Analyze Your Texas Hold'em Hands Online

One of the first aspects to consider when playing online Texas Hold'em is the starting hand dealt to you. You should analyze whether the hands are strong enough to enter the pot. Based on the two hole cards you get, a number of combinations are possible. The strength of these combinations can be categorized as very high, high, average and low when you play online.

Strength Level - Very High

Four hands can be considered to be of very high strength level. These are A-K (suited), Q-Q, A-A and K-K. In case you get these hands, you should ideally play them. There is a good chance that you will be able to win the pot with them. To make the most of the starting hands, you can use these strategies:

Playing A-A: Also called pocket aces, A-A is the best combination possible in Texas Hold'em. The best situation in which you can play pocket aces is when you are on the flop, in a heads-up match. In case you are in early position, you should avoid limping in. If you limp in with the hand, there is a good chance that several other players will be encouraged to move on to the flop. Ideally, the hand should be played against only a few opponents.

After the flop, if you are up against more than one player, you should bet and raise as much as possible. This is a good way to get opponents who want to see the next street, to contribute to the pot. In case you are playing heads-up against an opponent in first position, you can check and bluff.

Playing Q-Q:A hand with a pair of queens is the best to play pre-flop, especially in No-Limit Texas Hold'em. In case you are playing against opponents who are raising aggressively, consider folding. There is a good chance that they have one of two other very strong hands - A-A or K-K. Be careful if you come across a scare card, as it is highly possible that it could have improved an opponent's hand.

Playing K-K:Pocket kings, the next best hand to pocket aces when used pre-flop, can be quite challenging to play. Though the hand is very strong, its value can reduce in case the board brings up an ace. This is especially so if an opponent has even one ace as a hole card, as they will pair to become the strongest hand - pocket aces. Also, it is possible that if an ace hits the board, opponents who do not have an ace as hole card will fold. It will reduce your chances of being able to get your opponents to add to the pot that you have a good chance of winning.

Playing A-K: A suited A-K can be very strong if it connects with a community card. In case the hand doesn't connect and you play till showdown, you will have only an ace-high which can be beaten by others. A-K should ideally not be played against several opponents. It should be folded if you come across a flop that does not improve it. However, if you make a pair on the flop with a king, you will have a very strong hand - a top pair accompanied by the top kicker.

Strength Level - High

In Texas Hold'em, it is best to not play only the very strong starting hands. If you do, your betting decisions will follow a pattern that your opponents can track. This will make your actions predictable. In this case, your opponents will be able to assess the strength of your hands and act against you. To avoid this you should play other starting hands too. Good options for this are hands that have a high strength level, like A-K (unsuited), 10-10 and J-J. Others are - suited A-Q, K-Q and A-J.

Hands that don't fall in these two categories can be folded. However, in case you want a wider range of hands to play, but with low risk, opt for medium pocket pairs and rag aces. Medium pocket pairs are cards from 9-9 to 7-7. With these cards, you can add to the pot pre-flop to see whether the board helps the hand improve on the flop. In case it doesn't, fold the hand. Rag aces too should be played the same way. Typically, these hands comprise an ace and a small kicker from 2 to 9.