Poker Hands in No Limit Texas Holdem: A Beginner’s Guide

In No-Limit Texas Holdem poker, making money starts with the poker hands you play and when you choose to play them. Even though “top 10 hands” might sound fantastic, it could be the wrong hand to pick, depending on your situation. A comprehensive guide on every possible hand and how (and when) to play them against every type of situation would take more words than a novel! So instead, this article will focus on pre-flop hands with broad strokes.

Texas Holdem Starting Hands

Although there’s no such thing as a Texas Holdem Cheat Sheet that will help you cheat, it can give you an idea of which hands to play and how to bet in certain rounds or positions. These cheat sheets are often used in online poker games, but using them in person would be suspicious.

If you want to start playing Texas Holdem Poker but need to know how to, our beginner’s guide will show you the ropes and great poker combinations. If you’re already familiar with the game and want to improve, you can test your skill in some online matches on GGPoker!

How to Play These Hands in Holdem

To understand the value of starting hands, you need to know how all Holdem hands are ranked. If hand rankings need clarification, consult our cheat sheet with the best poker hands ranked from highest to lowest.

Now let’s examine some different types of Texas Holdem starting hands.

Pocket Aces

You almost can’t go wrong if you have this hand. Although poker players could write a lot about ways to maximize their profit with this hand other than folding, there are a few scenarios in which you could make a mistake with it in pre-flop. Even though this is the best starting hand, the board sometimes needs to improve. In those cases where it doesn’t, all you have is one pair, and you should be aware of that to avoid gambling against random two pairs and sets during your gameplay.

Pocket Kings

Although pocket kings and aces have many similarities pre-flop, you will still need a cheat sheet to play correctly. While some players may choose to fold KK pre-flop, this is rarely the most brilliant move. Remember that if someone else is dealt AA when you have KK, it’s likely that all your chips will be in the pot. Don’t worry too much about losing in these situations; just write it off as bad luck and move on.

The same post-flop strategies for playing with aces are also relevant when playing kings. In addition to the “one pair” concept, awareness of an ace appearing on the flop is critical. While an ace flopping isn’t necessarily trouble, it’s not generally a good sign either.

Pocket Queens and Jacks

Queens and jacks are right in the middle–below the big pairs and above the marginal pairs. These hands can be some of the trickiest to play. These two hands should still be on your list of the top 10 most profitable hands.

With cards like QQ or JJ, many gamblers will need help making money. And because there are more flushes than top pairs, we should come to this conclusion: over the long term, your odds will improve by betting all of your chips.

If many players are betting pre-flop, it’s likely that you’re beat or, at best, up against AK. You should continue playing with these hands if the board improves your hand or if your opponents back down and show weakness.

Pocket Pairs Below Jacks

These hands are playable with no raise or a single raise for a set value, especially with multiple callers. You’re set mining with these hands; if you don’t hit your set, you don’t make a bet–got that? The only goal is to flop a set and double up through the pre-flop raiser holding pocket aces.

The lower your pocket pair is, the more likely you will find yourself in a set-over-set situation. If you flop the underset in this type of scenario, you’re lucky if you don’t lose everything. Because of this, many players will refuse to play any pocket pairs below five.

Top-Pair Hands

Given that A-K, A-Q, and even K-Q are all good hands to play, you should note them in your poker hands chart. These hands become especially advantageous when there’s a loose table, meaning you can raise the stakes without worrying as much about others reacting since they likely don’t have as strong of a hand.

The poker game is constantly changing, but this is especially true for Texas Holdem. Playing live vs. online presents different challenges, and there can be significant differences, even from one online room to another. With that said, here are some guidelines to keep in mind: In Texas Holdem Poker, one pair is a hand that can be easily beaten. If your opponent is a tight player who takes few risks, they probably will only make large bets against you if they have a stronger hand.

Wrapping Up

Now, we have gone through some basics in Texas Holdem Poker and some ways to understand which Texas Holdem hands to put in your poker chart. Whether you play live games or online, study your cheat sheet and remember the poker hand rankings.

And if you want some extra practice before hitting the real money games, GGPoker has a great free poker school where you can learn everything from basic strategy to advanced concepts. Sign up now and see how much better your game becomes with a bit of guidance!

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