April 03, 2023 4 min read

In the No-Limit Texas Holdem poker game, success starts with your Texas Holdem hands selection and timing of hands. You'd need a lot of words to compose a comprehensive guide to every hand and situation. That said, this article will provide you with broader strokes regarding pre-flop play. Although this won’t provide all Texas holdem hands, this would be a great starter article if you’re looking to deep dive into all things Holdem! 

Texas Holdem Poker Hands

Although Texas Holdem is a card game, cheat sheets will not assist you in cheating. They can provide insight into the best hands and optimal strategies for various rounds or positions.


Be mindful that using a cheat sheet in person could be suspicious - these are more commonly used online. If you're new to the game, GGPoker's beginner's guide will give you all the information needed for success! On the other hand, if your current skill level is already proficient but needs an extra boost, consider trying some online matches on their platform.

How to Play These Holdem Poker Hands

To maximize your chances of success in Texas Holdem poker, you must familiarize yourself with the ranking system for hands. To simplify this process, we have compiled a handy cheat sheet detailing each hand from highest to lowest—check it out!

Let's look at some commonly encountered starting hands and explore their advantages and drawbacks.

Pocket Queens and Jacks

To start with, some of the best Texas Holdem hands are queens and jacks, which are neither significant nor marginal pairs. They are fundamentally tricky to play with, but they should still be among your most profitable hands. With cards such as QQ or JJ in hand, even experienced punters will find it difficult to generate some profits—but fortunately, help is at hand.

Since more flushes are dealt than top pairs, it stands to reason that betting all of your chips is the most beneficial move over any long-term period. When multiple players join in pre-flop bets, you're likely to either beat them or have a mediocre AK hand at best. However, if the board improves your outcome or your opponents demonstrate weakness by backing down from their bet, these hands should still be played out until completion.

Pocket Kings


Pocket kings and aces possess many parallels pre-flop, yet it remains to be one of the most strategic Holdem poker hands there is. You might be tempted to fold KK before the flop, but this is only sometimes your best option. If someone has AA when you hold KK, all the chips will probably end up in the middle; don't let it get you down if you lose, as these things happen. Accept that bad luck was on your side now and continue with another hand!

Playing kings requires the same post-flop strategies as playing aces. Recognizing when an ace is up can be pivotal to success; while it isn't necessarily threatening, neither should you consider it advantageous. Beyond merely having "one pair," factoring in potential aces on the flop will prove invaluable.

Top-Pair Hands

When the occasion calls for a loose table, A-K, A-Q, and K-Q should take center stage in your poker hand chart. These are all great hands to bet on since there's less threat of an opponent beating you with their card combinations when other players have weaker cards. Take advantage of this situation by raising the stakes without fear!

The ever-evolving game of poker, mainly Texas Holdem, brings about new difficulties and changes when playing online compared to live. Even from one online room to another, the disparity can be immense. But here is some advice you should remember: In The Lone Star State's version of Poker one pair alone will not suffice in most cases. If your competition plays it safe with few risks taken, they are likely only making big bets against you as long as they possess a more substantial hand than yours!

cards on table

Pocket Aces

If you're lucky enough to be dealt these Holdem hands in a game of poker, then you can feel confident that it's one of the best-starting hands.

However, as with any strong hand, there are still some scenarios where folding may be preferable if the board doesn't improve your chances after pre-flop betting. Remember: all you have is one pair and two cards from the same suit, which could put you at risk against two random teams or sets played by others during gameplay, so always remain aware before gambling on such hands!

Pocket Pairs Below Jacks

You should be careful when playing with pocket pairs; there is either no raise or a single raise for a set value. The goal here is to flop your set so you can double up if the pre-flop raiser has pocket Aces; this is what we call 'set mining." Since lower pairs such as five have an increased chance of experiencing a "set over set' situation (which usually results in significant losses), many experienced players won't play any pair below this number. It's important to remember: hit the set, make money, miss it, and walk away without betting!

Wrapping Up

You now know the basics of Texas Holdem Poker and understand which hands to put in your cart. Whether playing at a live table or online, study your cheat sheet and keep the poker hand rankings in mind. For those who want extra practice before hitting real money games, GGPoker has a fantastic free poker school that covers almost every aspect, from the fundamentals to advanced strategies! Sign up now and experience how quickly you can improve when given some guidance!

Author - Olivia Poglianich
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the surf, watersports and outdoor adventure space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Spin to win Spinner icon