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Starting Hand Selection in Texas Hold'em Poker

Which to Hold, Which to Fold


One of the first and most important things to learn when playing Texas Hold'em is which starting hands are worth staying in with -- and which you should fold. Deciding whether or not those two down cards you're first dealt are playable is the most important decision in every hand, because while you have to be in it to win it, you also can't lose money you haven't bet.

Since the two hole or pocket cards are the only thing that will make your hand better or worse than any other players, it's important that they are good strong cards.

If you're new to Hold'em, begin by learning these two lists:

And play only the cards in the 10 best list and always fold the hands in the worst hands list. Doing this alone will improve your results.

But to really succeed as a good Hold'em player, you need to vary your starting hand selection standards depending on your poker position. Read more about understanding poker position if it's a new concept to you. It's important because you need to tighten up your standards in early position (such as the blinds) and can loosen up your standards in late postion (such as sitting on the button).

Next: A guide to Texas Hold'em starting hands to play by position

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