Exploring the best (and worst) starting hands in Texas Hold’em
By Bob Garcia
Understanding the opening hands in poker can determine how the rest of the game proceeds
As a poker player, one of the aspects that will guarantee your success is to be able to make the best possible decision, as often as possible. To achieve this, the first step is to be able to identify which hands bring along the best opportunities to fight for the pot. One decision that you have to make in virtually every hand in Texas Hold’em is whether you are going to move forward with your hole cards. The success in a hand depends on you knowing exactly why you are making the decision to fold or move forward, especially when facing complex situations.
In order to make the most correct decisions, it is important to know the best and worst hands you could be getting so you can build a solid base that can help you determine your next move. The best hands to go to war with typically include the highest possible pairs, such as A-A, K-K, Q-Q, or J-J, which are good from the get-go, so these hands take away the pressure of being forced to improve the hand’s value along the way. These types of hands are already made; therefore, there is less chance of one of your opponents to be holding a higher pocket pair.
If it’s not a high pocket pair, the second-best hand would be a suited A-K or A-Q because they present a good chance of becoming high pairs once the community cards are on the table. Additionally, these hands have the potential of becoming high straights and the fact that they are suited could also mean that there is a chance of a nice flush.
There are also some hands that you should stay away from, as the chances of making them worth anything are far less. These are hands that have no value unless something else happens at the table – hands like 7-2, 8-2, 7-3 and 8-3 are definitely not up for an easy win – they can become a low pair perhaps, which is no guarantee that you win as your opponents might have something higher.