No Limit Texas Holdem: Basic Starting Hands

When you first begin playing No-Limit Texas Hold'em, you should avoid playing the marginal hands because it will require you to do a lot of guesswork and can leave you vulnerable. If it is your first time playing no-limit, it is a good idea to limit yourself to playing only pairs AA-22, Ak and AQ.

When playing these cards, you will not become caught in too many difficult situations and you can still win some sizeable pots. Of course, it requires discipline to play only these hands because it will result in not playing in many of the pots. But, playing with this strategy will certainly provide you with plenty of time to study the other players and the game while waiting for those good starting hands.

round bottom
round-top-large

General Pre-Flop Advice

• The majority of the time, you should raise/re-raise with top pairs such as AA-QQ and also with top connectors such as AK or AQ so that players holding low-pairs and various connectors must pay to see flops against you. Remember, they will frquently have the opportunity to double up on you if they hit, though many novices do not realize this and fold too frequently before the flop.

• Stick to playing only the premium hands as suggested in the table above. Do not "chase" second best hands in no-limit because it can cost you too much.

• Limit the majority of you raises to between 70% and 100% of the pot; making it 3 times the big blind typically equals an 80% pot bet. This strategy will save money when you get re-raised or called by ber hands. If limpers must act before of you, you can raise to approximately 4-6 the amount of the big blind.

• Respect b, tight players. An example is dropping a hand of A-Q is a b player raises when under the gun.

• When really weak players have entered the pot, you should usually call the wager and take flops with them.

• Frequently raise or re-raise with AA-QQ, AK and AQ, no matter what position you are playing.

• Consider all other starting hands as limping hands. While you might sometimes re-raise with them when you are defending your blinds, you could also raise with these hands when you are first in from a late position.

• Mix up your play occassionally by raising/calling/re-raising with hands you would not normally play. This results in avoiding too much predictability.

Starting Hand Strategy Guide:

Strategy Article 1. Limit Holdem Starting Hands

Strategy Article 2. Omaha Hi Lo Starting Hands

Strategy Article 3. 7 Card Stud Starting Hands

Strategy Article 4. Omaha Hi Starting Hands

Newsletter Signup - Get 10 free poker tips as well as our newsletter November 21, 2017

GO