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Playing Starting Hands
Which starting hands you play and how you play them will have a great impact on your success as a poker player. The golden rule for inexperienced players is to only play very good hands. A lot of players get impatient and start playing all kinds of hands, and lose a lot of money because of that. In online texas holdem that problem can be avoided by multi-tabling at once. When you play on several tables at once you will get dealt more hands, and it will be easier to throw your Q-T away. All the best poker rooms offer multi-tabling possibilities.
So, which hands should you play, and how?
High pairs like pocket aces, kings and queens should of coursed be played, and they should be played aggressively. Try to get as much money as possible into the pot before the flop, without scaring all the other players away. The ideal is to keep one or two players in the pot.
Middle pairs and low pairs should be played more cautiously. It's often a good idea to only call pre-flop and hope for a good flop. If you flop a set, or if there are no over cards on the board, you are generally in a good position.
Hands like AK and AQ are strong in Texas Holdem poker but you must keep in mind that these aren't made hands; in most cases you need to hit something on the flop to go on with the hand. Nevertheless, these hands should be played aggressively before the flop. Just like with high pairs, it's good to isolate yourself against one or two players.
Suited connectors like 7s-6s have become popular over the last few years. These hands have the potential to give you a big hit (flush or straight), but that won't happen that often. Consequently, you need several opponents in the pot when you play suited connectors, to make sure that you get paid of when you catch that dream flop.
These are some good hands to play, but there are trouble hands as well. AJ, AT, KQ, KJ, are hands that have cost many players a lot of money. They look good, and can of course be strong under the right circumstances, but when facing a raise there is a good chance you're up against a dominating hand, like AK. You must have the discipline to let these hands go if there is a lot of action before the flop.
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