Which Hands To Play in Poker? Best Starting Hands in Texas Holdem
By continuing to browse the website, you accept such cookies.
For more details and to change your settings, see our and.
The best strategies With the correct strategy, poker becomes an easy game.
Our authors show you how to succeed, one step at a time.
The smartest thinkers Learn from and with internationally successful poker pros, in our live coaching sessions and in the forum.
Free poker money PokerStrategy.
Additionally there is free poker money waiting for you.
If you enter the game with the right cards, you will not only avoid difficult situations in the later betting rounds, you can also be reasonably sure that you are indeed holding the best hand.
And that's exactly what this article is all about.
You the best poker starting hands learn when certain poker starting hands are playable and why, as well as how to extract maximum profit from them.
You will be provided with an overview of this in the Starting Hands Chart, which gives you a simple strategy for the first betting round in an easy to understand table format.
Just as with all other strategies on PokerStrategy.
The next section gives a quick overview of the table positions, after which we will look at the actual strategy.
Free poker money tip: Before you start playing with your free poker money, What is your position at the table?
The order in which players act, depends on how they are seated in relation to the dealer D.
The more players between the dealer and you during the betting round counter clockwisethe sooner you have to act and the earlier your position.
Your position tells you when it will be your turn to act.
If you are one of the first to act, you are in early position.
When you are in late position, your turn to act will come later in the round.
This is important - the earlier you have to act, the stronger your hand must be, since the more players there are after you, the greater the chance that one of them has stronger cards than you.
The earlier your position, the stronger your hand must be.
There are 10 positions at a 10-handed table.
These positions are divided into four groups: the early, middle, and late positions, and the blinds.
Dealer 2 Late positions 3 Middle Positions 3 Early positions 2 Blind positions Move the cursor over each group to see the corresponding seats.
The two late positions BU and CO The dealer and the player to his right are in the late positions.
The dealer is also referred to as the BU Button and the player to his right as the CO Cutoff.
The three middle positions MP1, MP2 and MP3 The three players to the right of the late positions are in the middle positions.
They are referred to as MP1, MP2 and MP3.
The three early positions UTG1, UTG2 and UTG3 The three players to the right of the middle positions are in the early positions.
They are referred to as UTG1, UTG2 and UTG3.
The two blind positions SB and BB The two players who have to post the blinds are in the blind positions.
The player to the left of the dealer must post the Small Blind SB ; the player to his left must post the Big Blind BB.
WHAT IF THERE ARE LESS THAN 10 PLAYERS AT THE TABLE?
So far we assumed there were 10 players at the table, but this isn't always the case.
If there are only 9 players at the table, you drop one early position.
If there are only 8 players at the table, there is only one early position.
With 7 players or less at the table, there are no early positions at all.
For every empty seat you eliminate one position, starting with the early positions, then the middle, and so on.
Starting Hands Chart: Which Hands Should You Play?
THE NO LIMIT STARTING HANDS CHART The PokerStrategy.
Simply print it out and you will always know what to do throughout the entire game.
Free poker money tip: Before you start playing with your free poker money, Further reading: Check out the overview for a general explanation on hand ranking for all game types.
Your Hand Actions Before You Early Pos.
Blinds High Pairs All players folded Raise AA, KK, QQ Players called Raise 1 player raised Raise Middle Pairs All players folded Raise JJ, TT Players called Raise 1 player raised Call20 Low Pairs 99, 88, 77, All players folded Fold Call Raise Call 66, 55, 44, Players called Fold Call 33, 22 1 player raised Call20 Your Hand Actions Before You Early Pos.
Blinds High Aces s stands for suited, o stands for offsuit All players folded Raise AKo, AKs Players called Raise 1 player raised Raise Middle Aces s stands for suited, o stands for offsuit AQo, AQs All players folded Fold Raise AJs, AJo Players called Fold Raise Call ATs, ATo 1 player raised Fold Low Suited Aces s stands for suited A9s, A8s, A7s, All players folded Fold Raise A6s, A5s, A4s, Players called Fold Call A3s, A2s 1 player raised Fold Your Hand Actions Before You Early Pos.
Blinds Suited Face Cards s stands for suited KQs, KJs, KTs, All players folded Fold Raise QJs, QTs, Players called Fold Call JTs 1 player raised Fold Offsuit Face Cards o stands for offsuit KQo, KJo, KTo, All players folded Fold Raise QJo, QTo, Players called Fold Call JTo 1 player raised Fold Suited Connectors T9s, 98s, All players folded Fold Raise Fold 87s, 76s, Players called Fold Call 65s, 54s 1 player raised Fold Your Hand Actions Before You Early Pos.
Blinds All other hands not considered above All players folded Fold The rest Players called Fold 1 player raised Fold The First Column: Your Hand In the left column you see the possible starting hands.
Each starting hand is abbreviated.
AA, for example, stands for two aces, 99 for two nines.
If your hand is not included in the chart, you should fold.
A Ace Q Queen T Ten K King J Jack 9 Nine Suited cards s: An s behind the hand, as in A9s, stands for suited and means that both of the cards you are holding are of the same suit hearts, diamonds, spades or clubs.
Which suit it is doesn't play any role in Texas hold'em.
The second column shows you the possible answers to this question.
You obviously play differently when someone raised before you, since this is a sign that your opponent has a strong hand.
COLUMNS 3-6: WHAT TO DO DEPENDING ON YOUR POSITION Your position tells you in what column to look next.
If you are in early position, look at the third column, if you are in the Small Blind or Big Blind, look at the last column.
WHAT DOES 'CALL 20' MEAN?
When you play a small pair like 55 you are speculating on hitting three-of-a-kind on the flop.
This only happens approx.
This is why it's profitable to call a raise when holding a small pair, as long as your opponent has enough money to pay you off when you do hit.
With a small pair, you should only call a raise, when your opponent has at least 20x the more info amount in his stack.
By the way, this applies to you as well.
You must also have 20x the raise amount.
You can only win as much money as you have in your stack, so if your opponent has 20x the raise amount but you don't, it really doesn't help you.
That is what the term 'Call 20' means.
How much should you raise?
IF THERE WAS NO RAISE BEFORE YOU If no one raised before you, you simply raise 4 big blinds + 1 big blind for every player that entered the hand before you.
Assume you just got your starting capital and are playing NL2 0.
IF THERE WAS EXACTLY ONE RAISE BEFORE YOU If an opponent raised before you, you re-raise to 3x the size of the original raise.
For every player that calls this raise before you, the best poker starting hands increase the size of your re-raise by the size of the original raise.
Assume you are playing NL2 0.
You have two aces and want to re-raise to get money in the pot.
IF THERE WAS MORE THAN ONE RAISE BEFORE YOU If there was more than one raise before you, one thing is clear: You're not getting involved if you don't have a monster hand.
You only play AA and KK, two aces and two kings.
When you do have a monster, your line of play is simple in this scenario: you go all-in.
If there was more than one raise before you, you only play AA and KK and you go all-in.
Two queens QQ or ace king AK should be folded, just like every other hand that isn't AA or KK.
What if someone raises after you?
YOU HAVE A PAIR OF ACES OR A PAIR OF KINGS If you have a pair of aces or kings, you should just keep on raising.
The best thing you can do is try and go all-in before the flop and put all your money in the middle.
Some beginners have trouble doing this, but keep in mind that table free games offline poker are well ahead against every other pair by approx.
setting the dice craps can hardly find a more profitable opportunity to go all-in.
Fold all other hands, including AK and AQ, hard as it may be for you to do so.
You can, however, make an exception to this rule when you have a pocket pair.
YOU HAVE A POCKET PAIR There is, as we just said, one exception.
When you have a pocket pair smaller than AA or KK, you can make an exception and call a raise, as long as both you and your opponent the best poker starting hands stacks at least 20x the amount you're about to call.
Just like when you follow the Call 20 rule from the Starting Hands Chart, you are speculating on hitting three-of-a-kind on go here flop.
If you do hit, chances are good that you'll be able to win your opponent's entire stack.
YOUR OPPONENT ONLY MIN-RAISES You will find players who only min-raise fairly often in the lower limits.
Whatever they may think they are doing, it certainly doesn't make much sense.
If you have already entered the hand and one opponent raises after you by the smallest amount allowed, a so-called min-raise, you should always call, unless, of course, you have AA or KK, in which case you re-raise.
Now it's your turn to make a decision.
You definitely want to raise with this hand.
AK is, quite simply, a good hand.
But how much should you raise to?
The rule says: Raise 4 big blinds + 1 big blind for each player that has entered the hand.
In this example 2 players have already called.
You raise to a total of 6 big blinds.
Since you have a pocket pair and an opponent raised before you, you play according to the Call 20 rule.
This is the amount both, you, and your opponent must have in your stacks for you to be able to call his raise with your pocket pair.
In this example you can call the raise and see if you hit three-of-a-kind on the flop.
What should you do?
If your first thought is 'fold,' you have already learned quite a bit.
Your hand may look nice, but you have to fold AK if there's a large raise after you.
Everyone before you folds.
The Starting Hands Chart says to raise.
In this example you are confronted with a min-raise.
Normally you would just fold A8s when someone raises after you, but the rules say you should always call when an opponent min-raises after you.
Take a look at the flop.
You have position on your opponent, and your hand isn't all that bad.
Just don't play for a big pot if all you hit is a pair of aces or eights.
Now it's your turn to act.
This is a very nice situation to be in.
Of course, a pair of aces would be even better, but even with a pair of kings you don't have to think twice before going all-in.
Instead of trying to figure out how high your raise should be, you simply go all-in and bet all your money.
If you had an ace and a king AK or two queens QQ you would have to fold.
These hands are rarely good when two opponents raise before you.
Conclusion Once you've understood how to use the Starting Hands Chart, you will be on the safe side in the first betting round.
Choosing the right starting hands is half the work in poker and a lot of players burn their money at exactly this point.
They play too many weak hands or don't know when they should stay out of the line of fire with cards that they think are pretty good, but are obviously too weak in the given situation.
You can avoid uncomfortable situations on the flop when you carefully select your starting hands as recommended by the Starting Hands Chart.
You will find opponents who are all too happy to call, especially in the lower limits.
There is no reason for you to try to create marginal situations.
Your motto is "winning by folding.
You will also learn the best way to play your hand.
Tip: In addition to reading our articles, you can also use our other educational materials to help you learnfaster.
LINKS Printable Versions: Related Articles: 131 Dec 09 00:09 Why does the chart advise to FOLD AQa in MP after a CALL whereas the chart advises the q casino CALL KJs in MP after a CALL?
Does not seem logical at 1st sight.
Is there a reason for this?
I don't see an answer to what you should do, if two or more persons has called before you?
Try to use the best poker starting hands brain 1521 Jul 10 19:27 According to the chart what do you have to do if you have AQo and one player raised?
It only says what do do if everyone folds to you, but this situation is not mentioned.
The perfect poker strategy does not exist and this makes poker such an interesting game.
One of the most important rules to be a succesfull player is DECEPTION.
Mix up your check this out so that the opponents cannot read you and it does not matter whether you are playing bad or good players.
From your first game you have to think with the right poker the venetian macao macau casinos otherwise you would not improve go here game.
You may win at low stakes following what these guys say but you won't become a proper player.
Use your mind and change your play depending on the situations and play one table each time.
Multitabling has nothing to do with poker, it may have something to do with making money at low levels but really little to do with proper poker.
You should fold KQs from the button when there are two calls?
Isn't AQs better than JTs?
A guy was telling me about a similar rule called the 8 to 1 rule.
Where you need 8 to 1 not 20 to 1.
I guess your cutting it pretty fine at 8 to 1 please click for source break even, so any better say 10 to 1 should be profitable hey.
By the way with a small pair if they are raising with say AK, my pocket three's will hold half the time if its heads up so Im struggling with the call 20 seems excessive.
However, for the draws, and this is what you play if you call pre-flop with a not so strong hand, there are more outs for JT than AQ as you can reach the straight from both ends with JT, and only one with AQ.
This is why the chart mentions that you'd betted fold MP with AQs whereas you can call with JTs, because your odds are less good to obtain a straight with AQs as with JTs.
AQs even AQo has more outs to become best hand than JTs.
AQ is more likely to be dominated by AK.
AK does not dominate JT.
Only AJ dominates JT and this is much less likely.
We are playing the JT to hit a strong draw and for this reason, because it hits a strong draw more often than AQ, we play it.
But in the sit and go article it shows the best poker starting hands a much tighter range starting hand chart to use in the early stages, where it says not to play any suited connectors, or anything lower than AJ or KQ!
In all other cases I fold.
It's ok when there are 10 players.
But is it ok when there is only one another player in game with me?
In this situation I will play only 16% of hands.
I think he will be quite angry, if I will still folding most of hands.
Another question for Low Pairs when I am in UTG1.
No folds, no calls, no raises.
What should I do?
Play any two from button aggressively.
You can use those 16% when he shoves.
So think carefuly which ones to include.
Probably all PP, Ax, Kx and defo some Qx and suited conns.
Lol this would be more than 16 already :D Well.
I like this strategy and theory behind it.
And as there was said.
I like 20 rule but it effectively means that I will be folding to 3bets like crazy if I follow this strategy.
But atleast I know when to call if raised pre.
Starting hand chart is also good.
I was complete nit.
I will deviate with playing small pairs but I will definitely add some small hand ranges like connectors, broadway cards etc.
I need to look bit more loose at the tables.
Otherwise no one wants to play against me.
I am just raising when I enter and play only strong lines.
So this will help to fix my image a little.
Great stuff poker strategy!
Can I apply all this if I play Super Deep?
Or is there something like SDSS aka Super Deep Stack Strategy?
Leave if you are deep f.
That seems to be what the chart shows if I'm reading it correctly.
It is very unlikely that this person has AK, or this person would have raised.
I get 20's argument of folding with AQ to a raise, so we don't get dominated.
The situation is MP with one limper before us.
With AQ we can raise and fold to a re-raise.
If there are no re-raises and the limper calls, we are in position on the flop.
This course of action seems fine to me or am I missing something?
I wish to know what the good players think about following a chart such as the one on this page and if they do this themselves.
At higher strategy levels, do we get taught to disregard this chart in some situations?
I have read that humans are still better at poker than computers.
It then makes sense that deviating from this chart now and then helps you to be on the winning side, humans ; Or is pre-flop poker simply straightforward and is post-flop where the real poker starts?
The key for me is nothing is set in stone as there is always an element of luck as well as skill, so use the chart as a guide and to avoid being predictable vary your play when you get a hand you feel like playing.
The occassional bluff is part of the thrill!
In mtt's your so far from the money and the real money is really made on the final table that there isn't a icm consideration early game and chipaccumulation is all that matter which is pretty simular to an cashgame 5010 Aug 12 00:56 rush poker strategy to lay before the flop is redirected to this page??
Once you've mastered this chart, the next challenge is to play the players, not the cards.
Now THAT, is a lot harder to teach.
By playing the players, your decisions will should sometimes deviate from this chart.
Also, it should be noted that this is a "Full Ring" chart and shouldn't really be followed exactly for 6-Max or fewer players, imho.
I'm far too passive pre-flop when I have according to the chart really good cards and usually just call unless they are aces.
I now feel better about exactly how much I should raise and reraise and hhow much to call.
I agree that this is SUPER tight ranges but for newbies very good to start.
I'm gonna play exactly according to this next few sessions and see how it works out.
Of course I will need to change to full ring I suppose.
The chart says if there's a call before me then I fold, but if there's a raise before me then I call20.
Am I reading this wrong?
For example in heads up or 3 player cash games it seems clear that if you only play the given hands a lot of money will be lost on blinds since your opponent will play many more hands than the chart 6417 Jun 14 15:16 Two questions come to my mind: First the chart isn t a bit to tight when you play low stake?
I m used to raise 3x and seems to do the work just fine!
Can somebody help me understand this?
Is that extremely low The game slotomania is what what is really recommended in this article?
Am I missing something?
I've been folding A9o and A8o and etc, even when I'm CO and BU when I'm trying to follow this chart.
I know it has some sense since you miss the flush part and kicker is low, but it's still an Ace and I think it'd be playable as long as pot control was possible.
The problem with A9o is that there's no potential flush or straight.
When you hit the A, you're going to end up paying players with better kickers.
On the rare occasions you hit the 9 for TPTK you're likely ahead, but many hands could beat you on the following streets.
I agree that folding A9o from BU seems a bit extreme, but that is what the strategy says.
But you need to understand that when learning to play hold'em, especially NLHE, you need to learn many things quickly.
For this reason, charts like these give you the opportunity to learn the value of very good hands vs mediocre hands.
When you limit the trouble you can get into by playing A9o, you can concentrate on how your opponents are playing.
Although reading players at micro-limits is usually not very informative, learning how to watch and learn is very important.
These abilities are necessary when moving up to higher limits where the players are usually much better.
Remember, this is for beginning players.
After gaining some experience, you will develop your own starting requirements and playing style.
Good luck on your road to profitable play.
The charts are a guide not compulsory you need to find your own style whilst applying them.
However the odds with you, luck not always.
Conclusion: long term your game should be profitable.
We'll see poker fans : 11307 Aug 16 17:27 Wow I Didn't Realize I Was That Bad A Player Overplayed A Lot Of The Starting Hands In The Chart It Was Also Good To Learn How Important Position Is In A Way I Understood 11823 Nov 16 20:37 I think it's important to see flops as much as possible when you start out, but be the best poker starting hands to fold smaller pairs and marginal hands without ego getting involved.
Biggest thing fish do is over play their ace high on a dry board after raising preflop.
Definitely a tight and solid range.
Win More at Poker - Easy Strategy for Hold'em Starting Hands
Despite the rather epic detail some people go into when trying to breakdown the best poker starting hands, it's actually quite easy to decide ...
What phrase... super