Hobbies Card Games & Gambling The Best and Worst Texas Hold'em Poker Starting Hands Share PINTEREST Email Print Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images Card Games & Gambling Poker Gambling Strategies & Tips Casinos Sports Gambling Blackjack By Toby Bochan Toby Bochan is a writer, editor, poker teacher and the author of "The Badass Girl's Guide to Poker." our editorial process Toby Bochan Updated May 24, 2019 The strength of your starting hand in Texas Hold'em can help you determine your chances of winning, even before the remaining cards are dealt. From a pair of aces — the strongest starting hand — to a 2 and a 7, knowing the strength of your starting hand is an important part of your success at the table. When playing Texas Hold'em you need to know which starting hands are worth staying in with—and which you should fold. Best Starting Hands Having a strong starting hand can help you determine your chances of winning even before the flop is dealt. In general, you're a strong contender if your starting hand contains: Ace/Ace: the strongest starting hand in the game.King/king, queen/queen, jack/jack: high pairs set you off well.An ace with a face card: sets a good foundation, if the flop works in your favor. Beyond these cards, you'll also often be happy to see cards in sequence, particularly the high cards and face cards, and pairs in your starting hand. While some of these hands aren't always deemed the ideal hands, they can sometimes pay off if you're willing to take a risk. Don't forget the added bonus if your cards are all in the same suit, too. A flush, especially a straight flush or royal flush, can often win you the game. Again, the flop will play a major role in just how strong your chances are at winning, so assess carefully and determine how much risk you're willing to take. The specific sequence of cards and the order in which they rank is an important aspect of the game. Studying up on the best starting hands in Texas Hold'em can help improve your game and your odds at winning the pot. A strong starting hand might also encourage you to make a strong blind (your first bet). Worst Starting Hands When you're dealt your starting hand, some combinations greatly reduce your chances of winning. These are generally low numbers that are not in sequence or matched. You might consider folding early if your two cards are: A 2 or a 3, paired with a 7 or an 8: you can't make a straight out of them.An ace or a face card with an unsuited low card: you're taking a risk relying on a single high card.Two unmatched, unsuited low cards (like 4 and 7, 5 and 8, etc.): you'll rarely win with these. The strategy of what to hold, and why, takes a bit to master, so studying the worst starting hands in Texas Hold'em, even more, can help you improve your game. Beginner's Advice Play only the cards in the 10-best list and always fold those in the worst hands list. Following this strategy may improve your results. However, there's no guarantee that receiving a strong starting hand will take the round, or that a weak starting hand is a definite loss. You never know how the flop may run, and while an unsuited 2 and 4 might seem like one to deal, sometimes you'll be pleasantly surprised with a two-pair or even a full house. Study up on the various hands you're aiming for. How you approach the game will also differ based on the game itself. For example, if you're playing No-Limit Hold 'em, knowing the top No-Limit Hold'em hands can help you better understand how to play them. As your skill increases, you'll also want to learn how position affects your Hold'em starting hand decisions. The more you learn, the more you'll realize how important your starting hands are to your bottom line. Play the good hands and fold the bad, and you'll be well on your way to becoming an expert at Hold'em.