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Learn To Play Texas Holdem Poker Using The Top Ten Starting Hands

Author: Joe Brennan

Some say that to successfully learn Texas Holdem poker it takes much practice, time and lost revenue to master the game. Realistically and truthfully anyone could actually become a holdem poker master in a relatively short time. If anyone really has the determination and time to do so. Are you ready to dive in and master the game of Texas Holdem poker? If the answer is yes, without a doubt, sign me up, or I'm in, then read on to see the basics.

First a brief summary of the game. Texas Holdem poker is played with a standard 52-card deck. Although the game uses a standard deck of cards, it differs from other card games. Texas Holdem uses five community cards which are dealt face up on the middle of the poker table. All players share these cards. The initial starting hand, each player receives two cards from the dealer face-down. No one but the player the cards are dealt to can view these cards. These two face-down cards are known as the hole or pocket cards. After looking at their cards each player can choose to bet and keep the two face-down cards or fold these two cards and remain out of the hand.

The dealer will then burn a card and deal three cards face-up in he middle of the table. This is called "The Flop". Each player can then decide to check, bet or fold their five card hand. (Their five cards consist of their two face-down cards and the community cards the dealer just flopped for everyone to see.) After a round of checking, betting and folding the dealer will then burn a card and deal another card face-up in the middle of the table. This card is known as "The Turn" card.

Again, each player can then decide to check, bet or fold their hand based on the best five-card hand they can muster from the six total cards. All players must consider their two face-down cards and three of the community cards to create a winning poker hand.

After another round of checking, betting and folding the dealer will then discard the last burn card and deal another card face-up in the middle of the table. This card is called "The River". Again, each player can then decide to check, bet or fold their hand based on the best five-card hand they can muster from the now seven total cards. All players will then consider their two face-down cards and three of the five community cards to create the best possible poker hand. The player with the best ranked 5-card hand wins the round and rakes the pot.

There are 3 basic poker rules that should be considered when playing Texas Holdem. They are:

1. Your Starting Hand: The two hole or pocket cards is what separates each player. Therefore you must learn the value of these cards and really consider whether you should play the hand or not. If you are dealt an AA (ace-ace) as your pocket hand you will have a much greater chance of winning the hand. If you were dealt a starting hand of 7-2 then you would have the least chance of wining the hand. So, the number one rule is to stay in (bet or call) with good starting hands and get out (fold) with lower cards. We'll talk about the top ten starting hands here in just a bit.

2. Patience: Always, always be patient. Texas Holdem can be frustrating when you keep getting dealt low starting hands. The key to the game is to remain patient. Stay disciplined and keep folding low starting hands until you receive a good starting hand. You will fold more often than you play. However, if you play patient and smart you will win more than you lose. It's not difficult to realize that if the betting in a particular round is increasing higher and higher each time
but your cards are always on the low side you must fold.

3. Playing Position: With Texas Holdem a players place and position at the deal could help the players advantage. Players seated in a "late position” (furthest from the button) has a greater advantage Late position players can see and consider all the moves (checks, bets, and folds) of all players prior to making a decision. With little observation and a keen eye a player can learn if there so, so starting hand is worth seeing the next card or not.

Many experts agree that the greatest poker book ever written is a book by the legend Doyle Brunson. Every beginner poker player should read this book from cover to cover to learn the strategies of Texas Holdem and other popular poker games. The book is called "Super System, A Course In Power Poker." It's a must.

The key to becoming a strong Texas Holdem poker player is to learn which pocket or hole cards are the best to play and which ones are not. Knowing the top TEN best starting hands while playing Texas Holdem is the best place to start. There are many disagreements over which starting hands are the best. The deputes are due to starting position, style of play, and an individuals skill level. However, mathematically you can't get better than these.

1. (AA) Ace-Ace: A pair of aces, also known as bullets, pocket rockets, and on occasion American Airlines, is the best starting hand for Texas Holdem, bar none.

2. (KK) King-King: Second is a pair of kings, referred often to Cowboys and King Kong.

3. (QQ) Queen-Queen: A pair of queens ranks third on the list and is most referred to as Ladies and sometimes Bitches.

4. (AK-s) Ace-King (suited): This is where many begin to disagree. The suited ace-king, known as Big Slick is ranked number four by most professionals in the Texas Holdem community.

5. (AQ-s) Ace-Queen (suited): The Big Chick, suited A-Q is also known as Little Slick and ranks 5th on the list.

6. (JJ) Jack-Jack: The pair of jacks Fishhooks, Captain Hook, or just Hooks slides in at number six on the Texas Holdem list.

7. (KQ-s) King-Queen (suited): The Royal Couple king-queen suited is the seventh most powerful starting Texas Holdem starting hand.

8. (AJ-s) Ace-Jack (suited): The appropriate nickname of Blackjack is sometimes called Ajax ranks eighth.

9. (AK) Ace-King (offsuit): This is the only non-pocket pair offsuit that is on the Texas Holdem list. The fact that it's the two top cards holds weight.

10. (10-10) Ten - Ten: The 10-10 is the only top ten starting hand that does not include a face card. Some believe that a king-jack suited is a better starting hand, but 10-10 rounds off on most Texas Holdem lists.

As you can see, a few simple tips can be a real eye-opener when it comes to learning and mastering the game. Begin playing free online poker at sites like The repetition of seeing patience and the use of the top ten hands will build confidence quickly. Good luck and "Shuffle Up And Deal!"

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(C) Copyright of Joseph P. Brennan: You may freely republish this article, provided the text, author credit, the active links and this copyright notice remain intact.

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