Texas Hold’em Starting Hands: A Comprehensive Guide

Starting Hands

In general, starting hands can be classified as follows:

Top Pairs:

These are the best starting hands in Texas Hold’em. These hands are so strong that you can often win without the help of the community cards. These hands should be raised regardless of your position at the table, which will also reduce the number of opponents.

Middle Pairs:

These cards are also good. However, the disadvantage of lower pairs is that there are a number of flops that can contain high cards (overcards) to your pair. This makes it difficult to calculate the strength of your hand.

  • Example:

    If I have Aces, no other player can get a higher pair on the flop. But if, for example, I have and the flop shows , then I do not know if my pair is still the best hand. If an opponent has a King or a Ten, they can connect with the flop cards to make a better pair than mine (e.g., ). If my opponent has a King and a Ten in their hole cards, they can connect two pairs, which is stronger than my single pair (). If my opponent already has a pair, the flop can help them connect three of a kind (i.e., three Kings, three Tens, or three Twos), and in this case, I also lose. Therefore, after the flop, it will be very difficult to continue playing a hand of this style profitably.

Small Pairs:

Low pairs typically must improve to three of a kind to have real chances of winning in the final confrontation, especially if you’re playing against multiple opponents.

From a statistical point of view, a set will come on the flop one in eight times. For this reason, for players with small pairs, it is more desirable, if possible, to have many players in the pot who have not folded. This makes the bet worthwhile when you hit a set. Considering that in an initial position you do not know what the players behind you will do, if you have small pairs, you should call in a later position, just in case, and only if several players have called before you.

If you have a small pair and cannot connect a set, and are against several opponents, you should usually fold the hand on the flop. Consider this: before the flop, a pair is a favorite against any hand that does not have a pair. The odds against two high cards are about 50%, which is like tossing a coin.

Aces High:

Ace-high combinations with strong kickers usually have to improve to a pair to win, for example, to eliminate players with low pairs.

Suited Aces:

…. etc.

Suited Aces are strong cards that develop their power when they can become a flush or two pair. A flush is rarely obtained, but thanks to the Ace, you would always have the highest flush. For this reason, an Ace with a suited kicker has much more value than most other suited combinations, such as .

Face Cards:

These are strong enough hands. They are favorites against two lower cards and have almost the same chance of winning against lower pairs.

Suited Connectors:

Suited connectors are, like low pairs, speculative hands. They should only be played from a late position, provided that no other player has raised, and preferably when there are already several players in the pot. “Speculative” hands are those that can become very good on the flop (three of a kind, straight, or flush), but in most cases, they become a very weak hand (bottom pair or weaker). The more players in the pot, the better your chances of winning, and the more worthwhile it is to play with hands that infrequently hit the flop.

If you connect a strong hand on the flop with a speculative hand, as a rule, you are in a good position and can win big pots.

Starting Hand Groups

  • Group One:

These cards are the best starting hands in Hold’em. You can play them from any position, and you should basically always raise with them.

  • Group Two:

These cards are also very good. Ordinarily, you would raise with them if no one has raised before you. You can play them from any position.

  • Group Three:

These cards have great potential for winning. However, you should fold these hands in early positions, especially when the table is very aggressive and there may be a raise after your turn.

  • Group Four:

The hands in Group Four tend to win more often than they lose against random hands. However, you should fold these hands in early, middle, or late positions if someone has raised before you.

  • Group Five:

These hands also have potential. However, you should fold these hands in early or middle positions.

  • Group Six:

These hands are playable from a late position, provided that none of the other players have raised.

  • Group Seven:

In this case we are already very weak hands, you definitely need lots of help from the table. And since it only comes on rare occasions, it is usually best to throw these hands, unless you have many players who have matched before us.

  • Group eight:

These hands are loose. Only be played from the button or the blinds, and only when several opponents have entered the pot and no one has risen.

Read more: Tips and basic poker strategy, starting hands and positions – IntelliPoker Spanish School – Learn to play poker for free at PokerStars communityhttp://www.intellipoker.es/articles/Consejos-y-estrategia-de-poker-basicos-Manos-iniciales-y-posiciones#ixzz1MqoJuvJy