Best Texas Hold’em Starting Hands

Keep in mind that there are varying opinions as to value of starting hands in Texas Hold’em.

ace diamondsace of spades

Rankings will vary according to table position and the type of game you are playing, i.e. tournaments, heads-up, cash games, etc.

These rankings are however a good starting point to develop your own personal rankings.

Tier 1- The best Texas Hold’em starting hands.

  • Ace-Ace
  • King-King
  • Ace-King (Suited)
  • Queen-Queen
  • Jack-Jack

Tier 2- Other very strong starting hands.

  • Ace-Queen, Ace-Jack, Ace-10 (suited)
  • Ace-King
  • King-Queen (suited)
  • 10-10
  • Ace-10, King-Jack, Queen-Jack, Jack-10 (suited)
  • Ace-Queen, Ace-Jack
  • 9-9
  • King-Queen
  • King-10, Queen-10 (suited)

Tier 3- Hands that are playable in most positions, but not as strong as the above hands.

  • 8-8
  • Jack-9, 10-9 (suited)
  • 7-7
  • 9-8, 8-7 (suited)
  • Ace with any other suited card
  • King-Jack, Queen-Jack, Jack-10

Tier 4- Marginal hands, best played sparingly or in a late table position.

  • Any low pair (e.g. pairs below 7)
  • Suited connectors, such as 8-7, 5-4, 4-3
  • Ace-10,  King-10, Queen-10
  • King-9, Jack-8 (suited)

Any hand not mentioned is generally regarded as a weak hand and should only be played in situations where you have an advantage on your opponent. Example: late position with no callers against the blinds.