Good Texas Holdem Starting Hands

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Basic Strategy:Tips : Position : Starting Hands : Bluffing : Betting : Money Management

The strongest starting hand in poker, pocket aces are a strong pre-flop favourite over any other two cards and a 4:1 favourite over almost any hand. You will be dealt 'pocket rockets', as they are. In Texas Holdem, it is important to have good starting hand selection. This is important as it prevents you from entering pots with sub-standard hands, which could eventually lead to you losing a lot of money in the process. 'Starting hand selection' is simply choosing the good hands over the bad, and thus folding the bad hands when you get them. Pocket tens is essentially the best hand out of a lower-tiered group of starting hands. It’s still a very good hand against rags but it’s crushed by the aforementioned AA, KK.

The two cards that you are dealt at the start of a hand in Texas Hold'em are your weapons. If you want to play a hand, your cards need to be strong enough to fight against your opponents' cards to win the pot.

At the core of every winning poker player is good starting hand strategy.

Texas Hold'em starting hands table.

I'm not going to mess about here, I'm just going to give you the starting hand strategy table for you to get your teeth into. The tables below give starting hand recommendations for both full ring and short handed games depending on your position at the table.

How to use the starting hand strategy table.

First thing that you need to do is consider your position in the hand, because this is going to determine the range of cards that you are going to be able to play profitably.

  • If you are in early position, you should stick to playing the hands in red only.
  • If you are in middle position, you should play the hands in red, as well as the hands in blue.
  • If you are in late position, you should play the red and blue hands, along with the hands in green.

So essentially, the better your position is at the table, the more hands you can play.

However, if you are in one of the later positions and there has been a raise before you, then you should forget about playing the hands in green, and stick with the ones in red and blue. This is because players raising from early position will typically have a strong hand, so you should also have a premium hand to play against them. Playing the green hands against a raiser from early position will usually put you in pretty bad shape.

Full ring starting hand strategy.

When you are playing at a full ring table that holds around 10 players, you really need to tighten up your starting hand selection. This is because the large number of players at the table increases the likelihood that at least one player has a premium hand, and so you want to be sure that you have one of the best hands at the table every time you see a flop.

The starting hand table may look to be very strict, but this is simply a rough guide to help beginner players find their feet in Texas Hold'em. After you start to learn the game and become more experienced, you can start to open up your starting hand selection to incorporate different hands in different situations. However, if you are a new player, it is advised that you stick with this table as it will give you the best shot at winning as you start out.

Short handed starting hand strategy.

Seeing as there are less players at the table, you can afford to open up your starting hand requirements quite a bit. If you stuck with the full-ring starting hand table, you would be playing too few hands and missing out on good opportunities to make money.

Texas holdem starting hands probability

Texas Holdem Starting Hands Winning Percentage

Short handed tables are going to be harder to play than the full ring tables because the action is generally going to be wilder and less predictable. You are almost forced to play more hands, which means that unless you know what you are doing, the chances are that you are going to lose more money than you would at a full ring game.

Again, just as with the full ring table, the short handed table is merely the basic guide for a beginner player. As you progress, you will be able to work out how to profitably include other starting hands into the line up. But as for now, stick with this table if you're just getting to grips with short-handed play.

Starting hand strategy overview.

Best Texas Holdem Starting Hands

If you are a new player, these tables are really going to help set you up in the right direction. Even though this has only been a pretty rough guide on which hands to play in each position, it should have helped to build a solid foundation for you to build upon.

Texas Holdem Starting Hands Chart

A lot of the time, there are going to be other factors like the type of players who you are up against, and/or the action that has taken place before you that will have an influence on your decision to play a hand. It's always best to use your head in poker, rather than relying on a table or rule for every play you make. So whilst this table will be a handy guide for now, try not to rely on it too much, and start to develop your knowledge of good starting hand strategy as you play.

At the end of the day, poker isn't really poker if you are playing from a set of rules. Always try and use your head when making decisions - they will be more profitable that way.

Go back to the sublime Texas Hold'em guide.

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Comments

In Texas Holdem, starting hands are two cards that each player is given by the dealer at the beginning of the game. These two cards determine your fate in the game based on whether they are good or bad. The combination of these two cards is not usually pre-planned as the dealer shuffles the cards then issues the starting hands face-down. A regular 52-card deck has almost 1,350 starting hands, good, moderate and bad. Discussed below are the worst and best starting hands in a Texas Holdem poker card game.
The worst and weakest starting hands are; One, 2-7 starting hand of different suits for example, 2 of spades and 7 of hearts. With such a hand, you are guaranteed to lose the game even if you are a professional player. The best thing you can do is to discard the cards and give up the game. If you decide to continue the game, the smartest move would be to place very low bets. Two, 2-6, 2-8 and 2-9 of different suits are the second-worst starting hands in a Texas Holdem poker card game.
These hands cannot take you anywhere in the game as they are far away from getting a shot at winning the game. The best thing to do is to fold and wait for the next game. Three, 3-6, 3-7, 3-8 and 3-9 of different suits are the third weakest and worst starting hands. If you are issued any of these pairs and continue to play the game, you will definitely lose. To stop yourself from having a bad day, the best thing would be to withdraw from the game as early as possible. Four, 4-7, 4-8 and 4-9 of different suits are the fourth-worst starting hands.
If you get any of these as your starting hands, there are about zero chances of winning the game. To save yourself time and money, the best thing would be to quit that game. Five, 9-5 and 5-8 of different suits are the fifth weakest starting hands that are guaranteed to steer you to a loss in the game. The top-ranking and the strongest starting hands are;
A-A starting hand of either the same or different suit. This hand guarantees you the top position in the game without opposition hence you should stake high. K-K starting hand of the same or different suit is the second-best starting hand. Apart from the A-A, no other starting hand stands a chance against the K-K. If you start the game with this hand, you will definitely win because the chances that another player has a stronger hand than this are zero to none.
Q-Q starting hand of the same or different suit is the third-best and is strong enough to steer you to victory. A-K is the fourth-best starting hand that gives you a real chance of winning the game. J-J starting hand is the fifth-best starting hand. Being the fifth out of 1,350 starting hands is a big deal, therefore, you should stake high as this hand is strong enough to make you win the game if you make smart moves.
From the above information, it is clear that the bad and weakest starting hands are definitely losing hands. The good and strongest hands are winning hands and if you get a good hand you should take control and win the game with less opposition. Also, at one point or the other, you might find yourself with a weak hand that guarantees you a loss hence you should fold.




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