One of the the most important fundamentals of poker is being aware of the top starting hands, and how to play them.
When first playing, it is perfectly okay to play tight as you get used to the game. You can easily do this by playing just the top 10% of your hands, and folding the rest.
In fact, some of the best players in the world still stick to these basic hands with consistent results.
There will be times when you go through a “dry run” of cards, and don’t see a top hand for a while. But be patient, odds dictate that you will see a top 10% hands 1 out of every 10 hands dealt.
Implement this strategy into your game by playing a few sessions folding all of your hands except for the top 10% of hands.
“The top 10 hands should be the only hands played by the beginner while learning at the low limit tables.”
PLAY YOUR PREMIUM HANDS AGGRESSIVELY
You’ll want to play your premium hands (top 5 hands) aggressively and take chances with them.
You’ll want to play the rest of your top hands with more caution.
TOP HANDS & HOW TO PLAY THEM
Premium Hands: AA, KK, QQ, AK, JJ. These are the best hands in the game, and you must take chances with them to get maximum value. You will rarely be folding these hands before or after the flop.
Top 10 hands: AA, KK, QQ, AK, JJ, 10s, AQ, 9s, AJ, KQ – The best 10 starting hands you can be dealt in Texas Hold’em. It is good practice to stick to hands like these for the most part when first learning the game.
Top 10% of hands:
All pocket pairs: 22 – AA
Ace with good kicker: AK, AQ, AJ, A10
Broadway cards: KQ, KJ, K10, QJ
Playing your top 10%:
9s, 10s, AQ, AJ: These should also be played relatively aggressively, and only folded when an opponent shows immense strength. In tournament play these hands have even more value, due to the shorter stacks and increasing blinds. When you have 20 big blinds or less, you should almost never be folding these hands. You need to take a chance with them before your stack gets any shorter.
7s, 8s, A10, KQ, KJ: These hands should be played strong, but with more caution. If you have a short stack (20 big blinds or less) you will be going all in with these a lot of the time. However when deeper stacked, you should be playing these hands strong but carefully, and folding to most re-raises.