Poker Starting Hand Selection


As a player starts to learn the ins and outs of poker it becomes obvious that one of the most crucial parts of the game is to decide whether to stay in it or not. The first cards dealt have to be read properly in order to know if they are worthwhile to continue with. It is especially in the very popular Texas Hold'em that this becomes essential as the first two cards dealt can't be exchanged but only matched with the five communal cards that will unfold on the table. It is obvious that a beginner will need advice on how to play his starting hand selection but in order to take advice he needs to first understand a few basic concepts.

Understanding the Game

To understand how to play out a hand a player must first of all understand the game well. There are several issues that will determine what a hand is really worth and if a player should stay in the game with it or not. The perhaps most important concept to be familiar with is Position in Poker. The position refers to where around the table the player is sitting. Depending on his seat, the player will get to make his choice following the order of the game. The player that sits to the left of the dealer or dealer button online makes the first bet and the player next to him the second. In Texas Hold'em the first player that made the small bet will always start the betting rounds and this influences the choices of the rest of the players. When someone says that he's got “position” on you it means that he is sitting to your left and will always act after you. In order to adjust the poker starting hand selection standard it is important to understand this before taking any advice or applying a specific strategy.

Learning by Advice

There is plenty of advice available for players that care to improve their poker gaming. Online a player can easily get instructions as how to make the poker starting hand selection. There are also books to buy for players who want to study in depth about the possible variations and outcomes. An average beginner player can certainly do with the expert advice available for free online in articles and player forums. Whenever taking advice it is important to check who is giving it. A list of ten hands recommended to stay in the game with could very well turn out to be completely correct but it takes more than a list of suggested hands to actually make the correct decision. With a bit of common sense a player can use this specific advice to their advantage and have them stored in the back of their mind to make use of as the game unfolds.

Learning by Trial and Error

Another important factor when deciding to stick in the game or not, based on the initial hand being dealt, is who the other players around the table are. If most of the players are beginners, a bad hand might not necessarily be all that bad as most of the players will not have the skills to know when to fold it. A beginner player will not be as aware of other new players as a skilled poker player would be but a good indication of the level of the play at the table is to look at the flop percentage presented for it. A good poker room will help their players to get to the right table and this way a beginner can learn how to read his hands by trial and error in a fair environment. Learning by practice is probably the very best way to truly understand the connections and outcome of the choices being made.

Sticking to a Strategy

When and if a player decides to adopt a certain strategy it is important to fully stick to it. If a player starts mixing between lists of recommended hands and a list of hands that call for folding the original strategy is not bound to work all that well. It doesn't mean that a player has to be completely blind to insights of his own but he can't blame a strategy for a failed game if he made a complete mess of it to begin with.


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