Strong poker hands don't always determine the outcome of a game. The probability of winning is influenced by various factors - the ability to bluff, analyze the hands of opponents and use different tactics. But the first thing to look at is the perspective of the starting hands.
Garbage or weak hand
According to their perspective, the cards are divided into several groups - weak or garbage, medium-strength and premium cards. Some of the most unfortunate pockets include:
- 2-7. Regardless of the suit, the chance of making a strong combination with such starters is minimal.
- 2-8. In terms of perspective, the cards are not much different from the previous pockets.
- 3-8. These cards can "replay" the previous 2 options, but it is impossible to make a Straight with them.
- 2-6. With a certain board with such starters, Flushes and Straights are formed. But the likelihood that one of the opponents will make the best combination is very high.
- 2-9, 3-9 and 4-9. The cards in this group contain a Nine, with which you can make a pair of medium strength. But in terms of seniority, it is inferior to a large number of cards - from 10 to Ace.
As a rule, experienced players do not play with such cards. Also unpromising starters include:
They don't get involved in trades with garbage cards, because the chances of strengthening the hand are extremely small.
Medium starting hands
Medium strength cards have limited value at showdown. This group includes:
- Top pairs with a low rank kicker;
- Pocket Pairs of low rank cards.
In this case, the prospects of starters largely depend on the structure of the board, the manner in which opponents play and the position at the table. They try not to discard cards if they are in the Cut-off or Button position.
This group includes monster hands and strong poker hands, with which there is every chance of winning the draw:
- Singles and unsuited A-K.
Players who receive premium cards at the start choose aggressive game tactics. They enter into trades with a raise or reraise, and they are also not afraid to put the entire stack on the line.
Good starters include Pairs ranging from Eight to Jack. They often produce strong combinations that ensure victory at showdown. The pros do not fold suited pockets if at least one of the cards is Jack. Flushes are often made with them, which replay:
- A couple;
- Two pairs;
So before you get involved in a bid, be sure to determine the strength and prospects of pocket cards. If you are new to early position, narrow your card range down to premium hands.
Hand strength based on table position
When assessing the chances of winning, one should analyze not only the starters, but also the position at the table. The range of hands with which you should continue playing will depend on this parameter:
- In early position, Pairs are played starting with Eights. You can also safely enter the trades with AQ, JQ and AK suited.
- More cards are played from the middle position - suited connectors, any Pairs, cards from 9-10.
- In the blinds, you can get involved with medium suited connectors over 2, 3 and 4. You should not fold if you have any Pairs.
It is much easier to play from late positions, because by the actions of your opponents you can estimate the strength of their hands. If you are "under the gun", do your best to prevent your opponents from "reading" your cards.
Poker hand hierarchy
We must not forget about the seniority of the combinations that you and your opponents can get during the game. Even if you get a good hand, you should remember the important nuances:
- When composing a Pair, Two Pair and Three of a Kind, both players will determine the winner's Kicker rank;
- In Straight and Flush, the combination will be considered the strongest in which the closing card is higher in denomination than the opponent's;
- Four of a kind is extremely rare in Hold'em, but often in classic Omaha.
If you learn how to correctly identify strong hands in poker, you can always find the optimal tactics for the game!