Texas Holdem Starting Hands

Poker Table Positions

The Texas Holdem starting hands have been placed in appropriate groupings. The reason for this is that most of the hands in each grouping can be played roughly the same before the flop in many, but not all, situation. However, there are many exceptions. In fact, the starting hands actually move up and down the hand rankings depending on the circumstance.

The rankings are as follows, with an “s” indicating suited and an “x” indicating a small card. Note that a 10 is represented as “T”. Also, if no “s” appears, then the hand is not suited.

  • Group 1: AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AKs
  • Group 2: TT, AQs, AJs, KQs, AK
  • Group 3: 99, JTs, QJs, KJs, ATs, AQ
  • Group 4: T9s, KQ, 88, QTs, 98s, J9s, AJ, KTs
  • Group 5: 77, 87s, Q9s, T8s, KJ, QJ, JT, 76s, 97s, Axs, 65s
  • Group 6: 66, AT, 55, 86s, KT, QT, 54s, K9s, J8s, 75s

For beginner players, the pre-flop starting hands at early position are group 1-3 hands plus any pocket pairs, except 22, 33, and 44. These small pocket pairs don’t play well at early position for a beginner player, wait until you get more experienced before playing them. In addition, you can play them occasionally for deception value. At middle position, the player can add group 4 hands to their range. At late position, group 5 and 6 hands can also be added. When the players get better and more experienced, he/she can widen the starting hands range at late position.

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Texas Holdem Starting Hands for Pairs & Suited Cards

Use the chart below as a guide to improve your pre-flop play with pocket pairs and suited cards.


Texas Holdem Starting Hands for Unsuited Cards

Use the chart below as a guide to improve your pre-flop play with unsuited cards.