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StrategyPoker Basics

Sample Hand Format

1. Introduction

This article will show you how to interpret the format used when looking at sample hands in the articles and forums at PokerStrategy.com.

Sample hands always look something like this:

0.50/1.00 No-Limit Hold'em (6 handed)
Pre-flop: Hero is CO with K, K
2 folds, Hero raises to $4,00, BU folds, SB calls $3.50, BB folds.

Flop: ($9,00) 9, A , 2 (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $6.00, SB calls $6.00.

Turn: ($21,00) A (2 players)
SB checks, Hero checks.

River: ($21,00) 6 (2 players)
SB bets $12, Hero folds

2. What does all this mean?

Who is Hero?

Hero is the person playing the hand.

The different streets

Each sample hand shows the actions of each player on each street, as well as the community cards, size of the pot and number of players in the hand on that street.

  • Pre-flop: The round before any community cards are revealed
  • Flop: The round in which the first 3 community cards are revealed
  • Turn: The round in which the 4th community card is revealed
  • River: The round in which the final community card is revealed

The positions at a poker table


Late
Late Positions
Middle
Middle Positions
Dealer
Button
Early
Early Positions
Blinds    

The players' positions are always noted in the sample hand format. Each position is abbreviated as follows:

  • Early Positions: UTG, UTG+1, UTG+2
  • Middle Positions: MP1, MP2, MP3
  • Late Positions: CO, BU (Dealer)
  • Blinds: SB (Small Blind), BB (Big Blind)

Players' actions

XY checks That player checks.
XY folds That player folds.
2 folds Two players fold in a row.
3 folds Three players fold in a row.
   
XY bets That player bets. The amount is also given in NL sample hands.
XY calls That player calls. The amount is also given in NL sample hands.
XY raises That player raises. The amount is also given in NL sample hands. (XY raises to $xx)
   
XY 3bets Fixed Limit: That player raises after a bet and a raise were made in front of him.
XY caps Fixed Limit: That player raises after a bet and two raises were made in front of him. The cap is the last raise allowed in a FL betting round.


3. Sample hands step-by-step


0,50/1,00 No-Limit Hold'em (6 handed)

Pre-flop: Hero is CO with K, K
2 folds, Hero raises to $4,00, BU folds, SB calls $3.50, BB folds.

Flop: ($9,00) 9, A , 2 (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $6.00, SB calls $6.00.

Turn: ($21,00) A (2 players)
SB checks, Hero checks.

River: ($21,00) 6 (2 players)
SB bets $12, Hero folds


0,50/1,00 No-Limit Hold'em (6 handed)
This shows you that the example is from a No Limit Hold'em game with a 0.50 SB and 1.00 BB (NL100). There are 6 active players at the start of the hand (6 handed).

Pre-flop: Hero is CO with K, K
The person playing this hand, Hero, is sitting in the CO position (to the dealer's immediate right).

2 folds, Hero raises to $4,00, BU folds, SB calls $3.50, BB folds.
Both players in front of Hero fold (2 folds). Hero then raises to $4.00. The player on the button (BU) folds. The player in the Small Blind calls $3.50 and the Big Blind folds.

Flop: ($9,00) 9, A , 2 (2 players)
There are $9 in the pot and 2 players in the hand as the flop is revealed. The three cards in the flop are the nine of hearts, ace of diamonds and two of clubs.

SB checks, Hero bets $6.00, SB calls $6.00.
The player in the Small Blind checks. Hero bets $6 and the Small Blind calls $6.

Turn: ($21,00) A (2 players)
There are $21 in the pot and 2 players in the hand as the ace of hearts is revealed on the turn.

SB checks, Hero checks.
Both players check.

River: ($21,00) 6 (2 players)
There are $21 in the pot and two players in the hand as the six of spades is revealed on the river.

SB bets $12, Hero folds

The Small Blind bets $12.00 (SB bets $12) and Hero folds.
 

Comments (43)

#1 Koshburger, 16 Jan 10 10:25

ok

#2 Rap1d007, 05 Mar 10 21:35

nice reading

#3 voddies, 10 Jun 12 09:58

Always helps coming back to articles like these for a refresher to remember what you are supposed to do and get out of nasty little habits we tend to pick up for some reason in our play...

#4 genia2q, 10 Jul 13 16:34

very helpful, good to keep it in practice. Its helping me lots thanks.

#5 genia2q, 10 Jul 13 16:56

Yes, this article was easy and good to memorise it, thank you.

#6 lollo1588, 27 Jul 13 11:51

ok

#7 kanpoker, 01 Nov 13 04:48

Great

#8 omashiplay, 07 Dec 13 17:28

^_^

#9 trzasku, 20 Feb 14 10:04

Useful article, thank you! :)

#10 blAAki32, 28 Feb 14 15:53

nice article :)

#11 Marsimillion, 06 Apr 14 21:35

good review - very useful to analyze hands like these

#12 davidze, 24 Apr 14 18:04

I understand there are an extreme variety of hands SB could have had. So based upon his bet after the river the appropriate action for Hero was to fold his two pair aa/kk? OR could have SB just been bluffing?

#13 davidze, 24 Apr 14 18:09

an addition to comment #12 .. if an online game it would have been very difficult to determine SB action with a $12 bet you can only assume from his betting pattern that yes he did have Hero beat. BUT now the same scenario in a live game sitting at the table I would have to say based upon SB actions at the table he could have the nut or is bluffing I would have to watch him live and see what he did when he bet and then after before I would make a decision. Hmmmm

#14 rebelbhoy67, 10 Jul 14 20:20

kool

#15 biggood, 02 Sep 14 21:38

nice jobs

#16 tashaleigh3, 09 Oct 14 10:00

ok

#17 catblank, 14 Oct 14 09:01

ok

#18 BenBlakeIsTilting, 20 Nov 14 03:56

ok

#19 Anessus, 03 Dec 14 12:23

ok

#20 KosttuxxRNMD, 03 Jan 15 20:36

nice tips

#21 Yakut228, 07 Feb 15 01:49

что это?

#22 hud400, 23 Mar 15 16:04

the article was easy to read and follow. the advise to fold is generally good advise. Online trackers and managers give he experienced program user an advantage they might not have in live play. <br /> This article is clearer than the range final call explanation. They could have explained the <br /> suggest action and reactions.

#23 mirth, 25 Mar 15 19:52

this part should perhaps be included before there is reference to sample hands. why show sample hands in examples and then only later explain how to read them?

#24 BrownGreen, 27 Mar 15 12:28

Great!

#25 thewinemaker, 28 Mar 15 17:46

Nice slide to giving the 1st lesson on reading on sample hand format and 1st lesson on reading your opponent. Lol

#26 faberyajo, 10 Jun 15 14:16

ok

#27 PokarFace, 23 Jul 15 16:13

They even have hand notation just like chess has game notation to replay your game xD

#28 gohomeman2690, 31 Oct 15 15:27

ok

#29 77Woody77, 29 Nov 15 02:10

ok

#30 MrPink578, 01 Dec 15 11:47

Great!

#31 bubamarasr, 20 Jan 16 22:51

Read it. Thank you.

#32 setyaida, 25 Jan 16 11:08

Excelent

#33 babysim90, 07 Feb 16 16:54

Great

#34 020donny, 01 Apr 16 11:11

Great

#35 sedinbsng, 01 Apr 16 20:37

ok

#36 pharaonsgold, 07 Apr 16 00:40

ok

#37 CroZoZo, 26 Apr 16 13:20

ok

#38 TetonSouix, 16 May 16 02:39

good referral,,,

#39 Tezza459, 25 May 16 15:26

I enjoy being on this site because I have been learning so much about Poker and is making me a wiser gambler

#40 Freelemon, 30 May 16 18:28

k

#41 armorrrat, 08 Jun 16 19:13

Good, clear, pro.

#42 kerpen1980, 29 Jun 16 01:28

Great.

#43 Robinsko, 09 Aug 16 18:22

?