The first skill in Ed Miller’s The Course — and really, the first skill any poker player needs to master — is having a good pre-flop range.

Many poker books for beginners advocate a set range from each position, and their suggestions are usually quite conservative to keep new players out of trouble. We trust you’re savvy enough to know that poker takes a modicum of aggression, and open ranges are not set in stone. You are going to want to play tighter or looser depending on a wide variety of factors including table dynamics, stack size, player images, your comfort and skill level, and the list goes on.

Luckily, coach Doug Hull came up with a handy guide to help you with your open range in a variety of positions and situations. Print it up and hang it by your computer screen while you’re grinding online, or download the mobile images at the bottom of the page to take with you on your smartphone to the live poker room. Then Tweet at Doug or us and let us know how it’s working out!

PreFlopInfographic2 (1)

Download these to your phone for easy viewing at the live card room

Miller-Dealer2 (1)

Miller-Cutoff2 (1)

Miller-Early2 (1)

Miller-Blinds-versus-Limpers2 (1)

Miller-Blinds-vs-Steal2 (1)

Showing 73 comments
  • Shady

    Why raising A5s on the TAG expectrum. What’s the reason behind it?

    • Frank N

      I would assume you would be 3 betting A5s as a bluff.
      The (A) blocks out some combos but that is irrelevant.
      Your 3 betting range is KK+ A5s. This is extremely tight.
      Your opponents especially the perceptive ones (who notice you 3 bet rarely) will fold to your 3 bet bluff w/A5s enough of the time for this to be profitable.

      • Callinag

        Because it is good to be “tricky” player. If you are 3-betting only with monster hands, experienced players will sooner or later look trough that and always fold to your 3-bet. To avoid this you should polarize your 3-bet range by adding some weak or mediocore hand with good postflop playability. A5s is good choice because it blocks a lot of hands your opponent would call, and there is also chance to catch wheel-draw on flop if you get called. But you can choose another hand instead of weak aces. 76s for example – when you get called and no high cards comes on flop, your opponent has probably missed the board, and you will often have draw or weak pair in this situation, so semi-bluff on flop get the job done quite often…

  • Justin

    This is great! Any possibility that this is Excel-based or similar such that it could be shared out so that players could adjust them manually/individually to track their own ranges? Or, do you recommend an application/approach that could be used to accomplish this? Thanks!


  • Nicolas

    Amazing, I was just studying this chapter (buyed the book last week). This is beautiful … I think I will play a little bit tighter than advised (but wider than before).
    Beyond the range the advices of this 1st chapter are greats.
    *NB : I’m French … sorry in case of english mistakes.

  • Doug Hull

    The graphics for hand ranges were done in excel. There was nothing special in it though. I screenshot it then did the rest in creative cloud suite from Adobe.

  • Brian

    So is a yellow calling hand an open raise hand if you are first to act? On the loose side in the blinds, why raise with K8 but not play K9 or K10, I’m just curious as this is all new to me. Finally, would “middle” positions be played as the “early” chart?

  • Brian

    Sorry one more question, in the loose range, calling with the 76 and 65 type handles are suits pertinent at all, or unsuited same as suited.

  • Doug Hull

    Yellow is call a raise ~or~ raise if limped to you (or folded to you)

    Not sure what you mean with K8. Which position?

    By Miller, all but last two and blinds are EP.

  • Doug Hull

    Suited hands are above the diagonal.

  • Brian

    Thanks! The K8 question is for the loose style, blinds vs. limpers, K8 is green but K9 and K10 are not

  • Doug Hull

    Ah, I suspect Miller added the hand to have some board coverage. Normally you would play “x and all better hands” but you will notice that he has a few raises or calls with isolated hands like that so that 88x boards can still hit him.

  • Ivan

    which of them are suited and offsuited?

    • Doug Hull

      Suited are always above the diagonal.

  • maxprice

    Good stuff. I am confused by the note that says “only use vs. raises. Limpers and our opens are below.” But next to that you have green color which means open raise? And does the blinds vs. limpers also apply to EP vs. limpers?

  • Nancy

    Nice stuff. Confused about “only use vs raises” graph too.

  • Doug Hull


    That chart only applies if there has been a raise when you are in the blinds. If it was only limped when you are in the blinds, the chart below is applicable.


  • Rob

    Hi Doug.

    EXCELLENT Infographic.

    Just a query, 55 is missing from the “blinds vs steal attempt” infographic. Deliberate?


  • David

    In the early/blind raises only, in the tight opponent chart, the green open raise should be removed since you cant open raise if there has already been a raise. this small error may confuse some people like me! Great graphics for the card room use when I get a brain freeze, thanks.

  • Doug

    @David At the top the explaination in green covers this.

    • Carl G

      @Doug thanks for the charts. I’ve read the book and keep these on my cell phone while I train myself for proper range discipline.

      For the tight “blinds vs. raises” chart the color is wrong.

      If there has been a raise then you can only either 3 bet, call, or fold. You cannot raise. So there should be no green. Since I have the book I can confirm that simply turning the green squares to white would make this chart correct.

      • Jay

        This chart also covers UTG – HJ, which do need the green as you can raise first in there.

  • Wayne

    Hi … I like the idea here and maybe I’m missing something. There are specific charts for dealer and cutoff positions, but nothing specifically for the UTG’s, MP’s or HJ.

    Do these infographics lump all the positions from UTG to HJ into the early position chart(s)?

    If not can you explain which chart I would be looking at for UTG, MP1, and HJ?

    • stumptown

      These are Ed Miller’s live ranges. He does not distinguish UTG through HJ, he includes them all in one grouping “early position”. See the graphic where “early” and the blinds are listed together. Miller, along with many others, suggests a mostly static opening range early, and more dynamic in late position. Hence he sees no need to list ranges that would very only slightly, if at all.

      Note that these ranges were designed with relative passive live games in mind. A lot of online players that I’ve seen comment (I play live not online) find the early openings a little too loose for many online games.

  • Stellan

    I’m having some trouble finding the download link for graphic, am I missing something? Looks fantastic BTW.


    i think i found a mistake. miller’s book says you should call a weak raise from the cut-off with J9s down to 86s. looks to me like you have them as folds.


    I can not find down load link…do i have to me a pro member?

    • Red Chip Poker

      Hey Michael. Just right-click it and go to ‘save as’. Or if you are on a phone/tablet you can usually just long press on the image and save it that way =)

  • yeohosua m

    this is very helpful. but why BB and SB is not distinguished?

  • Brett B

    What can we stack off preflop if we three bet and get 4 bet. What if we bet and get three bet? What do we flat the three bet with and what do we four bet with?

  • Brett B

    Also if there is a raise and a raise and a 3 bet before us. What do we flat the three bet or reraise with?

    • Brett B

      I mean a raise and a reraise

  • thanos e

    Are there no hands that I should just call the BB? Instead of raising or calling a raise…

    • Will B

      I have the same question.

  • Will B

    New player here. If a box is green, is the recommendation to raise if facing an unopened pot, and fold to any raise?

    Also, by these charts, is the advice never to simply call/limp?

    • Carl G

      Yes / Yes.

  • Jay

    I realize these would be somewhat situationally dependent, but do you have the similar charts for went to call/4-bet when you get 3-bet.?

  • itsgolden

    I think I remember reading somewhere that these ranges assume 200BB stacks. Is that correct?

    How might we adjust these ranges for 100BB, 50BB, and other stack sizes? Specifically I’m wondering about EP opens with smaller stacks.

    • Kat Martin

      Look for the CORE lesson “Effective Stacks Preflop” that will be posted in a week or so.

  • Thomas Ruch

    So for how many BB Stack-Size are this Ranges constructed? 100BB or 200BB?

    • Kat Martin

      Great question. I think the intent was for 100BB, but I personally want to be deeper for some of the range.

  • Mustafa Ahmed

    Are there any charts of which hands to open from EP and MP?

    • Kat Martin

      The charts marked “Early” directly below Cut-off.

  • Devin LaPointe

    Why no love for 55 against a steal in the blind? it’s the only pocket not played.

    • Kat Martin

      You can call or 3-bet it without anything dreadful happening. The principles behind this include board coverage and keeping frequencies in check, but in anyone’s ranges there will be cusp hands that simply don’t matter much one way or another.

  • Paulson

    I’m confused. Why are almost all the tight ranges flatting AK and QQ preflop? Am I misreading?

    • Kat Martin

      No, you’re reading it right.

  • I2ED W0LF

    is there an easy way of learning these instead of looking at phone whilst playing live, or is this just going to come naturally over time? I would just find this rather distracting. Great info i am happy to be A RED CHIP PRO member.I have been killing it with my play even after a few days of studying and implementing at live games.

    • Kat Martin

      It really depends on learning style and memory type. I know many people find these charts perfect, but I’m not very visual and find it easier to remember ranges in the form that appears in the combo box in tools like Equilab. Note that making errors with the marginal hands is rarely going to be a big mistake, so when you’re getting started having a general idea of the boundaries is probably good enough.

  • Builder18

    Maybe this is a dumb question but part of this I am not getting. Let’s say I’m on the button w/ A9s. If there’s a raise in front of me then of course I cannot open raise. Assuming I have no extra info on the raiser, do I fold, call or 3-bet?

    • Kat Martin

      If you look at the dealer panel, the “tight” range on the left has A9s in green. Thus facing a raise you fold. If you’re using the looser range on the right, A9s is in yellow, so you call the raise.

  • ATM18

    When you say “loose raiser/tight raiser” are talking about my play or the vs. LR/TR opponent? Also, both charts seem to be the same what am i missing?

    • Kat Martin

      Loose and tight here refer to whether we choose to adopt tight or loose opening ranges. I’m not following your point about the charts being the same for the two cases, the ones I’m looking at are clearly different.


    The Cut Off Range is missing JTo-KTo and QJ but has lots of weak suited gappers. Whats the justification for this? This is very very abnormal compared to many other charts from this position.

    • Kat Martin

      It reflects Ed Miller’s assertion that offsuit broadways are problem hands in NLHE and that suited gappers provide both board coverage and excellent semi-bluff opportunities postflop. The bigger picture concept to understand here is that preflop ranges have to complement postflop strategy, hence these ranges are consistent with the postflop advice and overall plan Ed gives in “The Course.”

  • JTSlugger

    Are these for 6-max or full ring?

    • Kat Martin

      Full ring. But note that in “The Course” Ed Miller treats all positions from UTG to HJ as EP.

  • Herbski

    Does it not matter where the original raise comes from before I decide whether or not to 3 bet (especially if I’m on the button)?

    • Kat Martin

      Sure there are detailed refinements one should make to these charts once one has the experience to do so. These are intended as a starting point that work with Miller’s postflop strategy as outlined in The Course.

  • sells

    You’re in the small blind with pocket 8’s.

    According to the charts, if there’s a raise ahead – you should call.

    But if instead it limps to you – you should fold.

    Why not call from the SB in this case?

    • Doug Hull

      First, I only made the chart from Ed’s book, I do not speak for him.

      However, the idea that justifies this is that OOP, these middle/low pocket pairs mostly want to hit a set and get paid. Against a limper, the chance of hitting is the same, but the chance of getting paid is lower. Against a raiser, there is a better chance of getting paid against the stronger range when we hit.

  • Greg Peck

    Blinds vs steal only contains 36% range. Isn’t that a simple way to exploiting us to open ATC from CO / BU?

    • Kat Martin

      If CO/BU had very high steal frequencies we’d have to adjust to counter.

  • MrSupertash

    I see all the comments about needing to be deep-stacked for these ranges and applying to live cash games. I just joined CORE and would assume that most people in CORE would be online and probably MTT players. Also the lesson and charts on bet-sizings that I‘ve seen yet have many comments that these are meant for live cashgame situations and MTT players use smaller raises/reraises due to stack preservation. I‘d be quite disappointed if many of the lessons and charts in CORE were not really applicable to online MTTs. Am I missing something or are you planning on creating separate lessons with MTTs in mind for these that are obviously raised/adapted from cashgame books/theory?

    • Kat Martin

      Actually most of our subscribers are live cash game players, but fear not. 90% of the foundational material in CORE applies to all forms of NLHE and in our discussions of topics such as stack-to-pot ratio we highlight why there are differences between cash game play and tournaments which are typically played shallower. The final third of CORE (L3) specifically looks at both cash game hands and tournament hands when the concepts are elucidated through hand examples. I’d also invite you to join our tournament discussion over in the forum:

  • MrSupertash

    Thank you, I will! I do find CORE extremely well structured and the content very valuable and well explained. I feel that at my current play probably my biggest leaks are opening ranges, i.e. opening too loose especially from early position, and bet sizing, c-betting too large (standard 1/2 pot on flop, 1/3-1/2 on turn) and leading into pots that are not mine, and was surprised that everything under 1/2 pot was considered underbetting and thought of as rarely being used. But I might be jumping ahead of the course and the lessons to come. And, honestly, with the quality of your content and presentation, I‘ll happily get the extra MTT course once I‘m through CORE, and hope everything else falls into place.

    • Kat Martin

      Oh poker is difficult, it rarely falls into place, but I feel CORE gives you the forklift to move things into place.

  • Jarkko L

    Is the loose range made against loose players and tight range against tight players? Or I just choose if I wanna be tight or loose?

    • Kat Martin

      Loose and tight here primarily refer to how we are playing. That said, against overly loose/tight opponents, we can modify our ranges.

  • Albert Galimidi

    so is it advised never to limp in? Otherwise what color would that be?

    • Kat Martin

      Ed Miller’s advice is never limp.

  • Trevor

    If someone opens before me, then what do I do with the green “open/raise” holdings? Do I no longer play those, and only play the “call-a-raise” hands?

    • Kat Martin

      Correct. If there’s a raise in front of you, you fold the green. Else call or 3-bet depending on color.