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Texas Holdem Starting Hands
July 09, 2009


Many hands get named in Texas Hold'em and Pocket Rockets is just one of many names for a pair of aces. It will always be the best hand pre-flop so many people advise you to play it aggressively and raise. Some advise you just to call so that the other players won't know you have a strong hand and maybe you can win a really big pot. But everyone advises you to play it. A lot of people play all the big pairs just like they were aces.

Ace king is a hand most people will tell you to play. Walking Back to Houston is a hand to be careful with. Ace king got this name because so many of the Texas road gamblers went broke playing it and had to walk home. It is a good hand before the flop but once you get action, you have to be careful as the hand progresses. This is true of all the big ace hands like ace queen, ace jack and ace ten.

The name a hand receives can be a good indicator of how this poker game should be played. The Speed Limit is a good example. A pair of fives is representative of all middle pairs. If you play them, you have to be careful. It is pretty awesome when the board has a five to match the two in your hand but that doesn't happen very often. Be careful raising with middle pairs because you could get busted.

Straight hands are the most controversial starting hands in Hold'em poker. Two cards in sequence or with one gap are considered straight hands. These are hands that many people recommend you not play because they make a straight very infrequently. Others say that when you make your straight you will often rake in a big pot and two pair is usually a good hand as well. If you do play these hands, you want to see the flop as cheaply as possible. You don't want to invest much money until you are sure you have a shot at winning.

A ten and a duce is a garbage hand. You cannot use both cards to make a straight so you are left hoping the board has both a ten and a duce. One pair is not going to be enough to win most showdowns with a garbage hand. That being said, ten duce is called Doyle. Doyle Brunson won the World Series of Poker main event with this hand. Twice. Only a very talented poker player is able to make money playing garbage hands. If you are not in the same league as Doyle Brunson, you should muck Doyle and all the other garbage hands you are dealt.

 

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