A real money skill game such as poker needs you to be strategic from the word go. You just cannot afford to play every hand that comes your way or else you’ll run out of chips sooner than you’d think. And when a really strong hand lands. You’d have virtually nothing to bet with.

So, to create maximum equity in the pot and claim it with unwavering conviction. You need to know the best starting poker hands that can gear you straight towards victory.

Also see: How To Play Poker

In the general standard of play, pocket hands are considered premium hands, the higher the better, however, they have a 50-50 shot at winning when the entire hand is played out. Therefore, experienced players often use the strategy to raise pocket pairs during pre-flop while some try ‘setmining’ with the hope of acquiring a huge sum from opponents. 

So, to begin with, let’s take a look at the best pocket pairs in poker starting hands that can get you the pot if played right.

Pocket Aces: A-A

This hand goes without saying much with just the looks of it. The best starting hand in poker. You can be feisty with a truckload of aggression from any position with this hand. The fun name of it, ‘American Airlines’ calls for sizing up those bets pre-flop because the stats state they manage to grab more than 80% of wins if played right. 

Pocket Kings: K-K

Players also like to call them “Cowboys” and it can strongly work in your favour unless an Ace shows up on the flop. Pocket Kings have a 70% equity versus any Ace. So you can safely play them well and win money pre-flop.

Pocket Queens: Q-Q

Pocket Queens are very good to look at and considered one of the best poker starting hands. Although Aces and Kings can beat you, if they are not around, they work very well pre-flop but can be tricky post-flop if any overcard shows up on the board.

Pocket Jacks: J-J

Pocket Jacks, aka ‘fishhooks’ are a coin flip with 50: 50 chances of playing in your favour. If you do the math, pocket Jacks hold around 34% pot equity against AA-QQ and AK-AQs. So, unless you happen to encounter an Ace, King or a Queen on the flop. You are most likely to win with this hand.

Pocket 10s: 10-10

Like pocket Jacks, the ‘dimes’ as they like to call them, are one of the best starting poker hands in Hold’em. They still rank low with plenty of overcards that can overrule them (Aces, Kings, Queens and Jacks) but if they are a no-show on the flop, you can win with these hands without much fight. Just like the fishhooks, the dimes can be tricky too, so play them with caution.

Other Strong Poker Starting Hands

Ace King (suited): A-K

The ‘Big Slick’ is one of the strongest yet trickiest poker starting hands in Texas Hold’em, because it can turn into nothing unless you can improve on the board with a Flush, Straight or even a high pair on the flop.  With many outs still, there are good chances you can win big with the Big Slick.

Ace Queen (suited): A-Q

Just like the Big Slick, the Big Chick typically ranks fifth on the list arguably. While it can get you a nut flush, straight flush, straight or a high pair if the board favours you, on the off chance, you could end up with nothing.

Ace Jack (suited): A-J

Ace Jack can be a miracle hand because it can improve into a straight flush, straight or even a high pair on the board. Even if played unsuited. It still has a 17% probability of winning when combined with five up cards.

King Queen (suited)

King Queen suited is another one of the most potent starting poker hands in Hold’em as it can improve towards a nut flush, straight flush, straight, flush and even a high pair on the board.

Some Suited Connectors

Suited Connectors in poker games stand occasional chances of winning the pot by flopping some sort of small pair or a gutshot if you are lucky. If the cards favour you. You might also end up flopping an open ended straight draw or a flush draw.

Summing Up

Now that you know the best starting poker hands that could kick-start a poker winning hand for you in the next game. Play them mindfully by sizing your bets accurately so that you can raise maximum equity and fatten the pot in your favour. It’s time to improve your pre-flop decisions and make sure your experience doesn’t go in vain.

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