Starting Hand Selection
The later you get to act in each round, i. These hands can be some of the trickiest to play. Starting hand selection is key because it helps to save us from sticky situations post flop, especially if we are new to the game. That Is the Question. This gives us another 6 starting hands that we can play with, increasing the number of pots that we will be entering.
The king and nine of hearts would be unconnected suited cards. Suited Connectors - Suited connectors are of the same suit, but also two in succession. Unconnected Cards - This is a pair of singletons that have no relation to each other. It might be an unsuited A-Q, but also might be an unsuited A starting poker hand chart is helpful for beginner poker players , much like a basic strategy chart is helpful to blackjack players. In fact, new card players should print off a starting hand chart and follow it rigidly at first.
This helps you memorize the best hands in Texas Holdem to play throughout your poker career. Once you gain experience, you'll know when the best time to deviate from the starting hand chart poker will be at the table.
Read through this helpful poker hand chart to get a quick understanding of the best poker hands. New players should understand there is no such thing as a perfect starting hand.
You're playing the poker odds , but the odds don't always hold. That being said, if you hold a card combination that's not on the chart, you should be folding most of the time. The best starting Texas Holdem poker hands are called premium hands. Raising forces most of your opponents to fold, reducing the number of hands that can improve on the flop and beat your pocket pairs. Bet position and hand selection are closely connected. Your placement in the betting sequence around the table - called table position or bet position - is pivotal to deciding which hands to play.
The calculation changes each hand, as the dealer button and the blinds rotate around the table. When you are the first or second player to act. When playing at tables with more players, the definition of early position expands. Neither close to the first nor near the dealer button, middle position holds many challenges. As a general rule in middle position, if you don't have the cards to raise, then you should fold.
Too many players can bet behind you. Late position is when you are nearer to the dealer position. You've seen most other players' decisions, so you know how many hands you have to beat and how much you have to pay to see the flop. Betting position is one of the key reasons poker is a three-dimensional game because the decision to play a starting hand depends on which position you hold in the betting sequence.
Your evaluation of the opponents sitting at the table is important because a raise by a tight player is not the same as a raise by a loose player.
Whether playing premium or non-premium hands, the bets in front of you matter. If a solid player raises before you bet, you'll have to think twice about playing anything but the strongest hands. If you see a raise and a re-raise, you need a strong hand to get in on the action. As the dealer button goes around the table, you'll be betting early in the hand, in middle position, or late in the hand.
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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
Often, Ax hands won't make strong ace pairs on the flop and you may well end up being outdrawn. We advise a fold in most spots, especially to tight players who are playing more premium hands. The most common situation with suited connectors, aside from flopping absolutely nothing, will be flopping some sort of small piece like a pair or a gutshot.
After that comes the chances of flopping some sort of stronger draw like an open-ended straight draw or a flush draw. Significantly behind that are the chances of flopping a big hand such as two-pair or better. Another consideration is that you will occasionally have reverse implied odds with this hand, when you make the bottom end of a straight or a weak flush draw.
It's hard to fold that kind of hand, but sometimes you'll have to do it if you want to be able to play these hands profitably. But for the most part, when you make your hand with a suited connector, you will be good to go, and often have a fairly disguised hand.
Because of the above considerations, suited connectors are fairly constrained by the immediate odds you are getting before the flop. For example, you are almost never going to be able to stand a 3-bet with this kind of hand unless the effective stacks are fairly deep, and you think you will have a decent edge on your opponent.
Suited connectors also play much better in position than out of position, so while it makes sense to open-raise them from late position, you will likely want to muck them from early position. And even though they can be raised first into the pot, you'll usually want to flat-call or over-limp if there is action in front of you.
Some players love to play connected cards, hoping for that miracle straight. That's great if it's disguised on the flop, but this happens so rarely comparatively that you will be counting the cost long before it pays off. We advise a range of JToin late position if there has been one raise and no other callers.
You can sometimes semi-bluff them strongly, especially if there is a draw on the board or you hit top pair. If you hit second pair, carry on for showdown value. Some pros advise a LP raise with unsuited connectors like 87obut they should be added to your range against weak tables, not used as premium holdings.
Suited one-gappers can be nice hands to play post-flop, and are generally good for a pre-flop raise for all positions in a soft game. After the flop, bet them for value. What to hold, what to fold, and when to raise are all key things to learn as you improve as a Hold'em player. But every table is different. You might be a tight-ish player who discovers his table is also very tight.
If this is the case, you can start expanding your hand ranges. Conversely, if you are a tight-ish player on a very loose table, tighten up even further and watch out for getting six callers to your raise. You will not only have to change your starting hand selection but also the size of your raises. In a typical tight tournament, where there may be a lot of folds in a hand, you can exploit your position at the table by opening up your range.
While we recommend suited 1-gappers in some spots, some pros advocate adding suited 2-gappers or 3-gappers to your starting hand range which can add value on some flops.
To add to your starting hand range tight table: This first chart below is going to represent the hands that you should be raising when you are folded to in a full handed game in consideration with where you are sitting at the table:. So does all of that make sense? Can you see how we are adding more hands as we occupy a later position?
We aren't always in a position where we want to raise. When someone raises ahead of you, you definitely don't want to raise with the same hands we just listed. You also don't want to call with all of them, either. This next table is going to go through what to do when someone raises in front of you, and which hands you might want to raise or call with to stay in the pot. Big-suited connectors such as Ace-King and King-Queen come in next and unsuited big connectors are the least favorable.
Your position heavily dictates how strong your hand is. There are a number of tables available that show the strength of your hand relative to your position, so be sure to check out our guide on Starting Hands Percentages for a more in-depth breakdown.
The player directly to the left of big blind is the first to place a bet, with betting continuing in a clockwise direction. Pre-flop refers to the phase after big blind and small blind have been posted but before flops have been revealed. Players have their pocket cards and place bets during this initial phase also referred to as the pre-flop betting phase. The hands that should be played in pre-flop can be determined by looking at three main concepts: Equity, implied odds and position.
Equity refers to how much your hand is worth in comparison to other players' hands. Implied odds refer to the potential winnings for that hand versus the amount you need to make the next call meaning that even though you are dealt a less than satisfactory hand you still have a chance at a decent hand as the game goes on.
Position refers to where you are in the betting line, so, the closer you are to the dealer, the less information you have when placing bets.
Looking at all these factors will give you an idea of the best hand you can play in pre-flop. In general, the best hands to play in pre-flop will be big pocket pairs Ace-Ace being the best , big suited connectors like Ace-King and unsuited connectors such as a Queen of Hearts and a King of Diamonds King-Queen.
The best hand in poker is a royal flush which is composed of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of a single suit. The chances of being dealt a royal flush is 1 in , or a 0. Deciding how and when to play each of the possible poker hands pre-flop is an art, not a science. A ton of it will be opponent- and situation-dependent, and much of the skill that is required to make those decisions only comes with experience.
But by using the guidelines laid out in this article, you can't go too far wrong, and you'll be well on your way to honing your skills and making better pre-flop decisions with your poker hands in Texas Hold'em.
Texas Hold'em Poker Starting Hands. Poker Starting Hands Chart! Pairs and Suited Hands.