Starting Hands in Poker: All You Need To Know

Are you looking to try your winning luck in poker? If so, then you are at the right place. Becoming a good poker player requires a mastery of approaching the game logically. One way of doing so is by learning the Texas Holdem cheat sheet to help you approach each hand you play as a journey—viewing each move you make as a new step towards winning big.


A starting hand in poker has two hole cards from a deck of 52 playing cards. Due to this dynamic, 169 possible starting hands exist, which can be broken down further to 1,326 possible combinations, considering each different suit. Let us delve deeper!

The Importance of Texas Holdem Cheat Sheet to Starting Hands in Poker

A clear understanding of the Texas Holdem cheat sheet and its application separates the big winners from the rest. It provides the correct information for beginners and advanced players, saving a lot of time and money.


The tips and shortcuts provided by a poker cheat sheet drastically reduce the time you take learning the game and boost your results on the play table.

Determining a Starting Hand

At the start of a new betting round, you have the option to fold, call or raise. The following variables should inform the choice that you go for:

Table Position

The hands that you can play are informed by the position you have at the table. In general, the closer to the button you are, the more advantageous the position. This is because you get to act last, post-flop. However, it leaves you with a weaker hand.

Hand Value

It will help you to remember that the rankings in starting hands are always relative. Therefore, even when the chart says A-J is good of a hand to raise, it is only so if the action before you is not too aggressive.


As a general rule, stick by the mantra that “if it’s not good enough to raise with, it’s not good enough to call with.”


Stack Size

Check the size of your stack. It will determine whether it makes sense playing a particular hand or not. A small stack limits the amount of your post-flop play.


On the other hand, more chips give you more options later on in hand, allowing you to be a little more flexible with your starting hand selection.

Best Starting Hands in Poker

One of the keys to becoming a solid poker player is knowing which hands are playable and which ones are not. Here are some of the best starting hands in a game of poker:

Pocket Aces

This is the best starting hand for poker. However, you should take note of the number of players that enter the pot because an increase in players means there is a high likelihood of someone beating your aces.


Although you may be having the best pocket cards, be cautious of the flop as you can still lose to two pairs of any other cards. This combination can happen once in 221 hands.

Pocket Kings

A pair of kings is only worse compared to a pair of aces. It is advisable to bet this hand on pre-flop as it is not a good move to fold pocket kings pre-flop. When a pocket of aces hits the flop, you can be crushed by weak aces like A-2 and A-9.

Pocket Queens

A pair of queens also referred to as “ladies,” is another strong starting hand. It beats most of the deck pre-flop. But it has been crushed in the past. When a king or ace comes on the flop, it puts you in trouble.

Pocket Jacks

This starting hand is viewed as one of the most difficult to play. While it has a better winning percentage, it can be defeated by pocket queens, pocket aces, and pocket kings. It carries a 50/50 chance win against king-ace.

Playing the Perfect Hand

When looking to play a perfect hand, consider the following tips before committing to a pot:


  1. Refer to a Texas hold em cheat sheet as often as possible.
  2. Take into consideration your stack size and position at the table.
  3. Weigh to see whether you have a strong overall position.
  4. If your position is strong, raise your hand.
  5. If you are not in a strong position, be more cautious with your opening range.


When it comes to starting hands in poker, there are no hard and fast rules. However, if you practice the advice given in this article, you would experience fewer missteps at the poker table to enjoy successful journeys as a player.