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  • December 4, 2020

How to Understand Value of a Two-Card Hand

Texas Hold’em can be tricky to people who have only played the more traditional 5 card poker. The hand you are dealt is 2 cards and it can be hard to know what you have and if you should even continue along the round with what you’re holding. There are, after all, 169 different combinations.
The first thing that needs to be understood is if your two cards are a pair, suited or unsuited, connected or unconnected. A pair is what you’d expect, two of a kind. Suited means you start with two cards of the same suit, raising the possibility of a potential flush. Unsuited means they are two different suites. Connected cards mean two consecutive cards, like a 4 and 5 or a Jack and Queen. These can likely turn into a straight. Suited connectors are two cards that are the same suit and connected.
The worst hand you can be dealt is unsuited, unconnected, and not a pair. Texas Hold’em is meant to be played with a picky eye, so most seasoned players will toss a hand that has none of the above.
From here, many people dispute which combinations are best, but the top two that any player would kill to have are Aces and Kings. A pair of Aces or a pair of Kings is the best of the best in two card hands. The next best would be a pair of Queens and a pair of Jacks. Yes, they are dominated by Aces and Kings, but it’s very rare that if dealt this hand you’ll be dealing with someone else with a pair of Aces or Kings as well, so it’s good to play strong with these two cards.
An Ace-King is the next in line of great hands and is known as the “Big Slick.” If it is a suited hand, it is called the “Super Slick.” It’s not as strong as the pairs previously mentioned, but still can do very well considering it dominates many other two-card hands with an Ace.
In the end, calling, raising or folding on your two-card hand is going to depend on a number of things. You need to think about the number of players, and therefore the chances of certain cards being dealt. You need to think about your position at the table. The later you are, the better, because everything else will have made a move and you’ll get to make yours based on what you witness. Lastly, the pot being raised is something to consider. If it has been raised and re-raised before it even reaches your position, you might want to hold back unless you have a particularly strong starting hand.
With these basics, it will be easier to understand what your next move should be after cards are dealt. From there, it’s all about building experience.

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