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Starting Hands in Poker

One of the most important pieces to proper Texas Hold'Em strategy play is knowing the starting hands and how they affect you depending on your position around the board. This is harder then it sounds though. In Texas Hold'Em, there are 169 different combinations of cards that you can have as your starting hand. Even though there's this many different hands that you can start with there are five main groups that you have to look out for:

  1. Connecting - two cards that have consecutive numbers - e.g.: 9, 10
  2. Suited Connecting - two consecutive cards of the same suit
  3. Gapped - Two cards that have a small gap(two or less cards) between them
  4. Suited Gapped - two cards that have a small gap (two or less cards) between them in the same suit
  5. Pair - a pair of cards that have the same face value

These different types can give your hand a different strategy depending on where you're positioned around the poker table as well. If you're in an early position, it's essential that you play only good hands and take careful notice of your opponents actions when they play. If your hand is average and you bet or call when you're in an early position there's a good chance that players after you will bully you out of the pot.

There are a few hands that can be played well when you're in an early position, but even good hands require you to play in instinct rather then basing decisions on your opponents actions. Good hands for early players are any pair over 7's as well as connectors and gapped hands with the lowest card being a 9.

When you're lucky enough to be in a late betting position, or at best the dealer, you can see what every other players action is before you have to decide on your own action for your hand. When you're playing closer to the end of the game you can take a few more risks on lower valued hands and also hands that have bigger gaps although of course you have to ensure that you can still make a hand.

Even if you are in a good late betting position it's not advisable to play poor hands just because you've got a good position. When you have a bad hand, you should always fold the hand and wait for a better one next time.

If you can stick to the guidelines that we've given here and you'll have even more chance of winning at online poker.