No-Limit Texas Holdem can be a frustrating game for beginners.

They tend to make the same error over and over again, sometimes without even knowing what’s wrong.

One of the major mistakes of new players is playing too many hands. This can happen for various reasons: Becoming impatient, not wanting to look weak in front of their friends or just a vague feeling of being left out of the action. It could also be that they just don’t know any better.

Today you will learn a very simple point system that was developed by Edward Hutchison, to help you make a better starting hand selection.

In a few simple steps, we will look at your two starting hands and assign a point value to each card. Additional points will be added for qualifiers such pairs, connected cards or cards of the same suite.

Once we calculated the points of our starting hands, we determine if we can play this hands based on our position.

Let’s get started:

Step 1: Base Points

Every Ace counts as 16 points, every King as 14 points, a Queen is worth 13 points, Jack counts as 12 points and a Ten as 11 points. Every hand between Nine and Two counts as their face value (Nine = 9 points, Two = 2 points).

Card Points
Card Points
Card Points

Base Point Chart:

In this chart, we display all hand combinations and their added base points.


Card Points
Ace of Heart + 16 pointsAce of Spade + 16 points

= 32 points

King of Heart + 14 pointsQueen of Club + 13 points

= 27 points

Jack of Heart + 12 pointsNine of Heart + 9 points

= 21 points

Step 2: Qualification

In the next step, we add additional points if our hand meet the criteria of a qualification.

We add 10 points if we have a pair, 4 points if both cards are of the same suit, 3 points if both cards are connected with no gap in between, 2 points for a gap of one card and 1 point for a gap of two cards.

Card Qualification Points
Pair + 10 points
Same Suit + 4 points
Connected with 0 hands gap + 3 points
Connected with 1 hands gap + 2 points
Connected with 2 hands gap + 1 points


Card Points
Ace of Heart + 16 ppintsAce of Spade + 16 points

Pair + 10 points

= 42 points

King of Hear + 14 pointsQueen of Club + 13 points

Connected with 0 hands gap + 3 points

= 30 points

Jack of Heart + 12 pointsNine of Heart + 9 points

Same Suit + 4 points

Connected with 1 hands gap + 2 points

= 27 points

Step 3: Analysis

Once we added up all points, we look can determine if our hand is playable from our current position.

Playable Hands

Position Points
Late Position 25 points
Middle Position 27 points
Early Position 30 points
Memory hook: you can take Late Position as basis, then add +2 points for middle position (25 points + 2 points = 27 points) and another + 3 points for Early Position (25 points + 2 points + 3 points = 30 points)

Raising Hands

Position Points
Late Position 29 points
Middle Position 31 points
Early Position 34 points
Memory Hook: You can add + 4 points to each playable hand value. Example: Playable hand late position has 25 points. 25 points + 4 points = 29 points

Step 4: Practice

How can you practice your new poker skill?

For starters, you can download and print out our free PDF cheat sheet for your next game: Download Now!

For additional practice, we recommend you to take a look at our advanced poker training software.

You can create a free account by clicking on the Start Training button below:


Once you created your new account, navigate to the member page and click on 9-Max icon.


You can practice against 100 life-like opponents and play up to 500 hands an hour, with no waiting for slow opponents.

Print out your starting hand selection cheat sheet and place it next to your computer. Try to calculate the points in your head, then check with your cheat sheet if you have been correct. Over time, you’ll notice, that you have to check your print less and less.


Start your poker training now by clicking the Start Training button:


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