Strategy

A look at the best and worst starting hands in Texas Hold’em

One of the basics of Texas Hold’em is understanding card strength

One of the key aspects of winning a game of poker is to be able to make the most correct decisions as often as possible; therefore, selecting the hands you will go to war with is among the first steps. Making the decision whether to move forward with the hand you got is one of the most frequent ones to make during a game of Texas Hold’em. To succeed at this is not only important to know what hands to play or to fold, but also to know why it is done so, when you face a complex situation, you have a solid base to make the best decision. The first step would be to know the best and worst hands you could get.

The best hands typically include the highest possible pairs like A-A, K-K, Q-Q, or J-J, which are already good so the pressure of improving their value down the road is not that much. These are made hands already and there is less chance of one of your opponents holding a higher pocket pair. Besides pairs, the next best thing will be to have suited A-K or A-Q, which have a good chance to become pairs once the community cards are there. They also have the potential to become high straights and the fact that they are suited gives you the possibility of getting the best possible flushes.

On the other hand, there are some hands to stay away from. These are hands that are worthless unless something else happens on the board – they’re not even worth showdown value on the river.
Hands like 7-2, 8-2, 7-3 and 8-3 off-suit won’t really lead you to something great easily. It can, for instance, become a low pair. Having a low card with a high card also puts you at a disadvantage. When competing for the pot when both you and your opponent have pairs, a low pair won’t give any added value.

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