Poker Hands Explained

Should you play each poker hand or be patient with only the best poker hands?

There are strong poker hands, weak poker hands, and premium hands in poker. Although it is possible to maximize any hand you are dealt, the general consensus is that weak poker hands are better off being folded. However, it is crucial to have a respectable selection of poker hands that you are willing to play if you want to improve as a player and start winning. This raises the question of whether it is worthwhile to play every hand. I’ll provide a thorough response to this query in the sentences that follow.

Should you engage in a full game of poker? No, compared to players who don’t play every hand, players who play every hand in poker are more likely to lose bets. However, in the game of poker, small adjustments in positioning or behavior can have a significant impact. For instance, it makes sense to play your hand regardless of its strengths if no other player has opened the pot before you. If the player in front of you raises, you might want to think twice about playing any poker hands at all.

There are some hands in poker that should be played more frequently than others, even though it isn’t generally a good idea to play every hand. But, there will be times when playing these same “premium” hands may not be safe. Fundamentally, a lot of outside factors will influence the hands you choose.

Things that Influence the Poker Hands you Play

Playing a particular hand can be smart or absolutely foolish, depending on the scenario you’re in. The decision of which hand to play must therefore take into account all relevant factors. The following elements will decide whether or not a hand is worthwhile playing.

The Power in Your Hand

Its qualities are unquestionably the aspect that has the greatest evident impact on the hands you play. Only 5 of the approximately 169 playable poker hands are recognized as premium poker hands. These are JJ, AA, QQ, KK, and AK (same suit). No of your chip stack or bankroll, you should always try to play these hands. With these poker hands, the only time you might need to back off is if your stake grows too large. Unless you have aces or kings, you should avoid playing either of the aforementioned poker hands if your opponents frequently bet and raise.

Playing Style of the Opponent:

The playing style of your opponent should also be taken into consideration when determining whether it is beneficial to play a hand. A passive player typically suggests that they are holding hands that aren’t very profitable. An aggressive player, on the other hand, is a sign that your hand is stronger than normal. Your odds decrease when a player raises you with a potentially powerful hand, ensuring that your range of playable poker hands in that situation decreases.


The idea that position is crucial in poker strategy is one of the first things a novice learns. In late positions, certain moves that can be profitable in an early position can turn out to be a tremendous error. It is beneficial to play a variety of  poker hands, regardless of their value, if you are playing from an early position and no one has limped or raised before you. When a raise has been made ahead of you, your playable poker hands are limited. Your best course of action in this scenario is to stick with poker  hands that can keep you out of a position where you’re being dominated. A hand like KQ, for instance, should never be played into a raise. The rationale for this is that in that situation, AQ, QQ, AK, KK, and AK will always dominate KQ.


Experience matters, as it does in practically every endeavor on the planet. It’s acceptable to ease into a poker game if you’re a beginner. You simply lack the experience to play too many hands profitably, so don’t try to play too many. The better your post-flop strategy, the more experience you’ll have. As a result, experienced players will always have access to more playable poker hands than newbies.

poker hands


The mathematical advantage one hand has over another is known as equity. Some poker hands have an edge over others in a hand called equity. In order to find out what kind of hand your opponent is holding and whether or not your hand has equity over it, you should always try to do so. If your hand has a 55/45 equity advantage over your opponent’s hand, you will win this hand 55% of the time. If you play it 10,000 times, you will undoubtedly win 5,500 times. You need to have solid mathematical skills in order to comprehend your opponent’s hand and maximize the equity of your own.

The best opening poker hands

In no-limit Texas Hold’em, there is little doubt that pocket aces are the best starting hand preflop. The solution is less clear, however, when going from the flop to the river. Your powerful hand could easily become exposed as more factors enter the picture. For instance, a strong hand like pocket kings can appear weak with just one ace on top. Even strong poker hands, like as pocket aces, have a 12% chance of losing to weak hands, such as 7-2. Texas Hold’em’s appeal can also be attributed to its rollercoaster-like nature.

Despite this, it is still true that starting poker hands with stronger odds, such as kings, queens, and pocket aces, will frequently outperform other starting cards. Based on random hands vs. all in %, the top 10 starting hands in Texas Hold’em are listed below.

Pocket aces

As was already mentioned, the finest beginning hands in Texas Hold’em are unquestionably pocket aces. There is no question that you have the greatest hand in that round if you are dealt pocket aces prior to the flop. Possessing pocket aces gives you the opportunity to outperform other strong hands like QQ, JJ, and KK, which is one of the most significant advantages. Your likelihood of taking home a sizable pot increases if you have an advantage over other strong hands. The best strategy for this hand is often to wager heavily. Yet, you must be cautious to avoid encountering a risky board with flush or straight chances. Also, when a hand’s number of participants decreases, your chances of holding pocket aces increase. According to statistics, you’ll receive a pocket ace once every 221 hands.

Pocket Kings

In the ranking of the best starting poker hands, pocket kings comes in right behind pocket aces. A truly fantastic hand to have before the flop is pocket kings. Pocket kings are only ever in jeopardy when an opponent’s ace hits the flop, according to the general agreement on this one. They should never be folded preflop (at least not unless an opponent is handed pocket aces). Your pocket kings become more susceptible to weak aces like A-2 and A-9 as a result. Reducing your bets and making an effort to manage the pot size are your only options in this case.

Pocket Queen

Another great beginning hand that you ought to try to use as frequently as possible is pocket queens. The majority of players given pocket queens typically make a big preflop wager as a calculated move to see if their rivals have strong poker hands like ace-king, kings, or aces. Pocket queens will greatly enhance the pot by outperforming cards like A-T, A-J, A-Q, and JJ on their own. The flop, though, can be challenging because your pocket queen will be outnumbered by kings and aces. Regardless of your level of experience, pocket queens are a strong hand that you should include on your list of viable poker hands.

poker hands

Pocket Jacks

Although having a fairly good winning probability, many poker players believe that pocket jackets are one of the most difficult poker hands to play. Ace-king has a 50/50 chance versus pocket jacks, which are dominated by pocket kings, pocket kings, and pocket aces. It is generally advised to play pocket jacks cautiously because they are frequently dominated by the poker hands indicated above. Pocket jacks are nonetheless a respectable starting hand despite their flaws. All pairs from 99 to 22 as well as drawing hands like Q-J, J-T, and K-J are dominated by them. When you do hit a flop with risky cards like aces and kings, despite its strength, you should think about letting it go.

King Suite Ace

The ace-king suit is somewhat unique. Due to its propensity for producing the best straights and flushes, this starting hand is a favorite of many professional poker players. Ace-king also performs amazingly well when you hit aces on the flop since your chances of winning greatly enhance if your rivals also hold a king or an ace. But, ace-king suited becomes a weak ace high if you miss the flop. You ought to be prepared to let it go in that situation. Overall, the opening hand of ace-king suited is strong and will perform better in the poker hands of a skilled player.

Pocket Tens

Despite being the best of the group, pocket tens are categorized in a lesser group of starting poker hands. Pocket tens perform well against rags but are completely destroyed by JJ, QQ, KK, and AA while having a 50/50 chance versus ace-kings. As long as the board does not contain risky cards like kings, queens, limited aces, and others, big pairs remain strong and are excellent for betting both preflop and post-flop. If pocket tens makes a set on the board (another ten), it will have the advantage over the other players. Generally, when playing pocket tens preflop, you should always take into account the actions of your opponents. It won’t be a bad idea to fold pocket tens if there is a lot of betting in front of you.

Ace King Offsuit

When ace-king offsuit is pitted against ace-queen suited, it performs worse in the power rankings because it has less opportunities to complete a flush. Although it plays poorly versus pairs and has a 50/50 chance against pairs other than pocket kings and pocket aces, it is still a reasonably strong drawing hand. Ace king suited’s most prominent asset is its capacity to outplay inferior ace-x hands.

Ace-Queen Offsuit

Another strong drawing hand that falters on the flop if it doesn’t get at least a pair better is ace queen. It can hit the nut flush because it has the “ace,” which is the highest card of all suits. Ace-queen suited performs poorly against pocket kings, queens, and aces, while losing its ace while playing against an ace-king.

Pocket Nines

Even if pocket nines is another good pair, premium pairings like JJ, QQ, KK, AA, and TT completely outnumber it. You must exercise the utmost caution when playing pocket nines since you will probably come across a number of cards that will easily defeat you. Pocket Nines is a good hand to play, nevertheless, if the action has been folded to you in late position. When they face off against inferior cards in head-to-head situations, pocket nines do well. One final thing to keep in mind while playing pocket nines is that you have a 50/50 probability of winning when your opponents play a lot of connectors from A-K to J-T.

Ace Jack Suited

Another starting hand that does well against a range of random poker hands but loses against premium hands is ace jack suited. With the exception of being at the bottom of drawing hands like ace-queen and ace-king, its position is identical to pocket jacks’ position at the bottom of premier pairs. Ace-Jack suited is certainly one of those hands that will destroy your stack if you’re a beginner at poker. When an ace-queen or ace-king beat their flopped ace, several inexperienced players have lost significant pots. So, it is crucial to play this hand extremely cautiously.

Those that Play Each Hand

poker hands

Some players will play any hand, regardless of how weird it may seem. They are known as loose players, and it is generally agreed upon that they are not thought to be particularly exceptional players. Because it costs a lot of money to see so many failures, this tactic is despised by many players. Despite this, this tactic has a significant benefit. Loose players might conceal the advantages of their opening poker hands since they play so many hands. It’s nearly impossible to tell if a loose player is playing a good or bad card if he plays any two cards. The majority of loose players are either in it for the action or they wager a small amount on each hand in the hopes of taking home a few respectable pots to offset the inevitable frequent losses they will endure.

You’ll come across the following loose players at a poker table

Blackjack players are another name for loose passive players. They develop a poker strategy that is comparable to the blackjack strategy. These participants are prepared to see what they get after receiving two cards and placing wagers. When they don’t get a 21, they conveniently hope the dealer busts, and when that doesn’t happen, you can bet on it. These players will call almost any preflop hand regardless of how much their opponents raise, and they are prepared to call all streets until the river in the event that they make their hand. They don’t worry too much if they lose a hand because they can gamble on another one to try to recover their losses. Playing tight is the greatest strategy when playing against a blackjack player. Raise as frequently as you can, and demand top dollar so they can view more cards. Unless they are really lucky, you have a good chance of beating these players most of the time.

Calling Station

The calling stations represent the second group of loose players. These gamers play fewer hands than a blackjack player, which is how they differ from one another. You can bet your house on them calling down to the river, though, if they hit even a small portion of a flop. A calling station should not be faced with excessively frequent wagers. Don’t slow play your big hand against them because they will undoubtedly call your bets no matter what. Also, it is crucial to avoid bluffing these players because they are unlikely to fold. Don’t hesitate to fold if this person raises because it’s likely that he or she has the nuts.

Players with loose aggression

The loose aggressive players are the final and most dangerous subset of loose players. LAGs are prepared to raise and bet with a variety of  poker hands. LAGs may raise even if their hand is weak. Their habit of betting never reflects how strong their hand is. Your goal while dealing with these players is to separate them. They can be defeated with mediocre hands, but since it’s likely that the other players are also playing cautiously, you simply cannot afford to take a weak hand too far when competing against LAGs. They prefer to play fancy, thus their bets are usually useless. Hence, wait a bit before responding to their bets. It is generally advisable to play only premium hands when playing against these professionals, and if you do, your chances of making a good profit are good.


Want to play few poker hands on casinos that are not on gamstop? Check our review for playing Poker on non Gamstop casinos.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *