Clinicians caring for neonates with congenital heart disease encounter challenges in clinical care as these infants await surgery or are evaluated for further potential interventions. The newborn with heart disease can present with significant pathophysiologic heterogeneity and therefore requires a personalized therapeutic management plan. However, this complex field of neonatal-cardiac hemodynamics can be simplified. We explore some of these clinical quandaries and include specific sections reviewing the anatomic challenges in these patients. We propose this to serve as a primer focusing on the hemodynamics and therapeutic strategies for the preoperative neonate with systolic dysfunction, diastolic dysfunction, excessive pulmonary blood flow, obstructed pulmonary blood flow, obstructed systemic blood flow, transposition physiology, and single ventricle physiology.