To win in Texas Hold’Em, it is important to have good cards from the beginning. Surely, it doesn’t guarantee that you will win, but a solid combination of cards can show whether the further game is worth the candle. Learn about the best and worst starting poker hands from our guide.
Texas Hold’Em is the most popular poker variation which is played across the globe. It can be found in land-based casinos and online gambling sites with millions of players competing against each other. To beat your opponents, you should know a) the rules of Texas Hold’Em, b) the ranking of your hands.
Keeping this in mind, we’ve decided to come up with a list of the strongest and weakest starting poker hands. The value of your first cards in Hold’em can help you evaluate your winning chances before the other cards are dealt.
General information about starting poker hands
The definition of starting poker hands is easy to give. They are basically the first cards you receive from the dealer. In Texas Hold’Em, players are dealt two cards and they become their starting hands in the game. Based on these cards, the player should decide for themselves whether this combination allows them to keep playing or it is better to fold & lose the bet but avoid bigger losses.
All Hold’em starting hands fall into two categories: suited and offsuit. Suited hands include two cards of the same suit, e.g. K+Q of spades, 6+10 of hearts, 4+A of diamonds, and so on. All other staring hands belong to the offsuit category.
What else should you know about starting poker hands? In Hold’Em, there are 169 two-card combinations you can receive at the beginning of the round. Obviously, some of those combinations are better than others. To learn more about the best and worst poker hands for the game start, keep reading our guide.
Best & worst starting hands in Texas Hold’Em
Following numerous online poker guides, there are best and worst starting poker hands in Hold’Em. They might increase or reduce your chances of winning the round respectively. A strong hand might also encourage you to make a strong blind, while a weak one – to leave just in time. So, let’s get started.
Best starting hands
It is crucial to know whether you have a worthy starting hand in Texas Hold’em. This knowledge helps to evaluate your chances and possible winning hands even before the flop. So, here are the best hands in poker to start with:
- The A+A pair is the strongest starting hand in the game
- K+K, Q+Q, and J+J are great combinations in the absence of A on the flop
- A+K or Q, or J (suited) will help to develop a flush, straight, or pair with the flop. The best you can do with this hand is a nut flush or a royal flush by poker hands ranking
- K+Q (suited) could result in such strong combinations as a flush, straight, royal flush, and two pairs
- A+K (offsuit) is the only offsuit pair on the list of good starting hands in Hold’Em
- 10+10 is considered a worthy hand to keep playing. The same touches upon such combinations as 9+9, 8+8, and 7+7
Worst starting hands
While good starting poker hands increase your chances of winning, the worst ones reduce them. If you are given one of the following combinations from scratch, it is better to fold or you can lose much more than your initial bet:
- 2 + 7 or 8 are considered the worst starting hands in Hold’Em. They are not strong if separated or combined, and making a straight is not possible
- 3+ 7 or 8: its situation is similar to the previous hand
- A or K, or Q, or J + any unsuited low card makes you take a risk of relying on just one good card
- Any two unmatched and unsuited low cards like 2+5, 3+6, etc are unlikely to give any chance of winning.