A Guide to Online Poker Starting Hands
By Carl Bevin
Editor in Chief
Learn the Basics of a Great Starting Hand & Win Big!
Whether you’re new to online poker or you simply want more help understanding the game and becoming successful a good place to begin is to learn how to play your starting hands. Starting hands are also known as pocket cards in Texas Hold’em and they are the cards that are unique to you as a player. The chart below illustrates how to play different starting hands, but we’ll go into more detail so that you know how you should be playing to start playing like a top-rated player.
Why Starting Hand Selection Matters
- It keeps you out of losing hands more
- It helps you win consistently
- Strict rules can help overhaul your play style
- Starting hand rules help you learn better habits
- Stops improper bluffing practices
Understanding the Chart
The chart above explains when you should play starting hands and it all depends on where you are seated at the table. The first three spots after the dealer are known as early position, the next three spots are middle position, and the last three spots including the dealer are late position. Late position is where you want to be when playing the game because it gives you a chance to see how all the players are going to react when they play the game. That’s why you can play lower quality cards in late positions than you can in mid or early positions. The earlier you are on the online poker table the better your cards should be to stay in the game.
Start Folding More
If you’re shocked by this chart and how exclusive it is to the hands that you can play you’ve likely been playing far too many hands of Texas Hold’em. The best way that you can improve your game is to stick with this chart religiously and only play the hands that you are allowed to play. You’ll start winning more often and cut down on the money that you lose by using this simple guide.
It’s Not a Guarantee
Just because the chart says that you should play 10 10 every single time doesn’t mean that you’re going to win with those cards every time. It just means you have a shot and should try it out. A J-J could come along and wreck your hand, along with a bunch of other cards. Even A-A isn’t a guaranteed win, as many frustrated players can attest to. Knowing online poker starting hands is all about improving your success rate, but doesn’t offer any real guarantees.
You Can Change it up Later
You should know that the best online poker players don’t rely on this guide. They have their own set of rules and strategies that they go by. That doesn’t mean you can’t win real money with this poker online starting hand strategy, because you can. The important thing to take away from this guide is to start with a rigid guide to starting hands and once you’re more comfortable with the game you can make minor changes to suit your play style. The chart is a simple guideline and you’ll want to drift away from it at least a bit at an online casino eventually.
To begin winning more regularly you should stick to a strict starting hand guide like the one above. Once you start being more successful you can slowly adapt your own strategies to bring your play to an even higher level, but never do this until you’re winning consistently.