Video:Starting Hand Options in Texas Hold 'Emwith Jon Stewart
Want to learn about the starting hand options in Texas Hold 'Em? Here, see helpful information about the starting hands that you can be dealt.See Transcript
Transcript:Starting Hand Options in Texas Hold 'EmSuccess in Texas Hold'em Poker starts with the very first cards you're dealt, and the most important decision you make for any hand is whether or not to play. Like my man Kenny always says, you've got to know when to hold ‘em, and know to fold 'em.
What to Expect for Starting Hand Options in Texas Hold 'EmEvery Texas Hold'em hand starts each player off with two cards face down, known as hole or pocket cards. Understanding their potential value is a little tricky, and there is some amount of disagreement amongst players as to which hands are the best. Where you're sitting relative to the dealer is important for sure, but for now let's just consider these two factors: the combination of your hole cards and whether or not you've anted. There are two antes in Texas Hold'Em, known as the little and big blinds. Most of the time, especially as you're just learning, you should think in terms of playing tight, or folding on most hands in which you haven't anted.
More Information About Starting Hand Options in Texas Hold 'EmThe About.com Poker Guide suggests that the following 10 hole card combinations are worth staying in for: A pair of aces, kings, queens, jacks, Ace-King, Ace-Queen, Ace-Jack, Ace-Ten, King-Queen, and King-Jack.
Folding when you don't have any money on the table guarantees you at least one more shot at being dealt one of these top-10 starting hands, where your chances of winning are much greater. If you have anted, you might think about staying in on these card combinations, too: Middle pairs like 10s, 9s, and 8s can easily turn into three-of-a-kinds on the flop, and should be considered for at least an initial bet. Adjacent middle cards are riskier, as are small pairs.As your position at the table gets further away from the dealer, you have a better chance to see how everyone else is betting, which puts you at an advantage. Staying in on some of these lower hands even when you haven't anted can sometimes work out. But if there are multiple raises ahead of you, you might want to consider folding even if you have anted.
Starting Hands in Texas Hold 'Em That Should Always Be FoldedNo matter where you're sitting or whether or not you've anted, the following card combinations - the 10 worst starting hands - should be folded regardless: 2-7, 2-8, 3-8, 3-7, 2-6, 2-9, 3-9, 4-9, 2-10, and 5-9. A face card and a low un-suited card, or even ace-lows are typically losers, so don't be lured in by the single, high card. Remember that these are only rough guidelines, and don't factor in the experience of the other players, or your own. Learning to bluff and read others' tells are big parts of the game, too. As is learning to count your money when the dealin's done. I'm Jonathon Stewart with About.com.
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