One of the main rules of poker (including texas holdem) says that the professional player, risking his own money, should draw no more than 20% of all hands in order to have a positive balance as a result of the game. In order to draw only the most profitable hands it is necessary to learn to analyse your initial cards, which of them can potentially become strong combinations and which ones are better to throw away right away.
Strategy “19 hands” for texas holdem
Naturally, it is quite difficult to remember all the variants of the starting hands that are worth playing. That is why for beginner players of texas holdem the simplest strategy called “Nineteen hands” has been developed, which determines which hands are worth drawing and which are better to throw away right away.
The “Nineteen hands” strategy for texas holdem is actually very simple and is determined by only one rule – only the following 19 variants of the starting hands can be (and must be) drawn in holdem:
- All pocket pairs (13 different variants of pairs).
- Ace + King combination
- Ace + Queen combination
- Combination king + jack
The most beneficial (pre-flop) starting hands are the following combinations:
- “Pocket” aces, this is the pair of aces that the player has received in the first deal, i.e. pair of the “pocket” cards. This is the best possible starting hand, but pre-flop there is a risk that you will be left with a pair without improving your hand on subsequent deals.
- Pocket kings, the starting hand virtually identical to the pair of aces in pre-flop. However, there is one important difference: a pair of pocket kings can be drawn differently depending on the starting position.
Pairs of pocket jacks and pocket queens are in the middle between the “big” pairs (aces/kings) and the so-called marginal pairs. That is why it is often much more difficult to draw such starting hands. When drawing such hands much depends on the behaviour of the opponents: it is recommended to continue drawing the pair of jacks or queens in the post-flop only in cases when other players are not in a hurry to raise or the community cards dealt by the dealer can improve their hand.
Such hands are drawn as follows:
If you have in your hands the combinations of the major cards, i.e. pair of aces, kings, queens or jacks, plus the combination ace + king, safely increase the bet in the pre-flop up to the bet that three – five times exceeds the size of the Big Blind. If someone has already announced a raise before you, re-raise only if you have a pair of kings or aces. If after you someone responds with raise to your raise bet, continue to draw the hand, only if you have a pair of aces, in case of pair of kings the next actions are at your discretion, you can announce call or fold.
If in your initial hand there is an ace + queen, raise only in case if no one has raised before you. If at least one player before you has already announced a raise, fold the hand, no matter how unprofitable this action may seem.
If your hand contains combinations of Ace + Jack, King + Queen, Queen + Jack, call only if no one else has raised. If someone has announced a raise, throw the hand away.