In Texas hold’em, as in all forms of poker, it’s important to be selective about your starting hand requirements. Those who play every hand are bound to be losers in the long run. The question is how to decide which starting hands are worth playing in a Texas holdem poker game.
Starting Hands in Limit Hold’em
Limit hold’em is a game of big cards. You want to mostly be playing cards in the “Broadway zone” of T through A. Give more credit to a hand that is closely connected and a little extra for suited.
Keep in mind that the weaker big card hands come with the risk of being dominated. A hand like KJ or even AQ is a good hand to raise with, but not a great one to call a raise with, because of the risk of being dominated by a hand like AK and having to put a lot of money in with a losing hand.
Hands like small pairs and small suited connectors have limited value. You will have to see a lot of flops before you hit with them and the payoff will not necessarily be that big.
Starting Hands in No Limit Hold’em
No limit hold’em is a game of big pots. You can afford to play some more unusual holdings because the payoffs can be great. This means that in addition to the big card hands, you can add all the pairs and suited connector hands. When you play small pairs and suited connectors, you should be playing them in later positions, as part of multi-way hands, and only if you can limp or call a small raise with them.
Other Notes on Starting Hands in Texas Hold’em
If you are not happy with your results in Texas hold’em, the first place to look is at your starting hand requirements. Playing small pairs and/or suited connectors may not be working for you. If you are the type who will continue if he hits any part of the flop, or who cannot get away from a second best hand, you may be better off sticking to the big card hands for now.