Top 10 Best Starting Hands for Texas Hold'em Poker

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Discover the winning secrets of Texas Hold'em with our list of the top 10 best starting hands. Learn which hands to play and increase your chances of winning big in poker!

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Texas Hold'em is the most popular form of poker played today. Knowing which starting hands are the best to play is crucial for success in the game.If you’ve been following our site for a while, you’ve probably already read our guide about the top 10 worst poker handslink outside website. Today we’ll take a look at the other side of the table, here are the top 10 best starting hands in Texas Hold'em:

1. Pocket Aces (A-A)


Pocket aces, also known as bullets, are the strongest starting hand in poker. Being dealt a pair of aces gives you a great chance of winning the pot. The only hand that definitively beats aces is pocket kings. You should almost always raise pre-flop with pocket aces.

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2. Pocket Kings (K-K)

Pocket kings, sometimes called cowboys, are the second best starting hand. Kings are a strong pair that dominates many other hands. However, there is always the danger of an ace coming on the flop and beating your kings. Play kings strongly, but be prepared to get away from the hand if an ace comes.

3. Pocket Queens (Q-Q)

Queens are a powerful pocket pair, known as the ladies. However, queens are vulnerable to overcards, especially aces or kings. You'll want to raise and play queens strongly, but it's possible you may need to fold if your opponent shows a lot of strength.

4. Ace-King Suited (A-K suited)

Having an ace and a king with the same suit gives you a hand with a lot of potential. You have a strong high card ace, plus a king for backup and the flush draw capability. The only hands clearly better than ace-king suited are pocket pairs like aces or kings.

5. Pocket Jacks (J-J)

Pocket jacks are a nice starting hand with a strong pair. However, they can often run into lots of trouble against bigger pairs like queens, kings, or aces. Play jacks well, but be ready to fold against signs of a bigger pocket pair.

6. Ace-Queen Suited (A-Q suited)

Ace-queen suited has similar properties to ace-king suited. You have two high cards with the added flush draw. The downside is ace-queen is more vulnerable to domination if your opponent holds ace-king.

7. Pocket Tens (10-10)

Pocket tens are a solid pair with high card strength. It's a standard move to raise with tens before the flop. However, you'll need to tread cautiously against possible overcards or pairs that dominate tens when the flop comes.

8. Ace-King Offsuit (A-K unsuited)

Ace-king offsuit still has strong high-card strength but lacks the flush draw potential. You'll usually want to open-raise ace-king from early position. But you may need to proceed cautiously without the flush outs if you get called.

9. Ace-Queen Offsuit (A-Q unsuited)

Similarly, ace-queen unsuited is still a quality starting hand. The lack of a flush draw makes it slightly less attractive than suited ace-queen. But it's still worth playing strongly in most spots.

10. King-Queen Suited (K-Q suited)

Finally, king-queen suited rounds out the top 10. Having two paint cards plus the flush draw potential gives king-queen a lot of playability. However, it can fall prey to ace-king quite easily, so you'll want to be careful when facing raises.

Where to Play Online Texas Hold'em in 2024

With poker exploding in popularity around the world, there are now many options for playing Texas Hold'em online. Here are our top three picks for real money poker siteslink outside website in 2024:


Ignition Casino

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Ignition Casino is known for its high poker traffic in the USA, making it a great choice for those looking for active tables and a variety of players to compete against. It features a user-friendly web-based poker software, allowing for instant play without the need for downloads.

This platform is well-suited for both beginners and experienced players due to its balance of user-friendly interface and competitive play. Ignition Casino offers a variety of promotions and bonuses, including a substantial welcome bonus, bad beat bonuses, and weekly poker freerolls, adding value to the gaming experience.


Image content of the Website is part of the Chico Poker Network and offers a balanced experience for both recreational players and serious grinders. The software is smooth, suitable for multi-tabling, and provides a variety of gaming options. The platform is accessible via both download and browser play, catering to users on different devices including mobile. stands out for its non-anonymous tables, which can be a draw for players who rely on HUDs and tracking player history. However, this might be a downside for players who prefer anonymous gameplay.

The site offers a range of bonuses and promotions, including a welcome bonus and a unique Bad Beat Jackpot. Its rakeback system is based around bonus release, offering decent value for money.'s customer service is also noted for being responsive and helpful.


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Bovada, a significant player in the US market, is notable for its comprehensive online gambling platform that includes casino, sports betting, and poker. Launched in 2011, it operates under the PaiWangLuo network.

The platform offers a wide range of poker games, including Texas Hold'em and Omaha, with a focus on exciting tournaments. One of Bovada's unique features is its anonymous tables, preventing players from being tracked, which can be particularly appealing for novices and those preferring privacy.

The site offers a 100% welcome bonus up to $500, with a straightforward system for unlocking bonus funds. Bovada's reward points system also adds value, allowing players to earn points and redeem them for various benefits. The site has a strong reputation for safety and reliability and has been operating successfully for many years, contributing to its trustworthiness among players.

FAQ - Best Starting Hands for Texas Hold'em Poker

What are the odds of being dealt pocket aces?

Pocket aces (A-A) occur in Texas Hold'em approximately 1 in every 221 hands, making them rare but highly coveted. The odds of getting aces are 0.45%.

Should I always go all-in with pocket aces pre-flop?

No, although aces are strong, you don't want to risk your entire stack before the flop. Make a standard 3-4x raise instead. Only push all-in with aces if you have a short stack or want to isolate a specific opponent.


Is ace-king suited a good hand?

Yes, ace-king suited is ranked very high at #4 in terms of best starting hands. The high cards and flush potential make it a great hand to play aggressively.

How should I play weak pairs like 22 or 33?

With very low pairs, it's often best to just fold pre-flop unless you are in late position or get an ideal flop. Play them fast, either improve to trips or better or be ready to let them go.

What's the worst starting hand in Texas Hold'em?

The worst hand is arguably 7-2 offsuit. It has weak high cards and no potential for flushes or straights. Hands like 7-2 are best folded right away rather than calling with them.

What starting hands should I play from early position?

When you are early to act preflop, stick to premium hands like big pairs, AK, AQ, KQ suited or maybe JJ/TT if conditions permit. Avoid speculative hands without high cards.

Can I ever fold pocket kings pre-flop?

It's generally not advisable, but yes, against the right opponent who re-raises big you could consider folding KK preflop if you think they likely have AA. This should be a rare occurrence though.

How important is it to play suited connectors like 54 suited?

While they can make straights and flushes, gapped connectors have low raw strength. They are best played in late position against passive opponents and work better in tournaments than cash games.