There are five types of hold’em starting hands that we will be addressing: Big pairs, small and
medium pairs, two high cards, suited connectors, and big-little suited.  Most other poker hands would have to be discarded, unless you would have the big blind and the pot wouldn’t be raised.

Category No. 1: Big pairs.

A pair of tens and higher would be a superb starting poker hand with a high pair, you would not only can make an even bigger hand, but also could completely miss the board that is, your hand would not develop and would still have a reasonable chance to win the pot.

Clearly, the chances of winning with two aces would be better than the chances of poker winning with two tens.In general, however, all high pairs would have immediate value and would have to be played aggressively.

Category No. 2: small and medium pairs.

In hold’em, as in seven-card stud poker, there would be a big difference in strength between bigpairs and smaller pairs. A hand like would rarely win the pot without improvement.

Besides, the odds against this hand developing to three of a kind on the play after the flop would be  almost eight-to-one (although you still could flop a straight draw). Since small and medium pairs would seldom win without improving, they would have little immediate value and hence could be graded as drawing poker hands. And to gainfully play these hands, you would need several rivals in the pot.

Category No. 3: Two high cards.

Two unsuited high cards would as a rule be a playable poker hand but not a great hand. Even though ace-king almost always would have to be played, a hand like


frequently would have to be folded, particularly if someone were to raise.  Moreover, this hand would have to hit the flop to win in a multiway pot. If your hand would be suited, you would have to be more liable to play poker . But you should remember the warning given earlier: You shouldn’t overrate the value of two suited cards.

Category No. 4: Suited connectors.

Hands like would only be fair at best.


And if your poker hand were to consist of a gap, you couldn’t play it as often since your straight possibilities would have diminished. This type of hand usually would have to be discarded in early position, and you must not call a raise even from a late position unless many poker players would already be in the pot.

Category No. 5: Big-little suited.

An ace or a king with a small card of the same suit would be similar in value to the suited connectors and would have to be played as such. Besides, it would be wise to remember that ace-little suited would be better than king-little suited.

Starting Hand Quiz

1. What hands would you mostly have been interested in playing?
Big pair and high cards, particularly suited high cards.

2. How would you have played these hands?
Aggressively. You should almost always have raised, and with the better hands, usually re-raised.

3. Assuming two players were already in the pot. The first player had raised, the second had called, and you had been holding two kings. What would  you have done? Re-raised. You would have a strong hand would rather shut out the rest of the players.

4. In what circumstances would small pairs play best?
In many-handed pots.

5. When you had played a small pair, what would you have hoped to do?
To make three of a kind on the flop.

6. When would suited connectors play best?
What many rivals would have been in the pot.

7. You were in one of the blind positions, someone had raised, and there were several callers.

What kind of hands should you have played?
All of the good hands; plus all pairs and many of the hands that could have made straights and flushes.

8. Which hand would be better, ace-jack offsuit or eight-seven suited?

By and large, ace-jack offsuit would be the better hand. But when a lot of online poker players would have been in the pot, you would have preferred to hold the eight-seven suited. In this situation, you shouldn’t have overplayed a hand like ace-jack.

9. If there were no raise, what hands would you have called with out of the little blind?
Even though you could have got in for only a partial bet, you would still have needed to be somewhat discerning. Regularly playing hands like finally would have proved costly.


In other words, you still shouldn’t have disposed your worst hands.

10. If someone was to have raised, how would this influence the hands you should have played?
Normally, you would have required to be much more choosy.

Small pairs and medium suited connectors would not have played well against a large pair, and when someone were to have raised, he would have been quite likely to be holding a large pair. Moreover, a raise would have made it uncertain that a lot of players would have gone into the pot.

This means you would not have got the implied odds the amount of money you would have expected to win opposed to the amount you would have anticipated it to cost you that many hands would have required to be lucrative.

11. When should you have played a hand like king-four suited? When you had been in a late position, several players were already in, and the pot had notbeen raised.

12. When you would have had a close decision concerning whether to play a hand, what shouldyou have deliberated?

In hold’em, as in seven-card stud and all other forms of poker, you would have had to bear in mind how well those rivals already in the pot had played. The better they had played, the less prone you would have had to be to go up against them.