Texas Holdem Best Hands To Play

Hands such as A-K, A-Q, A-J and even K-Q can be profitable hands to play. At a loose table, these hands are great for raising when you have position (and no one has raised ahead of you). The way to make money with these hands is to trap a loose opponent with the same top pair, weak kicker. Once the betting round is over, you and the dealer will form the best possible Texas holdem hand using two hole cards and the five community cards. The dealer needs at least a pair to qualify. If you beat the dealer, antes and Play bets pay 1 to 1, while blind bets pay according to the following table.


The following table ranks the top hands in a 10-player game. This table assumes that all players stay in until the end.

The Rules of Texas Holdem. Texas Holdem poker is a simple game to learn with just a few basic rules: All players are initially dealt two private cards (hole cards) no one else is allowed to see. Then the dealer spreads out five more communal cards face upwards – first three, then one, then one more. Therefore, all players in the game can make use of seven cards (2 hole cards + 3 + 1. The extreme example is to only play my top ten hands, which I introduce in my book Play Poker Like the Pros: sevens, eights, nines, tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings, Aces, Ace/King and Ace/Queen.

Explanation of column headings:
  • Cards: Initial two-card hand.
  • Probability of win: Probability that this hand will win, or tie for the win.
  • Average win: This is how much the player will win on average, including his own bets, if the player does win. This is less than 10 because sometimes the player will have to split the pot.
  • Expected value: This is how many units the player can expected to win (positive) or lose (negative) with this hand. For example if the player had a pair of aces and contibuted $1 to the pot then the player could expect to have a net win of $2.11.
  • Probability: Probability of getting this hand to begin with.
  • Additive probability: Probability of getting this hand or any stronger hand to begin with.

Initial Hold'em Hands in Rank Order for 10-Player Game

CardsProbability of WinAverage WinExpected ValueProbabilityAdditive Probability
Pair of A's31.36%9.912.10710.45%0.45%
Pair of K's26.43%9.871.60790.45%0.9%
Pair of Q's22.66%9.811.22240.45%1.36%
A/K suited21.73%9.521.06880.3%1.66%
Pair of J's19.84%9.740.93180.45%2.11%
A/Q suited20.44%9.410.92390.3%2.41%
K/Q suited19.8%9.410.86390.3%2.71%
A/J suited19.51%9.310.81590.3%3.02%
K/J suited18.94%9.310.76360.3%3.32%
A/T suited18.87%9.20.73530.3%3.62%
Q/J suited18.55%9.280.72170.3%3.92%
A/K unsuited18.29%9.410.72090.9%4.83%
Pair of T's17.76%9.650.71450.45%5.28%
K/T suited18.34%9.210.6890.3%5.58%
Q/T suited18.04%9.190.65770.3%5.88%
J/T suited18.07%9.160.65520.3%6.18%
Pair of 9's16.05%9.690.55590.45%6.64%
A/Q unsuited16.78%9.260.55390.9%7.54%
A/9 suited16.87%9.120.53770.3%7.84%
K/Q unsuited16.3%9.260.50980.9%8.75%
K/9 suited16.22%9.160.48540.3%9.05%
T/9 suited16.33%9.090.4850.3%9.35%
A/8 suited16.34%9.030.47560.3%9.65%
J/9 suited15.96%9.120.45610.3%9.95%
Q/9 suited15.89%9.140.45270.3%10.26%
Pair of 8's14.96%9.670.44710.45%10.71%
A/5 suited16.23%8.90.44470.3%11.01%
A/J unsuited15.7%9.10.42910.9%11.92%
A/7 suited15.93%8.960.42720.3%12.22%
A/4 suited15.88%8.940.42050.3%12.52%
A/3 suited15.51%90.39570.3%12.82%
K/J unsuited15.3%9.110.39440.9%13.73%
A/6 suited15.62%8.910.39160.3%14.03%
Q/J unsuited15.07%9.080.36870.9%14.93%
Pair of 7's14.14%9.650.36470.45%15.38%
A/2 suited15.02%9.040.35790.3%15.69%
K/8 suited15.03%9.030.35680.3%15.99%
T/8 suited15.05%90.35560.3%16.29%
9/8 suited14.69%9.110.33880.3%16.59%
A/T unsuited14.93%8.940.33530.9%17.5%
J/8 suited14.66%9.030.32310.3%17.8%
Q/8 suited14.61%9.040.32040.3%18.1%
K/7 suited14.64%8.960.3120.3%18.4%
K/T unsuited14.6%8.960.30860.9%19.31%
J/T unsuited14.64%8.920.30660.9%20.21%
Pair of 6's13.51%9.640.30170.45%20.66%
Q/T unsuited14.45%8.940.29180.9%21.57%
K/6 suited14.35%8.910.27870.3%21.87%
8/7 suited14.03%9.080.27360.3%22.17%
K/5 suited14.09%8.870.24940.3%22.47%
9/7 suited13.81%9.040.24880.3%22.78%
Pair of 5's12.88%9.610.23790.45%23.23%
T/7 suited13.82%8.910.23150.3%23.53%
K/4 suited13.78%8.920.22940.3%23.83%
7/6 suited13.54%9.060.22620.3%24.13%
Pair of 4's12.56%9.680.21550.45%24.59%
K/3 suited13.49%8.990.2120.3%24.89%
Q/7 suited13.57%8.910.20910.3%25.19%
J/7 suited13.49%8.920.20260.3%25.49%
Pair of 3's12.31%9.750.20020.45%25.94%
K/2 suited13.21%9.050.19550.3%26.24%
Pair of 2's12.15%9.820.19330.45%26.7%
8/6 suited13.2%9.010.19010.3%27%
6/5 suited13.14%9.040.18870.3%27.3%
Q/6 suited13.28%8.850.17540.3%27.6%
5/4 suited12.88%9.040.1650.3%27.9%
Q/5 suited13.05%8.820.15090.3%28.21%
7/5 suited12.73%8.990.14490.3%28.51%
9/6 suited12.74%8.950.14090.3%28.81%
T/9 unsuited12.87%8.80.13270.9%29.71%
Q/4 suited12.73%8.880.13010.3%30.02%
T/6 suited12.72%8.790.11890.3%30.32%
A/9 unsuited12.74%8.770.1180.9%31.22%
Q/3 suited12.44%8.950.11310.3%31.52%
6/4 suited12.22%9.060.10770.3%31.83%
J/6 suited12.56%8.780.10260.3%32.13%
Q/2 suited12.17%9.020.09780.3%32.43%
J/9 unsuited12.36%8.810.08910.9%33.33%
8/5 suited12.16%8.930.08560.3%33.63%
5/3 suited11.97%9.060.08490.3%33.94%
K/9 unsuited12.27%8.830.08360.9%34.84%
J/5 suited12.32%8.740.07630.3%35.14%
Q/9 unsuited12.11%8.820.06790.9%36.05%
J/4 suited12.01%8.80.0570.3%36.35%
A/8 unsuited12.16%8.630.04940.9%37.25%
7/4 suited11.59%8.990.04210.3%37.56%
J/3 suited11.74%8.880.0420.3%37.86%
4/3 suited11.36%9.130.03690.3%38.16%
9/5 suited11.7%8.850.03510.3%38.46%
J/2 suited11.47%8.950.02660.3%38.76%
T/5 suited11.84%8.650.02430.3%39.06%
A/5 unsuited12%8.450.01330.9%39.97%
6/3 suited11.09%9.070.00560.3%40.27%
T/4 suited11.53%8.710.00420.3%40.57%
A/7 unsuited11.71%8.51-0.00330.9%41.48%
T/8 unsuited11.48%8.63-0.00870.9%42.38%
T/3 suited11.24%8.78-0.01250.3%42.68%
A/4 unsuited11.63%8.49-0.01260.9%43.59%
9/8 unsuited11.2%8.79-0.01580.9%44.49%
8/4 suited11.04%8.9-0.01680.3%44.8%
5/2 suited10.83%9.07-0.01760.3%45.1%
T/2 suited10.98%8.86-0.02740.3%45.4%
A/3 unsuited11.22%8.55-0.04020.9%46.3%
4/2 suited10.47%9.16-0.0410.3%46.61%
A/6 unsuited11.35%8.43-0.0440.9%47.51%
9/4 suited10.73%8.8-0.05670.3%47.81%
J/8 unsuited10.94%8.63-0.05670.9%48.72%
K/8 unsuited10.97%8.6-0.05690.9%49.62%
7/3 suited10.46%8.98-0.06030.3%49.92%
9/3 suited10.42%8.87-0.07560.3%50.23%
8/7 unsuited10.57%8.72-0.07770.9%51.13%
Q/8 unsuited10.7%8.62-0.07790.9%52.04%
A/2 unsuited10.7%8.6-0.07970.9%52.94%
3/2 suited9.9%9.24-0.08480.3%53.24%
9/2 suited10.15%8.95-0.09110.3%53.54%
6/2 suited9.96%9.06-0.09760.3%53.85%
K/7 unsuited10.54%8.48-0.10620.9%54.75%
8/3 suited10.07%8.86-0.10760.3%55.05%
9/7 unsuited10.24%8.65-0.11470.9%55.96%
7/6 unsuited10.1%8.68-0.12340.9%56.86%
8/2 suited9.78%8.94-0.12540.3%57.16%
T/7 unsuited10.17%8.43-0.14240.9%58.07%
K/6 unsuited10.19%8.38-0.14560.9%58.97%
7/2 suited9.53%8.93-0.14840.3%59.28%
6/5 unsuited9.73%8.65-0.15770.9%60.18%
8/6 unsuited9.67%8.59-0.16930.9%61.09%
K/5 unsuited9.93%8.31-0.17490.9%61.99%
5/4 unsuited9.49%8.64-0.17950.9%62.9%
J/7 unsuited9.66%8.4-0.18790.9%63.8%
K/4 unsuited9.58%8.37-0.19840.9%64.71%
Q/7 unsuited9.57%8.36-0.19970.9%65.61%
7/5 unsuited9.26%8.55-0.20860.9%66.52%
K/3 unsuited9.26%8.45-0.2170.9%67.42%
9/6 unsuited9.09%8.46-0.23080.9%68.33%
K/2 unsuited8.97%8.54-0.23430.9%69.23%
Q/6 unsuited9.25%8.26-0.2360.9%70.14%
6/4 unsuited8.75%8.63-0.24460.9%71.04%
Q/5 unsuited9%8.19-0.26310.9%71.95%
T/6 unsuited8.98%8.19-0.26450.9%72.85%
5/3 unsuited8.52%8.62-0.26510.9%73.76%
8/5 unsuited8.6%8.4-0.27840.9%74.66%
Q/4 unsuited8.67%8.26-0.28440.9%75.57%
J/6 unsuited8.65%8.13-0.29730.9%76.47%
Q/3 unsuited8.35%8.35-0.30280.9%77.38%
4/3 unsuited7.9%8.69-0.31330.9%78.28%
7/4 unsuited8.05%8.47-0.31770.9%79.19%
Q/2 unsuited8.06%8.45-0.31910.9%80.09%
J/5 unsuited8.41%8.04-0.32410.9%81%
9/5 unsuited7.99%8.21-0.34350.9%81.9%
J/4 unsuited8.07%8.11-0.34530.9%82.81%
6/3 unsuited7.56%8.57-0.3520.9%83.71%
J/3 unsuited7.75%8.2-0.36380.9%84.62%
T/5 unsuited8.06%7.89-0.36410.9%85.52%
5/2 unsuited7.34%8.56-0.37140.9%86.43%
J/2 unsuited7.48%8.31-0.37910.9%87.33%
T/4 unsuited7.71%7.95-0.38770.9%88.24%
8/4 unsuited7.38%8.27-0.38980.9%89.14%
4/2 unsuited6.96%8.68-0.39630.9%90.05%
T/3 unsuited7.4%8.04-0.40540.9%90.95%
T/2 unsuited7.11%8.14-0.42110.9%91.86%
7/3 unsuited6.85%8.36-0.42730.9%92.76%
9/4 unsuited6.96%8.03-0.44080.9%93.67%
3/2 unsuited6.35%8.77-0.44270.9%94.57%
6/2 unsuited6.38%8.46-0.46010.9%95.48%
9/3 unsuited6.63%8.12-0.46150.9%96.38%
9/2 unsuited6.35%8.23-0.47720.9%97.29%
8/3 unsuited6.36%8.09-0.48520.9%98.19%
8/2 unsuited6.06%8.19-0.50390.9%99.1%
7/2 unsuited5.86%8.17-0.52110.9%100%


This table is the result of a random simulation of 20,583,763,200 games and assumes all players stay in until the end of the hand.

The following table shows my power rating for each initial 2-card hand in a 10-player game. The numbers are on a 0 to 40 scale. Basically, you should only play hands that are dark green, blue, or purple. Of course you should be more be more liberal in late position and picky in early position. If forced I would say you should need 10 points in late position and 19 points in early position to call the big blind. If your table is loose, as if often the case online, you can play a bit looser yourself.

Use the top table if you have a pair, the middle table if your cards are suited, and the bottom table if your cards are unsuited. Except for a pair,look up your high card along the left and your low card along the top.

Other Texas Hold'em Links

The Top Texas Holdem Poker Starting Hands


Every Poker player knows that you don’t play every hand you’re dealt. But, how do you know which hands to play and which to fold?

Best Starting Hands in Texas Holdem Poker to Play

How do you know which starting hands to play?


This is a question that every poker player, amateur or professional, should always be prepared for at the start of every hand, fundamental to poker strategy. You do not want to play every hand, you must know when to fold. If you know which starting hands to play, you can conduct the game in your favour.

Learn Texas Holdem Poker

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Here are the Top 10 Best Starting Hands in Texas Hold’em Poker-

  1. AA – Pocket Aces or Bullets is the strongest starting hand in poker. Play Strongly, But bear in mind – even though it’s is the best starting hand, you will be left with only one pair if the board doesn’t improve.
  2. KK – Pocket Kings or Cowboys – The second-best starting hand after Aces. But if an Ace turns up post-flop, you will lose to anyone holding a single Ace in their starting hand.
  3. QQ – Pocket Queens or Ladies – the third best starting hand with a winning probability of 80% pre-fop.
  4. JJ – Pocket Jacks or Fishhooks – Pre-flop, it has a 78% chance of winning and is still a still a very strong hand. Be mindful of opponents.
  5. AKs – Big Slick – Ace King suited is the top unpaired starting hand to have in a game of poker. Also called Anna Kournikova or Kalashnikov (AK rifle) by recreational players
  6. Ts – TNT or Tension. The nickname for Pocket Tens is because having a pair of tens pre-flop is tense because of the high chance of overcards.
  7. AQs – Big Chick – Ace Queen suited is another hand with the potential to win the pot.
  8. AKo – Big Slick – Ace King off-suits also rank high in the chart and is capable of winning at least 40% of the time against any other hand (except aces or kings).
  9. AJs – Armani Jeans – Ace and Jack suited is better than most other hands. However, if an opponent raises from early position, proceed with caution.
  10. KQs – Marriage – King and Queen suited is a strong hand that can end up a making Royal Flush.

Other Possible Hands

  • Suited Connectors (98s, 76s, T9s)
  • Offsuit Connectors (T9o, 98o, 54o, JTo)
  • Suited Gappers (97s, T8s, KJs)

*s refers to suited cards (of the same suit)
*o refers to off-suited cards (of different suits)

There are a possible 169 non-equivalent starting hands (ignoring specific suits) in a standard 52-card deck in Texas Hold’em Poker. So, here’s a chart with detailing the win percentage of Texas Holdem starting hands-




Top Texas Holdem Starting Hands You Should Pray For

Quick Basics:

Best Poker Hands To Play In Texas Holdem

  • Every player is dealt two cards face down
  • Five community cards are placed on the table (whose value is shown as the round progresses).
  • All players try to make the best five-card combination from among the board and personal cards and bet on the same.
  • Best hand at the end of the round is declared the winner(s) and wins the pot.

How To Play Texas Holdem For Beginners

It’s only by knowing how to master the basics do you become a poker player who is taken very seriously by his/her opponents. Learn more about the basics of poker-

Texas Holdem Best Starting Hands

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