hi Nathan, quick q about the BB. You say 'You can't RFI from the BB' so don't give any hands for it, but what if there are limpers? Is it as simple as use the Btn range for PFRs if it is the SB who limped, or the SB range for PFRs if anyone else limped, or should we be checking everything?

    1. Oops ya, I probably should have mentioned that situation since it does happen a fair bit at the lower stakes especially. Yes, I will raise quite a bit. It depends how many limpers there are though. Also, I probably don't raise quite a loose as I would from the button since we will still have to play the hand OOP when called. Hope that makes sense.

  19. Dumb question:
    When you say play 15% or 20% of hands (6max vs full), are you including the hands you're playing from blinds or only hands you're raising with?

    If like to start with your tight range mentioned and then loosen up a bit as I get more experience, but I'm not sure whether to calculate in those blinds hands or not.

    1. Yes, it includes the blinds as well. Although these recommendations are just rough rules of thumb. You have to adjust depending on your position at the table. For example, the SB is a bad position at the table so I will play tighter here.