Best Starting Hands in Texas Holdem

All starting hands listed represent the suited and off-suited version. The suited version ranks slightly higher than off-suited by about 5%. In other words AK suited is better than AK off-suit.


Group 1 Premium
AA- KK


Group 2 Strong
AK- QQ- JJ


Group 3 Good
AQ- 1010- 99- 88


Group 4 Marginal
AJ- KQ- 77- 66- 55


Group 5 Marginal
A10- KJ- K10- 44- 33


Group 6 Weak
A9- QJ- Q10- J10- 22


Group 7 Weak
A8- K9- Q9- J9 and lower


This guide is for seven to ten players seated at the table. A game that has an average amount of players seeing the flop.

You could be playing in a game with ten total players but if only one or two players ever see the flop during a hand that would make any pocket pair go up in strength. A pair of fives for instance will be much stronger of a hand against only one opponent then it would be against six opponents who see the flop. As someone in the hand is likely to have made a pair on the flop that is larger than yours.

If allot of players are seeing the flop suited connectors become stronger as you will be getting more action if you make a straight or flush with them.

Another reason it would ever change is certain hands play differently with fewer opponents seated at the table. This changes the amount of opponents that see the flop. I have also written a texas holdem poker hand guide If you play in a game that usually only has four to six players seated.

There are too many variables for this list of starting hands to be perfect for every game. And should therefore be used as an general guideline.



This page is a commonly accepted ranking of hands. I personally rank medium pocket pairs higher than AQ in a 7 to 10 handed game along with other changes.

For more on this area visit How to Rank Starting Hands.


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