Know when to Fold the Weak Hands
Poker Hand Selection Video
“Starting hand selection” is simply choosing the good hands and folding the weak hands. Technically any hand can win in poker, but the fact of the matter is that some hands will have the higher probability of winning than others.”
The decision to play a hand should be based considering multiple factors like your position on the table, opponent’s chip stack, playing style, their action before your turn etc.
There are 169 distinct types of starting hand combinations in Texas Hold’em (13 pocket pairs + 78 suited hands + 78 unsuited hands).
PAIRS- Two cards of the same rank.
SUITED HANDS – Two cards of the same suit.
OFFSUIT HANDS- Two cards of different suit and rank.
Early Position: As you have “little-to-no” information about your opponents’ gameplay and hand strength, you should play only with premium hands at the early position.
1.THE BIG PAIRS
Suited is better than unsuited due to the chances of hitting the flush.
Not as strong as Ace King but suited can be profitable if it hits the straight. It should be played carefully if there is a King on the board.
Suited is slightly better than unsuited as you can hit a flush.
It should be played cautiously at this position. The face card is not a good kicker and can disappoint if you hit top pair.
Middle Position: This position allows players to play more liberally with average hands as well i.e medium or small pairs as it provides information about the gameplay of Early Position players. You can play with a wider range of hands but as Late Position players are seeing your actions and going to act after you, you should not take the risk of playing with junk cards.
Late Position: It is the most favourable position to play as it allows players to see the actions of every other player and create a game plan on the basis of available information. Other than above-mentioned premium starting hands, you can play with low pairs like (7♦️ 7♠️, 8♣️ 8♦️) or suited connectors like (6♦️ 7♦️ 9♦️ 10♦️) and of or and of but do not risk betting too much with these starting hands.
Small Pairs – Any pocket pair of 9 or lower value. They should be folded in most of the situations but if the opponent is limping or raising too high which can pay you off much bigger amount than what you need to call, you can give it a shot.
Remember that holding a strong hand does not mean that you have already won the game. No one can predict which cards will appear on the board. Even if you have a great holding, you need to take many crucial decisions during the game. Categorizing the starting hands can help you decide whether or not to invest in a hand, develop strategies, and ultimately improve your chances of stealing the pot.
What matters the most is the ability to fold the poor hands at the right time to save maximum chips for the time you have a better hand. The best way to memorize the best-starting hands is through practice.