Reading Your Hands

In a game of Texas Holdem one of the best strategies is understanding the different starting hand possibilities and knowing when to fold, call or raise based on your starting hand.

The best starting hands are Ace-Ace, King-King, Queen-Queen and Jack-Jack. When you've got one of these hands you are set with a high pair, and the possibility of a full house or four-of-a-kind is at bay. If you start out with one of these high pairs then it is worthwhile to raise in the pre-flop round.

Ace-King, Ace-Queen, Ace-Jack, King-Queen and King-Jack combinations, in which both cards are of the same suit, are also great starting hands. With these hands, there is a possibility of getting a high pair, flush, straight or straight flush. Never fold in the pre-flop with one of these starting hands.

An unsuited Ace-King is also one of the top ten hands, with high possibilities of achieving a high pair or straight. It is worthwhile to raise during pre-flop.

However, regardless of how you play the pre-flop round, it is important to re-assess your hand after community cards have been dealt. If the three community cards in the flop do not help you to improve your hand then you may only want to call, or even fold depending on how your opponents bet. If the remaining two community cards still do not improve your hand then you should consider folding even more. After all, even if you have a high pair you can't win if any of your opponents have a royal flush, straight flush, four-of-a-kind, full house, flush, straight or three-or-a-kind.

The more you play Texas Holdem the more familiar you will become with odds and starting hand probabilities and will become better at knowing when to fold, when to raise and when to call.