• August 3, 2021

Texas Holdem Starting Hands | Part 2

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Understanding Texas Holdem starting hands is the most important part of a winning holdem strategy. It is the foundation on which a players game will be built. This is why there is an entire section devoted to them.
The most important aspects of hand selection is you. You must be able to play a hand confidently in order to play it correctly. Knowing a hands strengths and weaknesses is also crucial. Take advantage of everything I have learned as a pro and jump ahead of your competition.
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Starting hands are ranked mainly according to their mathematical strength combined with how confidently and correctly the hand can be played. A player must be able to play a poker hand with confidence. Since everyone is different nothing can be set in stone.
There are five categories of limit hold ’em starting hands that we will discuss: Big pairs, small and medium pairs, two high cards, suited connectors, and big-little suited. Most other hands should be thrown away unless you have the big blind and the pot has not been raised.
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Big pairs.
A pair of tens and higher is an excellent starting hand. With a high pair, you not only can make an even bigger hand, but also can completely miss the board — your hand does not improve — and still have a reasonable opportunity to win the pot. Obviously, the chances of winning with two aces are better than the chances of winning with two tens. In general, however, all high pairs have immediate value and should be played aggressively.
Small and medium pairs.
In hold ’em, as in seven-card stud, there is a big difference in strength between big pairs and smaller pairs. A hand like the seldom wins the pot without improvement. Moreover, the odds against this hand improving to three of a kind on the flop are almost 8-to-1 (although you still can flop a straight draw).
Since small and medium pairs rarely win without improving, they have little immediate value and therefore can be classified as drawing hands. And to profitably play these hands, you need several opponents in the pot.
Two high cards.
Two unsuited high cards is usually a playable hand but not a great hand. Even though ace-king almost always should be played, a hand like the often should be folded, especially if someone has raised. In addition, this hand must hit the flop to win in a multiway pot.
If your hand is suited, you should be more inclined to play. But remember the warning given earlier: Don’t overrate the value of two suited cards.
Suited connectors.
Hands like the are only fair at best. And if your hand contains a gap, you cannot play it as often since your straight possibilities have decreased. This type of hand usually should be thrown away in early position, and you should not call a raise even from a late position unless many players are already in the pot.
Big-little suited.
An ace or a king with a small card of the same suit is similar in value to the suited connectors and should be played as such. Of course ace-little suited is better than king-little suited.
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Steve Carr

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