Texas Hold’em – Starting Hands

As mentioned elsewhere, starting hands are not as crucial as in seven-card stud. But that’s not to say they are not important. The following are five categories, ranked in order of importance, that are considered good starting hands and will give you an excellent chance to win the hold’em pot.

High Pairs: when you have a pair of Tens or higher, you’re in a good position. With a high pair, you have a chance to improve your hand, but even if you don’t match any cards on the board, you can steal the hand because your opponents will have no idea why you’re betting so strongly late in the hand.
A hand like is strong, particularly if not one of the five community cards is higher than a Queen. But if you match the Queen, you’re in the driver’s seat.

Small Pairs: as in most poker games, the difference between winning and losing is often the difference
between small and large pairs. A hand like will rarely win unless you’re able to improve it in some way.
The odds against improving a pair to three of a kind in hold’ em is 8-1 against. These hands should be classified as drawing hands, and must be played carefully.

Two High Cards: while two high cards are a playable hand, it is not very valuable. A hand like an Ace-King should always be played, but a hand such as should, in most cases, be folded, particularly if someone raises. If the two cards are suited, you definitely hould play it, just don’t overrate the suited cards.

Suited Connectors: two cards that could lead to straights are called connectors, but two uited cards
could also lead to a flush. Consider, for example. the following hands are only mediocre hands, but they have possibilities. If there is a gap between the cards, as in Seven of Spades, line of Spades, the hand is worth even less. Fold it unless you’re the blind and don’t have to match any raises.

High-low Suited: if you have a high card along with a low card, and they’re both suited, you have a basis for seeing the flop, as long as there aren’t any serious raises . A hand like wouldn’t be very valuable if it wasn’t for the suited aspect of the cards. But it is more valuable than a lower high card, a Queen of Diamonds, for instance. Play the Ace whenever it doesn’t cost you much, particularly if you’re the blind and don’t have to match a raise.

All other hands should be folded. The chance of making something out of two totally unrelated cards isn’t worth matching the blind and possibly meeting a raise. By carefully studying every situation, you will realise that only by getting the best chance to win with a favourable starting hand is it worth playing.