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Texas Hold'em

The Texas Hold’em strategy …

In Texas Hold'em the players try to assemble the killer hand and it essentially becomes a drawing or a high card game. The players holding 2 good high cards have the best chance at the best hand or a draw to the best hand after the Flop. You should play only strong hands, that will stand a Raise or multiple Raises, from early betting positions. Play medium strength and other playable hands from the later positions if you have a good chance of seeing the Flop at a reasonable price. Play strong high hands most of the time, and play them very aggressively. Take all the Raises you can get. Your aggressive play before the Flop can add credibility to any strong play you might want to use on the next round if a garbage Flop falls and you want to try a steal. If you get a lot of action with a threatening Flop, Fold your high pair. That is Texas Holdem's basic strategy in brief. Read further to see which exact hands should be played, when Raise is justified and other aspects. Now observe your chances to win some money from your 2-cards hands.

Now much money you can expect from your starting hands?

As we noted Texas Hold'em is a high card game where the most valuable hands usually wins. Here are the values of best starting hands in Hold'em. The results are calculated for $10-20 Texas Hold'em game and averaged over the 5 million testing games.

Starting hand

Average win









AK same suit


AK off suit


AQ same suit


Two Tens


AJ same suit


AQ off suit


Texas Hold'em Strategy

written by Oleg Granovsky,
first published: Magazine "Casino Player", Russia, #5, June 2001, translated by, August 2003.

Any poker (except Caribbean, or Oasis), including Hold'em, unlike other casino games, is the game between players, not with a casino. It will be told further about base principles and strategy of the game, but do not forget about the role of psychology. You cannot win without strategy. Without understanding the psychology of your opponents you won't win much. Poker is money game.

"Any two cards may win the pot" - such phrase are frequently told by Hold'em players. It is definitely true, it's possible to win with any cards. Having 2-7 (mixed suit), it is possible to receive on the Flop, for example, three 2-s, and after the turn and the river you can win with the strongest hand. However, probability of such event is very insignificant, and playing with all such a two-card combinations, total loss will significantly outweigh such rear victories. Let's look two card combinations to find out when it is necessary to play the game and when to Fold at once.

In Texas Hold'em the order of trade is defined by Button and not varied in a course of one play. Therefore the position in trade is one of determining factors of the game, and some cards which should be folded in early positions, can be played by last position players. The later your course, the more information you have, and poker is a game of the information. Certainly, incomplete, but information. Therefore from the base strategy of the game we'll consider the place of a player with respect to the Button: with 9 players on the table, first four places to the left from button are considered as the Early position, the fifth to seventh players - in the Average position, and the eighth and the ninth - in the Late position.

Despite of a huge variety of card combinations in poker, there are only 169 variants of starting two-card hands. Certainly, we do not consider the suits of the cards, e.g. K hearts J hearts we consider the same as K diamonds J diamonds. If on the flop we get three hearts, the first combination is more favourable, but as long as you cannot predict the next street cards, these hands are equivalent.

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