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Online Poker Guides: Starting Hands
The first thing a Holdem player should learn is which cards are worth playing, and which should be folded. Many beginning players stay in a hand with cards that have little or no future, and it ends up showing in there chip count.

Remember that no two cards alone can be unbeatable, and once the flop falls things that once looked good may no longer be worth pursuing. Still, to give yourself the best chance to succeed, play only the premium hands.

The best starting hands are:

Large Pairs - Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks. Even pairs of tens and nines and eights are high quality starting hands. Play them.

Aces with suited High Cards - When you get an Ace with a K,Q,J, or even a ten, many good things can happen. You already have high card. If a flush comes, you'll have the best possible one because of your ace. High straights, and even a straight flush is possible with these cards. Play them.

Suited Faces Cards and Tens - While it's nicer to have an ace in the hole, suited face cards are playable hands. They hold a lot of potential including high pair with a strong kicker, straights, and flushes.

Aces with unsuited High Cards - Aces with an unsuited partner can still give you top pair with a high kicker, or a high straight. Because other players may also have an ace, the strength of the second card in your hand is important. If two players tie, that second card, or 'kicker' will decide the winner. This is why A-10 is a playable hand, and A-6 is not (A-10 can also turn into a high straight). So while aces are highly sought after, do not feel the need to play every hand in which you are dealt an ace.

King with Face Card - A King with a Queen, or with a Jack is a playable hand. But, it is not as strong as you may think. Still, two face cards rank high enough that seeing the flop is often a good idea.

These are the strongest starting hands in a Texas Holdem game. Other hands are playable depending on the circumstances at the table, but beginners may want to stick to playing only these premium hands until they understand the game more fully. Playing these hands will not guarantee that you will be a winner. Poker doesn't work that way. Even pairs of Aces get beaten. But, if you want to win a pot, finding any of the cards listed on the chart in your hand is a good place to start.

This article is courtesy of Poker Prophet

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