A Guide to Poker Cheat Sheets

Just like the stabilisers on your first bike, poker cheat sheets are aids designed to help new players learn the rudiments of the game. Cheat sheets contain information in the form of pictures, graphs and charts which can be memorised or used as quick prompters when playing at the tables. Players can download and print these handy sheets - some of which are conveniently just the size of a credit card. The best cheat sheets should be clear, concise and not overpacked with detail.

Basic Poker Cheat Sheets

Hand Ranking For the raw beginner, the name and strength of each hand may be confusing at first but should be grasped after a few practice runs, preferably using a real deck of cards with friends. A cheat sheet that ranks poker hands is generally one of the first to be studied but should not be relied upon for too long. Typical sheets show pictorial examples of hand hierarchy from the royal flush down to ace high as well as outlining which hands beats which.

Table Position the place where you're seated at a poker table for each round is very important. It gives you an advantage and determines how or if you'll play your hand. Describing table position terminology such as button, blinds, late position, early position etc using mere words can lead to confusion. However, an image of a poker ring representing six or nine players with each term clearly illustrated can almost instantly help you understand this part of the game.

Starting Hand Guides

There are many variants of poker so how you act on your opening cards depend on the specific game. The most common game played today is Texas Hold'em and most poker cheat sheets are designed for this variant. Mastering how to play your starting hand may take time and you may have to study several charts.

  • Best starting hands: This information is often found in list form, but a colour coded chart can help you quickly establish which hole cards are the strongest.
  • How to play: Once you know the best starting hands, you then need to decide how to act when dealt them. Do you call, raise or fold? Your decisions will be based on several factors and there are poker cheat sheets available to help you decide, depending on your seat position and opponents.
  • Starting hand win percentages: This type of colour coded chart does the maths for you and outlines the percentage chance of you taking the pot based on your hole cards.

Are Cheat Sheets Worth It?

It's been said that poker takes a minute to learn but a lifetime to master. So can you actually learn it from a book or a series of poker cheat charts? Today's game is certainly about percentage play, maths and stats so if you're in it for the long haul being familiar with the odds can only give you an edge. In addition, as a beginner, a one-stop-shop sheet explaining poker terms can save you a lot of time googling.

However, being a successful poker player takes many qualities you can't learn from a sheet including tenacity, discipline, how to read people, instinct and when to take calculated risks. Practice and experience will help you hone some these poker essentials but when it comes to the triple A X factor you either have it or you don't.