Poker Hands: Best and Worse Starting Hands in Texas Holdem

The basic poker lesson is when to hold and when to fold. Knowing whether your initial deal is worth staying in the game or if you should call it a day, is one of the most important decisions to make at the beginning of the poker game. One of the most common beginner’s mistakes is holding onto the worst pair of hole cards instead of folding and protecting your money.

Therefore, if you are a novice poker player, one of the first things you should memorize is which initial hands are worth holding and which hands leaves you no choice but to fold. Since Texas Holdem is the most popular poker variation, here you can find lists of the best and the worth Holdem poker starting hands.

Best Poker Hands

If you are lucky to be dealt one of these initial hands, you are definitely having an excellent beginning:

Pair of Aces: as known as American Airlines or pocket rockets, it is the best possible Texas Holdem starting hand.

Pair of Kings: not as good as a pair of Aces but still an excellent way to open a game of Texas Holdem.

Pair of Queens: if you want to look at the bright side, you will be beaten only by Kings and Aces.

Ace and King: if they are of the same suit, your condition is even better, since you can form the nut flush at ease.

Pair of Jacks: unless the flop shows either a Queen, King or an Ace, you have decent chances of winning with this promising starting hand.

Ace and Queen: the same as Ace and King, a suited hand would increase your chances of stepping out as a winner.

King and Queen: unless the community cards contain an Ace, you are in a good shape with this starting hand and even better if it is suited

Ace and Jack: even if appears unsuited, this starting hand is still worth holding.

King and Jack: still one of the best Texas Holdem starting hands, but be careful with it, especially when unsuited.
Ace and Ten: the Ace upgrades it to a pretty good hand, although requires a cautious play since it can be beaten by any of the starting hands mentioned above.

Worst Poker Hands

These hands would suit you well if you play some of the lowball variations, but if you play traditional Texas Holdem poker, the best advice would be to fold.

2 and 7: if you are dealt this hand, especially unsuited, you cannot even make a straight. Even if suited you should be so lucky to form a low flush or the lowest pair. In one word: fold.

2 and 8: same as the previous hand; pair of 8s is still a low pair.

3 and 7: although it can beat the previous hands, it still a worthless pair of cards

3 and 8: again, hardly even a low straight.

2 and 6: only if the community cards will feature 3, 4 and 5, you will have a chance of forming a straight. However, do not count on it, especially if there are more than 3 attendances in the game.

2 and 9: thanks to the presence of the 9 you are in better shape than with the former hands, still you cannot form a straight and even a pair of 9s would be beaten by pairs of 10s, Jacks, Queens, etc.

3 and 9: the same thing: higher than 8 lower than almost any other hand.

4 and 9: as mentioned above; foldem.

2 and 10: even though Doyle Brunson had won two WSOP bracelets with this starting hand, unless you have the talent and experience of Brunson, do not hold this hand.

5 and 9: also known as Dolly Parton, this hand would get you nowhere near the final table.

Video Poker: Why Do People Like It

Describes why online gamblers and even offline ones are beginning to prefer playing video poker over the numerous slot machines.

Yesterday, I was having a pint at my local bar when I noticed a small guy in a dark suit. Sitting to the far-right corner of the bar and away from all of us, this short man was crouched over a glowing video poker screen. Huh?

It was just a few months back that casinos all over the world and especially in Las Vegas were removing poker, baccarat and blackjack tables and adding more and more slot machines instead. But then something peculiar took place. Casino owners and employees noticed that one corner of the machines was more crowded than the rest. A short examination revealed that the games allocated to the slot section was none other than video poker. So why are so many interested players preferring video poker?

Here, I will try and answer some of the more practical reasons why this has happened and will happen even more and more:

1) The Odds: While slot machines offer odds that are pretty difficult to win on (and by that I mean the real big bucks), video poker machines are much easier when it comes to accumulating a large sum because it is somewhat based (even though loosely) on poker. This makes each player think that it is based on his skill more than just on luck.

2) More Choice: By this I am not referring to the pick of different slot machines, but rather to the fact that you have the choice of selecting the row to play with it whereas in slots, you have no real control after you press the button or pull the lever. It is not a secret that the principle of both these two games is to try and hit the money jackpot whether it is by getting the appropriate numbers or symbols aligned or whether it is by getting a royal poker flush. To do this in video poker, you have to pick from a number of five-hand cards.

3) Sitting Out: When playing at a slot machine, you have to play each and every time. If you want to stop, you have to clear the machine so that someone else can get a try. But this is not the case when playing video poker. This game allows you to simply sit out a round or two and then continue whenever you feel like.

4) Higher Money Ratio: Because of the chance that you can sit out any round where your cards are not any good. You have a bigger chance making an overall profit out of the time you spent playing at the casino whether it is a small machine in the local diner or bar or regional gas station.

5) It is also said in many video poker circles and plenty of other articles around the web that the statistics of hitting higher paying options while playing video poker are higher in comparison to playing video slot machines.

Conclusion:
Not withstanding all of the above reasons, the fact that poker is very popular and slot machines too only leads me to assume that a game combining the two will be greatly appreciated by any player of either of the two games but more so by those who enjoy the drone of the machine.

Poker Hands: Best and Worse Starting Hands in Texas Holdem

Here is a list of the ten top starting hands in Texas Holdem poker as well as a list of the worst Texas Holdem hands.
The basic poker lesson is when to hold and when to fold. Knowing whether your initial deal is worth staying in the game or if you should call it a day, is one of the most important decisions to make at the beginning of the poker game. One of the most common beginner’s mistakes is holding onto the worst pair of hole cards instead of folding and protecting your money.
Therefore, if you are a novice poker player, one of the first things you should memorize is which initial hands are worth holding and which hands leaves you no choice but to fold. Since Texas Holdem is the most popular poker variation, here you can find lists of the best and the worth Holdem poker starting hands.

Best Poker Hands

If you are lucky to be dealt one of these initial hands, you are definitely having an excellent beginning:

Pair of Aces: as known as American Airlines or pocket rockets, it is the best possible Texas Holdem starting hand.

Pair of Kings: not as good as a pair of Aces but still an excellent way to open a game of Texas Holdem.

Pair of Queens: if you want to look at the bright side, you will be beaten only by Kings and Aces.

Ace and King: if they are of the same suit, your condition is even better, since you can form the nut flush at ease.

Pair of Jacks: unless the flop shows either a Queen, King or an Ace, you have decent chances of winning with this promising starting hand.

Ace and Queen: the same as Ace and King, a suited hand would increase your chances of stepping out as a winner.

King and Queen: unless the community cards contain an Ace, you are in a good shape with this starting hand and even better if it is suited

Ace and Jack</b>: even if appears unsuited, this starting hand is still worth holding.

King and Jack: still one of the best Texas Holdem starting hands, but be careful with it, especially when unsuited.
Ace and Ten: the Ace upgrades it to a pretty good hand, although requires a cautious play since it can be beaten by any of the starting hands mentioned above.
Worst Poker Hands

These hands would suit you well if you play some of the lowball variations, but if you play traditional Texas Holdem poker, the best advice would be to fold.

2 and 7: if you are dealt this hand, especially unsuited, you cannot even make a straight. Even if suited you should be so lucky to form a low flush or the lowest pair. In one word: fold.

2 and 8: same as the previous hand; pair of 8s is still a low pair.

3 and 7: although it can beat the previous hands, it still a worthless pair of cards

3 and 8</b>: again, hardly even a low straight.

2 and 6: only if the community cards will feature 3, 4 and 5, you will have a chance of forming a straight. However, do not count on it, especially if there are more than 3 attendances in the game.

2 and 9: thanks to the presence of the 9 you are in better shape than with the former hands, still you cannot form a straight and even a pair of 9s would be beaten by pairs of 10s, Jacks, Queens, etc.

3 and 9: the same thing: higher than 8 lower than almost any other hand.

4 and 9: as mentioned above; foldem.

2 and 10: even though Doyle Brunson had won two WSOP bracelets with this starting hand, unless you have the talent and experience of Brunson, do not hold this hand.

5 and 9: also known as Dolly Parton, this hand would get you nowhere near the final table.

Play Blackjack Like a Pro

Blackjack is known as the king of all games simply because it is the most popular casino game in the world. In part due to its popularity as well as because of its deceivingly simple play, blackjack is also the most researched game in the casino world. The complexity of the game is due in large part to the variability of probabilities in different hands and even at different stages within a hand. That is to say, the odds of winning change with the composition of the deck.

In a game of blackjack, the house advantage can be brought down to around 1 percent, provided the player follows certain rules. These set of rules are referred to, rather irreverently as ‘Basic Strategy’, and it is this owing to these guidelines which gives blackjack the reputation of one of the most fair games played at casinos.

Basic Strategy
Therefore the first tip with regard to a strategy in blackjack pertains to learning this ‘Basic Strategy’. A new player must learn this before getting into a real game of blackjack. Basic Strategy is a mathematically precise formula that is an indicator of the best decision, be it a hit, stand, double, split or surrender which the player makes in a given situation.

It is easier to learn basic strategy by following color-coded charts. Such charts are available in books as well as for free online. The charts are focused around the main actions that can be taken by a player. So there are charts for split pairs, for double down and there are hit or stand charts. In almost all charts, the action is colored red and this is the key to learning the basic strategy.

Intermediate Strategy
Having mastered the basic strategy, the player can adopt the ‘wagering’ or ‘money management’ strategy. Among all the different wagering schemes, the one’s that minimize losses are ‘The consistent-wager system’, The Margingale System, Labouchere and Oscar’s Grind. However, players just initiated into the game must remember that they must master the basic strategy first because the intermediate strategies can be effective only if players can count on winning and losing an equal number of hands. Without perfecting your basic strategy if you get into memorizing how to play each hand in each specific situation, in an attempt to implement an intermediate strategy, you will only maximize losses.

Advanced Strategy
Advanced strategies in Blackjack, include: card counting, clump reading and shuffle tracking. These enable a player to even the odds at casino blackjack. Card counting is often discouraged but is totally legitimate and can dramatically influence a player’s winnings. In card counting, the player keeps track of the cards dealt. A card counter can predict when the odds are in his favor.

Another method is clump reading. The decks have a great degree of clumpiness at the start of the game. This is because it is difficult to shuffle the new card decks very greatly for randomness in just a brief minute or so. Hence long spells of like cards get dealt after the initial shuffle. This clumpiness decreases after several shuffles are made. The strategy is to get a seat next to the dealer’s left hand side. If the player can track the streak of cards (count the highs and lows) he can make changes to the basic strategy. Then he should try to get into the last position that is next to the dealer’s right hand so as to be able to see all the other player’s cards.

Blackjack is a game which requires a certain degree of self-education. It is relatively easy for beginners to learn the basic game strategy by employing the color coded charts. Unlike many other casino games, mastery of these basic strategies can go a very long way to improving one’s odds, whereas intermediate and advanced techniques provide only marginally better results.