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Holdem Starting Hands

Top starting hands should be raised and played aggressively. AA, KK, QQ, AK, JJ, AQ, these hands are most likely to be the best before the flop. By raising and eliminating other players early you reduce the risk of getting outdrawn. These hands will hold up the majority of the time against 2 or 3 opponents. So it is important to reduce the number of opponents you face early by betting strong. Other factors when deciding on how much to bet is your position. If you are first to act then you should be folding all but top hands. If you are near last position you have the advantage of seeing what your opponents bet and can make your decision on how strong you feel they are based on there actions.

Top hands are so important and new "rookie" players lose more often by playing too many hands. Its dificult to fold so much, but if you do you will see how profitable it can be. Watch the poker players on TV. These players beat hundreds of opponents to get to the final table, and they do it time and time again. These are great players and most of them play premium hands or are at a level much higher than this and are experts at playing there opponent and not there hands. So as a new player dont try to play hands you shouldn't because you see it working on TV. Playing your opponent and not your cards is what makes the poker greats masters. But it takes much longer to master these skills, and you need the building blocks to get there.

These hands look good to start with, but will trap you and cost you money if you do not improve or if you are dominated. Hands like AJ, KQ, KJ, QJ, K10, Q10 and J10 . These hands should not be played after a raise and not played at all in early position. You want to have your money in the pot when you have the best hand, playing these hands will cause you to lose money in the long run.

Meduim pairs are great to start with, but if after the flop you haven't tripped out you should fold them. A single pair will rarely win in a multi-opponent game.

Suited connectors are a decent starting hand. If there is a bet and a call before you fold them. They are best played in late position.

Top Ten Starting Hands
1. A-A (Pocket Aces)
2. K-K (Pocket Kings)
3. Q-Q (Pocket Queens)
4. A-K (Ace King)
5. J-J (Pocket Jacks)
6. 10-10(Pocket Tens)
7. 9-9 (Pocket Nines)
8. 8-8 (Pocket Eights)
9. A-Q (Ace Queen)
10. 7-7 (Pocket Sevens)

Raise these Hands

Top hands to raise with preflop
A-A (Pocket Aces)
K-K (Pocket Kings)
Q-Q (Pocket Queens)
A-K (Ace King)
J-J (Pocket Jacks)
10-10(Pocket Tens)
A-Q (Ace Queen)

Hands you want to see a flop with
A-J (Ace Jack)
K-Q (King Queen)
Q-J (Queen Jack)
J-10 (Jack Ten)
9-9(Pocket Nines)
8-8 (Pocket Eights)
7-7 (Pocket Sevens)
A-10 (Ace Ten)
10-9 Same Suit (Ten Nine Suited)

Kerry Mann is an online poker pro. His website http://www.pokerliving.net tells more about him and how he makes a living at online poker.

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