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Starting Hands: Unleashing the Power of Hand Selection

Posted on 29.06.2023 Posted Under: Resources

Understanding Poker Hand Rankings

Royal Flush to High Card: An Overview

Poker is a game of skill and strategy, but at its core, it’s all about the cards you’re dealt. The deck is made up of 52 cards, creating a vast number of possible hands. But not all hands are created equal. From the illustrious Royal Flush to a simple High Card, understanding hand rankings is your first step towards poker proficiency.

Reading the Table: Importance of Hand Rankings

Why should you care about hand rankings? Imagine sitting at a poker table, trying to determine whether to bet, call, or fold. Without understanding hand rankings, you’re navigating blindfolded. When you understand the rankings, you can predict potential outcomes and make more informed decisions.

The Art of Starting Hand Selection

The Basics of Starting Hands

Starting hand selection is an integral part of poker strategy. It’s the decision to play or fold your hand before any community cards are dealt. Selecting the right starting hands can significantly improve your chances of winning.

Tight vs Loose Play

Starting hand selection determines whether you’re a ‘tight’ or ‘loose’ player. Tight players play fewer hands, while loose players play a broad range. Both strategies can be successful, but knowing when to apply each is crucial.

Positional Play and Hand Selection

Early, Middle, and Late Positions

Your position at the table influences your hand selection. Early positions have less information about opponents’ actions, so stronger hands are recommended. Middle and late positions can play a wider range due to more information available.

Strategies to Improve Starting Hand Selection

Bankroll Management and Hand Selection

The Role of Aggression in Hand Selection

Your bankroll and level of aggression can impact your starting hand selection. Larger bankrolls might allow for riskier plays, while aggressive players might opt for hands with higher potential, albeit with more risk.

The Importance of Player Tendencies

Your opponents aren’t just static obstacles; they’re dynamic players with unique habits and tendencies. Understanding these can influence your starting hand selection.

Turning Knowledge into Power: Using Hand Selection to Win

Practice: The Key to Mastering Hand Selection

Essential Tools and Resources for Improving Hand Selection

Your understanding of hand rankings and selection strategies won’t make you an overnight poker superstar. It takes practice. Using resources like online poker rooms, hand selection charts, and poker software can expedite your learning curve.


Understanding starting hands in poker is much like learning the alphabet before writing a novel. It is the fundamental skill you need to develop to craft winning strategies. With knowledge, practice, and a keen understanding of your opponents, you can significantly improve your game.


1. What is the best starting hand in poker? The best starting hand in poker is a pair of aces, often referred to as “pocket aces.”

2. How many starting hands are there in poker? There are 169 unique starting hands in Texas Hold’em poker, considering suit value.

3. Should I always play a strong starting hand? While it’s generally recommended to play strong starting hands, it also depends on the situation and the tendencies of your opponents.

4. How does position impact starting hand selection? Your position at the table influences the amount of information available to you, which impacts your hand selection. Generally, late positions can play more hands due to increased information.

5. What is a ‘tight’ player in poker? A ‘tight’ player is one who plays fewer hands, usually sticking to stronger starting hands.