AstaCP Aug 09, 2021

Texas Hold ‘Em Starting Hands – Top 10 Poker Hands in Hold ‘Em

After learning the basics of the game, next step is to understand the best starting hands


If we look at the best starting poker hands you can receive when playing Texas hold ’em, it will help you decide what your next action should be. Are you going to play the hand, call the bet, raise it up, or fold?

How the hand is played, well that’s something we will look at in the next guide, but for now, we will simply review the top 10 hold’em hands you can get.

So, what are the ten top poker hands to play?

1. Pocket Aces – Bullets

This is the absolute best of the starting hold ’em hands you can receive. Many names are used for this combination of 2 aces and that’s no surprise as it’s the one hand you always want to see no matter what position you have or what prior action you have seen in the hand. 

The win rate for this hand is 85% versus a random hand. Having this powerful starting hand means that you will want to play aggressively and raise the stakes as much as you can, as you will be feeling confident about winning this hand no matter what the other players around the table have been dealt.

2. Pocket Kings – The Cowboys

A pair of kings provides the second of our best Texas hold’em hands, with only pocket aces beating it for winning potential. This is a hand that surely will get you excited preflop and you should be looking to raise the stakes.

It can be very frustrating if you are holding “the cowboys” and an ace lands on the board, as this will make you wonder whether you have a stronger hand than your opponents after all.

In this case, it is a good idea to try and keep the size of the pot under control, especially if there are a few players still playing as this means a higher chance of someone having an ace. The win rate for this hand is a very healthy 83% versus a random hand.

3. Pocket Queens – The Ladies

After the cowboys, we then have the ladies or pocket queens, which is a pair of queens. This is the third of the best poker starting hands you can get while playing Texas hold ’em.

The win rate for this hand is 80% versus a random hand. The strategy you use will depend largely upon whether you see aces or kings in the flop, as well as the number of players around the table.

With more than 4 players, your pocket queens are no longer the great starting hand they first appeared to be.

4. Pocket Jacks – Fish Hooks

Pocket jacks are also known as fish hooks and they are the fourth-best starting poker hands to play with confidence. Playing with 2 jacks you will have a win rate of 78% versus a random hand.

Yet, this combination is regarded as being one of the most difficult of the top 10 poker hands to start with. Despite there only being three stronger poker starting hands, the overall position you will be in depends upon the flop.

Many newcomers over-estimate the strength of a JJ, but this is really nothing more than a solid starting point for building a winning hand.

5. Ace-King Suited – Big Slick

Next, we have a big slick, which is an ace and king in the same suit. This hand has a 67% win rate against any random hand.

The win rate is lower than pocket 10s, but it’s a hand that can flop really well which makes it a big favorite amongst poker players.

You can hit both a flush or a straight but also win without hitting when up against hands such as AQ or AJ.

It’s the enticing possibility of improving this hand in any one of a number of ways that puts the big slick among the best hold ’em hands to get you started.

6. Pocket Tens – Dimes – TNT

Pocket tens or dimes is the next on our list of the best hold ’em poker hands that you can be dealt. We are basing this ranking on the relatively high win rate against any random hand, where tens have a 75% win rate.

Pre-flop, you should be looking to raise, but everything could change if the flop brings other strong cards into play, making you feel less sure about your chances of winning.

Don’t let your heart rule your head with this starting hand, as the prospects of winning with it vary widely according to the circumstances.

7. Ace-King Offsuit – Big Slick

As with the earlier big slick, here you have an ace and a king but they are offsuit, which is a far more commonly seen combination. The win rate for this hand is 65% against any random hand.

Along with the suited AK, the offsuit is still a favorite hand amongst players but a lot of people tend to think that it is stronger than it really is.

Having said that, you will probably feel comfortable putting a lot of chips into the middle with these cards. To win, you probably need to see it improve significantly in the flop, but you are holding one of the best starting hands in Texas hold ’em right away.

8. Ace-Queen Suited – Big Chick

Ace-queen suited is another strong drawing hand. But as with any drawing hand, it can fall flat if it doesn’t hit the flop. Despite being a strong hand, you still have to be careful about pocket aces, kings or queens.

The win rate for this hand is 66% against any random hand, but many pros are wary of this combination, as it can lead to big losses but usually only brings you pretty small wins. This means that it is often ranked lower and not everyone even puts it in the top 10 starting hands in Texas hold ’em.

9. Pocket Nines

Pocket nines is another fairly strong hand, but again if up against any premium pairs from AA to JJ, you are in bad shape. How nines are played all depends on position and action before you.

Pocket nines win rate against any random hand is 71%, but beginners can find it extremely difficult to work out what to do with these cards.

Starting with raising before the flop is always a good idea, but you then need to look carefully at the cards in the flop and what the other players do.

10. Ace-Jack Suited – Blackjack

Ace-jack suited is classed among the best starting poker hands but at the same time a hand that is often overplayed. It also gets crushed against any premium pair along with AK and AQ.

The ace-jack suited is at the bottom of premium drawing hands with a 65% win rate. It is one of the most suitable starting combinations of Texas hold ’em cards for taking control of the pot and pressuring your opponents into folding, but you will need to be aware of the risk that someone could have a better hand than you.

Find Out How to Play the Best Hold ‘Em Hands

Getting one of these best Texas hold ’em hands is clearly just the starting point. These are combinations that make you feel good about your chances of winning, but you need to play them in the right way to take full advantage.

In most cases, this means putting in a lot of chips pre-flop and then carefully analyzing the cards that come up in the flop and how other players react to them.  

It is all about reading the situation and reacting smartly. You shouldn‘t think that getting a couple of good cards means you will definitely win, as this simply gives you a better chance of winning if you play the hand well where you play live or online.

What is the worst starting hand in poker? A couple of low-value cards in different suits that are too far apart to be of any use is what you least want to see. Something like an offsuit 2-7 or 3-8 will make you immediately think about quitting the hand. There is nothing that the cards in the flop can do to help you in this case.

As for the rest of the top 20 best starting poker hands, we can see the following combinations.

  1. King-Queen Suited
  2. Ace-Ten Suited
  3. Ace-Queen Offsuit
  4. Pockets Eights
  5. King-Jack Suited
  6. King-Ten Suited
  7. Queen-Jack Suited
  8. Ace-Jack Offsuit
  9. King-Queen Offsuit
  10. Queen-Ten Suited

Start Using Your Knowledge of Hold’em Poker Hands

No matter what cards you are dealt, it is important that you work hard to make the most of your hand. This comes with experience and with the knowledge that you pick up along the way.

For the moment, understanding the top poker hands and what makes them so good is the starting point for any new player who is keen to learn.

Now that you have learned a little bit about the best starting poker hands, it is time to put that knowledge to good use by starting to play some hands at CoinPoker.

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