Poker is a game where we can always be learning and growing. Make sure to subscribe to the 888poker youtube channel so you don’t miss any of our strategy tips. Here are 5 tips to help you get your poker hand selection right.


Tip 1: Adjust for stack sizes

It’s important to know which hands play better for short stacks and which are great for deeper stacks.

A well-known thing in poker is that you want to play big pots when you have big hands. That means that when you’re deepstacked, you should prioritize hole cards/holdings that can make very strong hands like straights and flushes.

So, a hand like T9 suited is a perfect example of a good deepstacked hand and if it hits you get paid.

When you’re shorter, however, any top pair is good enough to put all your chips in the middle, so a hand like KJo is a good example of a hand that can easily make a strong top pair!

Tip 2: Position Matters

When you’re in early position, there are a lot of people left to act after you. It’s more likely that at least one of them is going to have a strong hand and also position on you postflop. That makes everything more complicated, so you should avoid playing marginal hands from early position.

When you’re on the button, however, you’re always going to act last and have an informational advantage on the other players, so it makes sense to widen your range!

Tip 3: Defend your big blind

Poker is a game of pot odds, equities and position. When you’re in the big blind, antes are in play and someone min raises, you’re getting more than 4:1 on a call which are amazing odds. So, you should defend your big blind with a very wide range of hands.

Even getting a great price, we’re still going to be out of position postflop against a stronger range than ours, so we shouldn’t play the very garbage hands, but any suited hand, any Ace and any connected hand is going to be good enough to see a flop!

Tip 4: Pay attention to the button and big blind.

The button is going to have position on you every time and the big blind is usually going to play a wide range of hands. If we have strong and aggressive opponents in either of these positions, we should avoid opening the weakest hands of our range. Strong players will put a lot of pressure on us postflop. There are likely better spots at the table to attack.

On the other hand, if we have weaker players in these positions, that makes our post flop play a lot more straight forward and we can play more hands against them.

Tip 5: Know when to raise and when to jam

When we have AA, we always want to have action. Jamming might scare away some of the hands that would give us action if we had just raised.

So, our strong hands with good playability both pre and postflop are gonna prefer raising instead of jamming.

There are some hands that, even being strong, are more challenging to play postflop. Think about 88 for example. Most of the time it’s gonna be the strongest hand preflop but you often see overcards on the flop.

So, if we jam, not only do we avoid getting into hard decisions postflop, but we also make some of the overcards that could outdraw us, fold!


In the dynamic world of poker, mastering the art of hand selection is an essential skill that can greatly impact your success at the table. By adjusting for stack sizes, understanding the significance of position, defending your big blind strategically, and knowing when to raise or jam, you'll enhance your overall gameplay. These five tips offer valuable insights into optimizing your hand choices, empowering you to navigate various scenarios with confidence.

Remember, subscribing to the 888poker YouTube channel will keep you informed about further strategic advice.

Embrace the journey of learning and playing poker – it's a game of skill, strategy, and endless opportunities for growth. 888poker: Made to Learn, Made to Play.

Alexandre “Cavalito” Mantovani is the latest Brazilian to join the 888poker team of ambassadors. Originally hailing from Recife, Pernambuco, from the age of four he lived in Curitiba, Paraná. Mantovani, better known as “Cavalito”, is one of Brazil's most renowned and admired poker players. He has coached over 100 players, with several making it into the top ranks of online players globally. His online poker career is significant, racking up over $5.5 million with decent in-the-money finishes.