Top Hands in Poker — What Are They?

Dennis  «Dennis_Stets» 
25 Jun 2024
Holdem Poker Basics
25 Jun 2024

Many beginners don’t exactly know with which pocket cards it’s better to participate in. In fact, it's impossible to identify winning cards with 100% accuracy (we’re not talking about poker combinations). Hand range will depend on the type of poker game, the stakes, the opponents at the table and other important factors. In today’s issue we’ll talk about poker strong hands, that surely increase your chances to win the pot. 

Top cards

First of all, let's define good poker hands that should definitely be played in poker. There are two starting hands that greatly outperform all other starters in terms of expected value. You can easily see this by analyzing your database.

AA and KK account for about half of the total players’ profit.

Pocket Aces and Kings are among the top combinations in poker that come with a 1% probability. But it’s important to start the game correctly with a monster pair. For example, to make a raise in any position before the flop. Remember that you have about 85% chance of winning in poker with these cards.

However, the more opponents there are, the harder it will be to play top cards. With two or more opponents, the chances of winning will be reduced to 50%. 

Despite the outright profitability of these starters, there is one problem that beginners experience when they get these hands. This problem is a lack of understanding of the mathematical background of the game and, partly, psychology. When players get these starters, expect that they should win with them every time. This is extremely unreasonable! 

In fact, even the weakest starting hand in poker (it’s 72o) has 13% equity against A-A preflop.

If you add a few more one-suit hands against pocket aces, you'll find that your equity drops to 50%. This would effectively be a virtual coin flip.

Pocket Jacks and Queens are also among the good hands to play in poker. But here players need to be aggressive at the preflop. Your opponents may have higher pocket pairs, but the chances of that are minimal.

Ace and King one-suit is a great combination to play in Texas Hold’em. You can get a top pair on the board or a high straight, and there is a good chance of a nuts flush.

Medium cards

These are no longer monster hands, but they are pretty high cards to play. First on the list of combinations is the Ace and King off suit. In this case, the combination can give us a top pair with a high kicker. However, against some pocket pairs the combination will be a smart move. 

Hand like pocket Tens are a great hand to play actively on preflop in Texas Hold'em. It’s not recommended to check or call with this pair — make sure to raise.

Ace-Queen, Ace-Jack and King-Queen of the same suit are pretty good starting hands. It’s right to raise with them in a preflop position. But you should avoid playing these cards too aggressively against tight players. Also don’t invest too much chips in the pot.

How to play one-suit cards correctly?

Many newbies are sure to go all-in on the flop with any one-suit cards. If you think the same — stop it! This is a big mistake in poker. A one-suit hand should also be properly selected for play. Very low cards should be folded, as their chances of collecting a flush are about 6%. At the same time, you may catch a bad beat by a higher flush.

You can go into the flop with Nines and Eights of the same suit, or with Fours and Fives. These cards give you a good chance for a flush or straight in poker.

Why use a starting hand table?

For beginners it’s recommended to use the ranking of poker hands chart table. It describes what cards can be dealt preflop and in what position. The next poker table gives every player following advantages:

  • Profit increases due to playing according to the odds and without unnecessary risk;
  • In the right situation is squeezing the opponents out of the bank with a preflop raiser;
  • Thanks to best texas hold’em starting hands chart you can choose correct bet sizing and will not risk unnecessary chips;
  • You’ll get data about most part of winning hands that can lead to more possible outcome;
  • List of highest poker hand reduces the number of risky cards that eventually lead to a decrease of a bankroll.

There’s many poker hand rankings chart you can find online. We offer to start from our detailed table of hands:

Tips for understanding poker hands

Although the hierarchy of poker top poker hands seems obvious and 100% clear to an experienced player, it can be difficult for beginners to navigate through it during hands. There are a few recommendations that can make it easier to memorize good hands in poker. Among them:

  1. Use visual cues. For the first time it’s worth keeping the hierarchy of layouts in front of your eyes. For example, you can print out a ranking of poker hands chart in picture form. At the very beginning it’s worth using this option to check your hand  seniority before making the decision;
  2. Study probabilities. The better a poker player understands the math of the game, the easier it is for him to memorize the values associated with the poker odds. This applies to the probabilities of picking winning combinations as well;
  3. Hand analysis. This is a mandatory job of a poker player. In addition to improving math skills, it also helps to easily learn the best poker hands in order and, as a result, the combinations you can make with them.

Also remember, that any combination, even a pair, consists of five denominations. Part of them sets the hand strength — the rest help to determine the winner. In case of equality, don’t forget about possible kickers. For insurance, you should take into account all five cards that make up the combination.

Following these recommendations, a player will quickly bring the recognition of what is a good hand in poker to automatism. This will relieve his attention and allow him to maintain concentration for more difficult episodes of the game than just poker hand strengths.

Final thoughts on top poker hands

Now you know all about poker strong hands to play. For the first time, use the mentioned above poker hand ranking chart. A little later you can play on your own and analyze the strength of the hand in a particular situation from memory. At the same time, always look at your position at the table, the size of the pot at the moment and the peculiarities of the game of your opponents.

As a winning player, you should be able to show a profit with many other hands that we have not discussed in this article: small pocket pairs, medium and weak aces, and so on. To be able to get profit with these hands, you must be able to play them in the right positions and in the right situations. But this is the subject for another article, so we will talk about it in the near future.

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