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  • 5 Best and 5 Worst Hands in Texas Hold’em

Just getting great cards doesn’t guarantee raking in the pot. It has often been said that Texas Hold’em takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. Truer poker words have seldom been spoken. Knowing how to read the other players, how to bet and how to bluff are certainly important components of any Texas Hold’em player’s game. In the hands of a skilled master or even in the fist of a lucky novice, any two cards can be the basis for a winning hand. However, nothing breeds success like luck and guts paired up with knowledge; so, it’s a good idea to know the five best hands and the five worst hands that you can have after the hold cards have been dealt.

Without a doubt “pocket rockets” – two aces – are the cards you want to see when you pick up your hold cards. Remember though that even two aces can be beaten, so be sure and reassess your hand after each round of betting. Don’t get so attached to those Aces that you can’t give them up.

Cowboys – a pair of kings – are the second best initial hand in Texas Hold’em followed by a pair of ladies – two queens. Next comes “big slick”, a Ace and a King. The fifth best two card opening set would then be the “little slick” combination of an Ace and a Queen, again suited improves the odds. While there is almost universal agreement on the first four hands, there is some difference of thought on the fifth best. There are those who think a pair of “hooks” – two jacks – beats out the “little slick”. Two jacks do win in about two out of ten starts, if no higher face cards show up in the flop.

Deuce (a two) is the common denominator in three of the five worst Texas Hold’em hands. Deuce seven unsuited and deuce eight unsuited are the two hold card sets you don’t want to turn over. They can’t make straights with the next three cards dropped and their pair possibilities are at the low end of the spectrum. Fold’em fast unless you’re just playing for fun although playing them probably won’t be much fun either.

Three eight; still no straight chance and the pairs are only negligibly better. Deuce six and three seven are the fourth and fifth worst hands out there; the only thing that sets them apart from the other three dogs is the fact that miracles can turn them into straights. Don’t count on miracles to turn hold cards that lose 9 times out of ten into winners.

All that being written, Texas Hold’em is a lot like any other sport: On any given day, any given hand can win. The players who win consistently at Texas Hold’em, though, don’t rely on lightening striking. They know the odds, they know their cards, they know their fellow players and they play them all with skill and hope to get lucky once in awhile.

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