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Being a professional poker player is all about strategy, odds and a little bit of luck. One of the first things you should do as a poker novice is to get familiar with the best and the worst poker starting hands. Every little bit of time spent doing research will go a long way at the felt table. You’ll make more conscious bets and you’ll know when to bet more aggressively or when it’s simply better to just fold your hand. Here is our list of the best poker starting hands – once you’re done with this article, head on to our best poker hand odds article and get a little more in-depth.
How to Play Poker – Good Poker Starting Hands
Pair of 10s
A pair of 10s, also called TNT is a good starting hand but definitely not one of the best poker starting hands. The odds of being dealt pocket 10s is one to 220. The pair of tens is definitely an advantage when playing at smaller tables but you should still be cautious when making bigger bets. You can play this hand more aggressively when you’re in the middle or late poker position.
Jack – Ace
Jack and Ace suited is also called a blackjack or an ajax – this is the 9 th best poker starting hands you can get in Texas Holdem. The odds of being dealt this hand are just 1 to 331, making it quite valuable. Since both cards are high and suited, you can go for a wide range of poker hands including flush, straight and high pairs.
King – Ace, off suit
King and Ace off suit is definitely a good poker hand which allows some strategic betting and aggressive gameplay. The odds of being dealt this hand are 1 to 110 so you should definitely take advantage of it when it pops up.
How to Play Poker – Great Poker Starting Hands
King – Queen, suited
King and Queen suited are also called a “couple” or “royalty”. This is the seventh strongest poker starting hand in Texas Holdem. By being suited and high cards, you can use it to create a straight, flush or other great hands such as two pairs of three of a kind.
Ace – Queen, suited
The odds of getting this hand are 1 to 331. The Ace and Queen suited is also called the little slick – this hand will usually beat KQs and AJs but it has a small chance of beating higher pocket pairs.
Pair of Jacks
The pair of Jacks is also called fish hooks – the odds of being dealt this poker starting hand are 1 to 220. Playing with a pair of jacks is definitely an advantage but be weary of opponents with better hands or even higher pairs as this can lead to high losses.
How to Play Poker – Best Poker Starting Hands
Ace – King, suited
The Ace King suited hand is also called the big slick – this is one of the best poker starting hands in Texas Holdem with an odd of just 1 to 331. You can play this hand more aggressively regardless of your poker position or opponents. Even if you do some pre-flop betting you might still be able to walk away with the blinds.
Pair of Queens
A pair of queens is also called pocket ladies – this is the third best starting poker hand in the game with an odd of just 1 to 220. This hand will usually beat AKs, JJ, AQs, KQs AK, AJs and pairs of tens most of the time.
Pair of Kings
The pair of kings will beat all the hands listed above plus pocket queens in most rounds. There’s a 1 to 220 chance of being dealt this hand in any given game. Since it’s the second-best poker starting hand, you can play it regardless of your poker position or the number of opponents.
Pair of Aces
This is the best poker starting hand which will beat all hands listed above plus a few others in any given round. The odds of being dealt a pair of aces is 1 to 220. With a pair of aces you know you’re in it to win it.
Nowadays, more and more people are becoming interested in poker and other types of casino games. Why would anyone want to play online poker when you have casinos open just about anywhere? If you are a poker novice, going to the local casino to play would not be a very good idea – you need to get a better understanding of the game first, research poker strategy, read articles that teach you how to play poker and practice – a lot. Online poker rooms are the perfect place to start working on your poker skills or poker strategy – here is our list of why playing poker online is better than playing in a casino.
Why Play Online Poker – The Rake
Online poker rooms tend to have a much lower rake than offline casinos. The reason is rather simple: they don’t have to pay upkeep for their building, they don’t need to pay utilities, except for their office and other small expenses. Online casinos just pay their servers and employees – this is the bulk of their monthly expenses. That way, you will be able to enjoy a multitude of poker games from the comfort of your own home. A smaller rake means more money in your pocket and more money to gamble with.
Why Play Online Poker – Competition
Players from online poker sites are generally quite loose compared to offline casino players. Casinos generally have their regular players which tend to hop from one casino to another looking for fresh players. For example, 888 Poker is well known for having many novice players which you can go against. Another aspect you need to keep in mind is that novices also tend to be intimidated by more experienced poker players found in casinos – it can definitely be a game-changer.
Why Play Online Poker – It’s accessible
One of the best things about online poker is the fact that it’s accessible at any time of the day and from just about anywhere. Many online poker sites also have mobile apps which you can use to do a bit of gambling while waiting for your friends or when you have some spare time. Gambling from the comfort of your own home is definitely better than traveling to a casino.
Why Play Online Poker – No deposit bonus
No deposit bonus promotions are the best thing for novice poker players who want to test their skill in a competitive environment without any risk of losing real money. A no deposit bonus means that you will receive real money once you register onto a website – you can use the cash to play cash games or join tournaments and win huge prizes. Online casinos also offer a deposit bonus which is usually around 100% of your initial deposit – you won’t get that with an offline casino.
Why Play Online Poker – Multi Tables
Average poker players like to play on multiple tables at the same time – this can be a great asset if you want to end up with a profit at the end of the night. Offline casinos don’t offer the same possibility and the stakes are much higher since offline casinos usually have much larger blinds than online poker rooms. Most online poker rooms also offer weekly poker tournaments with buy ins as low as $1 – these tournaments generally offer prizes worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Your poker position is one of the most important aspects you need to consider when making the decision to bet, raise or fold. What is a poker position? Your poker position refers to your actual position compared to the dealer’s position in a certain poker hand – it’s where you sit, relative to the dealer. Your poker position is quite important as it can limit which hands you can play and how – you will can be the first or the last to make a decision during a round of betting. Your poker position is especially important when playing online poker, as it has a greater effect when playing against 5 or more opponents.
How to Play Poker – Early Poker Position
Any player sitting up to three seats to the left of the dealer is in the early poker position. This is the worst poker position to be in since you’ll have to place the blind and you’ll have to make a decision without knowing how your competitors will act. Since you will have to act without any information regarding your competitors decisions, you should only play the strongest cards or cards with the best poker hand odds.
How to Play Poker – Middle Poker Position
The next three players to the left of those in the early position are in the middle poker position – this is not that bad but not that good either, a sort of compromise between having some information regarding your opponents, but not all of them. Surprises can still pop up because you have a few players acting after you. Players in the middle poker position can play a few more weaker starting hands with a looser gameplay. That being said, you should still be cautious.
How to Play Poker – Late Poker Position
Players in this position are the first two or three players to the dealer’s right. This is the best position you can have, apart from the dealer’s position. By being in the late poker position or the betting position you are able to gather a lot of information before having to make a decision. Almost all players before you already checked, made their bet or folded – this is a great advantage which allows you to play most decent starting hands.
The late poker position is also called the betting position because if all the other players checked, players in this position can do some aggressive betting in order to win the blinds. If you can get the dealer to fold with your bets, it’s called “buying the button”. By getting the dealer to fold not only do you eliminate a competitor but you also improve your poker position.
How to Play Poker – The Button
A player’s poker position is relative to the dealer’s position, which is the most advantageous position to be in due to the lack of needing to place blinds and being the last one to make a decision in a round of betting. The reason as to why the dealer rotates is so that every player gets to play in the dealer’s position, also called the button.
The button position or being on the button is the most desirable position – everyone will take action before you have to take one. This way you are able to play weaker poker hands with less risk than usual. If your opponents make large bets you can simply fold without losing any chips.
If you’re a poker enthusiast or a professional poker player, you need to know the basic poker rules and basic poker etiquette rules before playing at the felt table. These poker rules ensure a fair and smooth poker game regardless of the type of poker being played. Keep in mind that most of these rules are in place in order to avoid providing certain players with an unfair advantage when playing online poker or playing at an offline casino.
Poker Rules – Don’t talk about cards
One of the most important poker rules is that you should never talk about your cards after folding while the game is still going. Once you folded your hand avoid telling the table details about your hand or giving them information regarding your cards. Certain players can use this information to their advantage and it can ultimately ruin the game for everyone.
Poker Rules – Always wait your turn
While you might be tempted to place your bet, raise or fold before it’s your turn to do so, you should avoid doing it until it’s your turn to make a decision. Same as the above, taking action before it’s your turn to do so can provide your opponents with valuable information. Not to mention the fact that if you make a particularly large bet before it’s your turn, players to the right of you might fold without placing their blind first – this can lead to losses to other players and make the game less enjoyable for everyone involved.
Poker Rules – Don’t show your cards before the showdown
You should never show your cards before the showdown, even if you fold. The reason behind this poker rule is that other players will gain an unfair advantage regarding the cards that are still in play. This can potentially chance the way the rest of the hand plays out and it’s definitely not fair to the other players.
Poker Rules – Pot splashing
Pot splashing is when a player simply tosses his bet in the centre of the main pot. This makes it extremely difficult for the dealer to actually count your bet amount and could potentially lead to a re-count of all bets made previously. Simply stacking your chips in front of you is the way to go – let the dealer handle the rest.
Poker Rules – Pay attention
You should always pay attention to the table when playing a poker hand – keep the game moving and don’t stall the game for personal phone calls or private conversations. If you need more time to think about your poker hand or your decision, just ask for more time but otherwise you should avoid activities such as texting, reading the news or checking your e-mail while in-game.
Poker Rules – Don’t be rude
If you’re having a losing streak or a winning streak, there’s no reason to be mean or rude to the other players or to dealer. This sort of behaviour won’t win you any friends, only trouble – it can get you kicked out of the casino or banned from the online poker room. Keep in mind that poker is meant to be pleasurable and all players have the right to enjoy it.
Playing online poker can be difficult without proper training or reasearch. Nowadays many beginner players opt for poker coaches in order to learn the ropes and get a better understanding of the game and probabilities. These Texas Holdem poker tips will allow you to play like a pro regadless of you’re playing in a casino or online. Poker is a game of strategy, skill and chance – since we can’t influence chance in any way shape or form we should buckle down and develop our strategy and skills.
Texas Holdem Poker Tips: Don’t be afraid to fold
Too many beginner poker players tend to play each and every hand. That’s simply wrong and costly. You should only play around 25-35% of your hands, but it also depends on your poker position. You can check other articles and learn which hands are worth playing and read more about your poker position.
Texas Holdem Poker Tips: Don’t bluff too often
Bluffing is a part of poker and that’s a given but you shouldn’t bluff too often since the other players will start countering your tactic immediately. You should avoid bluffing all together but you shouldn’t bluff with a high card poker hand either – it’s a matter of balance. Always keep in mind the size of the pot when bluffing – if players have too much invested in it, it’s unlikely they will fold straight away.
Texas Holdem Poker Tips: Betting habits
You should always try to stay away from passive or easily recognizable betting habits – your opponents will quickly figure out your strategy and out manoeuvre you every round. You can use bluffing to break your betting habits or bet more in order to keep them guessing. Learning more about poker player types is a huge advantage at the felt table.
Texas Holdem Poker Tips: Keep your bankroll going
One of the first rules of pokers and one of the best poker tips out there is to always play within your bankroll and to avoid being sloppy with your bets. Don’t play with more than you can afford to lose and always keep your bankroll a bit tighter than you’d like it. Players with very large bankrolls are always the target of more experienced poker players.
Texas Holdem Poker Tips: When should I bet?
Before taking a seat at the felt table, you can always just watch the game for a few rounds in order to spot your opponent’s betting patterns and strategy. After that you can join the game and start playing – you should only join a game after you gained some information on your opponents. You are not playing against the house, you are playing against other players – information is vital. You should always check the probabilities of different poker hands and also check the best poker starting hands in order to make an informed decision.