This chart details the Hole Cards that we believe you should open with in an 8-max No-Limit Hold ‘Em tournament without antes – such as Match Poker Online’s™ Scrap game. They are dependent on your position, explained below.

The positions around a table in an 8-player game, clockwise from the Dealer Button, are:

  1. Button/Dealer (BTN)
  2. Small Blind (SB)
  3. Big Blind (BB)
  4. Under The Gun (UTG)
  5. Under The Gun +1 (UTG+1)
  6. Lojack (LJ)
  7. Hijack (HJ)
  8. Cutoff (CO)

Pre-Flop Ranges Chart for 8-Max Play by Match Poker Online

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How to interpret this chart:

This chart shows all the possible Hole Cards you could be dealt – ‘s’ for ‘suited’ and ‘o’ for ‘offsuit’.

When you are UTG (i.e. directly to the left of the Big Blind), this chart suggests you should only open (i.e. bet first) with the cards in the Red boxes.
The same goes for UTG+1 (i.e. left of UTG).

When you are in the Lojack (LJ) or Hijack (HJ) positions, more hand combinations open up. The chart suggests you can now open with all of the cards in the Orange boxes in addition to the ones in the Red boxes.

In the Cutoff position, even more hand combinations open up. The chart now suggests you can open with all of the cards in the Yellow boxes in addition to the ones in the Orange and Red boxes.

Next you reach the Button and Small Blind, where more options are available to you, including all of those that were available in the earlier positions. In these positions, the chart suggests you can open with any cards in any of the coloured boxes.

Any boxes that are white are those you would usually never open.

Lastly, once you are familiar with this chart and have applied it in practise, you’ll begin to learn how to deviate from these guidelines when the situation calls for it. [Click here to learn why position is so important in poker!]

Learning to quickly recognise what position you are in and how this translates to what hands you should open with will quickly improve your play. We see nothing wrong with printing this guide out and following it religiously in Scrap games (as well as in the first stage of Elimination games) as you learn to find your feet in poker. Diligence is key at this stage in your learning.

Watch your Rating Points soar as you learn to follow this guide!

*Editors Note: We frequently get feedback from players that this chart has led them astray. For example: “I had K3o on the Button and folded, per this chart, and the Flop came out 3-3-K. I could’ve won 3000 chips because three other people played that hand, who I would’ve beaten.”

To this, our response is that we apologise for leading you astray in that hand, but, in the long run, this chart will ensure you end up in front. We explain this in our article on Expected Value – an integral concept for all aspirational poker players.