Playing just a few hands

When it comes to Hold'em, there are plenty of varieties of hands; 169 to be exact. Of these 169 starting hands, only a few will be considered to be premium hands that players should play as winners (but still with caution). Those hands are as follows:

  • AA
  • KK
  • QQ
  • AK (Suited)
  • JJ

The great thing about these hands is that they are considered to be premium, even when a player is out of position. If there is no raise present, then they should always be played. If there is a raise before you play, then sometimes Aces or Kings are the only hands that are played. Remember; around 80% of all hands that are dealt should be folded, as playing weak hands can quickly get a player into trouble.

Obviously each hand and each round of blinds will be played differently to the last. Hundreds of variables will influence a decision, but make sure you take emotion out of the game and only play premium hands if possible.

If the game has not been opened, meaning someone has not yet raised, then the range of hands to be played can be much wider. If one, two or three people raise/call in front of you, then the range of hands to be played is going to be in a much narrower range. If the whole table is involved, then even the most premium hands might need to be folded. Try and start by playing the top dozen or so hands.

As an example, KQ might be played on a table where there has been no raise, but not on a table where there has already been an opening raise. AA would be played into multiple raisers/callers. As you can see, every hand is going to different and that is not just limited to the cards that are on offer, but how the players react to the cards that they have as well.