Texas Hold’em | Mani di partenza e gioco di posizione

With which starting hands should you enter the game? And from what position? What else does it depend on? This video will give you the answers:

In poker it is important to know which hands you should play in different positions. Mistakes made before the flop often lead to other mistakes in the course of the game. In this article we will present both the different positions at the table, and the starting hands (hole cards) divided into different categories and groups.

Positions in Texas Hold’em

The position at the table depends on where you are seated relative to the dealer (dealer / button). In Hold’em and Omaha, position is very important and is based on the fact that the betting round is clockwise.

Let’s examine the different positions:

Early positon (early positions) and the blinds

  • – Before the flop the players in the small blind and the big blind have the advantage of acting last. Starting with the second round of betting (after the flop), the small blind has the worst position as it will be the first to act.
  • – The big blind from the second betting round also has a bad position.
  • – The player “under the gun” (UTG, the first player to the left of the big blind) has the worst position before the flop and a bad position immediately after. The UTG + 1 and UTG + 2 players (the two players to the left of the UTG) also have a bad position.

Middle position

  • – Middle position players have an intermediate position, both before and after the flop.

Late position (the last positions)

  • – The player on the cut off (to the right of the dealer / button) has a very strong position.
  • – The dealer (dealer / button) has the best position, since from the flop onwards he is the last to act.

In a late position you have the big advantage of knowing your opponents’ moves before your turn. For example, if there has been a bet and a raise, you can also fold a relatively strong hand as probably one of your opponents has a better hand. If other players have opted to check, they probably don’t have good cards and you can bet even with a relatively weak hand. In addition to this important information, we also have the advantage that other players don’t know what we’re going to do before it’s our turn.

“Having position or being in position” means that starting from the flop you have the best position. If you raise from middle position and only call the big blind, you have position for the rest of the hand, as the first move is always up to the big blind. If the dealer also calls, this time he has the position. On the flop, turn and river we will always be the first to speak. In position it is possible to make the most of the weaknesses of the other players.

The better the position, the more hands can be played successfully. Therefore in early position it is advisable to fold many hands, playing only the best hands. Conversely, in late position it is possible to play a greater number of hands. In general, position is much more important in the no-limit variant than in the fixed-limit variant.

Starting hands

In general the starting hands can be divided as follows:

Tall pairs:

A♠ A♦ K♦ K♥ Q♦ Q♠ J♥ J♣

In Texas Hold’em these are the best starting hands. These starting hands are so strong that you often win even without the help of community cards. With these cards you should raise from any position, also to reduce the number of opponents.

Average couples:

10♠ 10♥ 9♦ 9♥ 8♣ 8♠ 7♣ 7♠ 6♥ 6♦

Anche queste carte sono forti. Lo svantaggio delle coppie più piccole è che ci sono flop in cui escono carte più alte (overcards) della coppia. In questo modo diventa difficile valutare la forza della propria mano.

  • Example: If I have two aces in my hand, no other player can get a higher pair on the flop. But if I, for example, have 88 in my hand and the flop comes KT2, I don’t know if my pair continues to be the best hand. If an opponent has a king or a ten, he can make a better pair than mine with the cards on the flop (eg KK). If the opponent’s starting hand consists of a K and a T, he can form a two pair (KKTT) better than my two 8. If the opponent already has a pair in his hand, he may even have formed a flop. set (three K’s, three 10’s or three 2’s) and I’d be defeated again. Therefore it is very difficult to continue playing such a hand after the flop profitably.

Low pairs:

5♠ 5♦ 4♥ 4♣ 3♠ 3♦ 2♦ 2♠

To have a real chance of winning, small pairs normally need to improve to a set, especially if we are playing against multiple opponents.

From a statistical point of view, a set is made once every eight flop. Therefore, for a player holding a low pair, it is convenient for many players to participate in the pot. So the bet will be profitable if you hit the three of a kind. Since you cannot know in advance what the next players will do, it is advisable to play a small pair only when you are in good position and only if other players have already called.

If you can’t make three of a kind with a small pair, it’s usually best to fold on the flop when playing against several players. There is, however, an interesting aspect to consider: before the flop a pair is favored against any hand other than a pair. Since the odds against two higher cards are roughly in the order of 50 and 50, we are in a situation similar to a coin flip.

Strong axes:

A♣ K♣ A♣ Q♣ A♣ J♣

A♥ K♠ A♥ Q♠ A♥ J♠

Combinations that contain an ace are strong cards, which you should generally raise to try to get players holding low pairs to fold.

Aces with suited kickers:

A♠ 10♠ A♥ 9♥ A♦ 8♦ A♣ 7♣ … etc.

These are solid cards that strengthen their value when they manage to improve in a flush or two pair. The flush is rarely hit, but if you have an ace in your hand you automatically have the highest flush. Therefore an ace with a matching suit kicker has a much higher value than most matching suit combinations, such as Q♥ 10♥.


K♥ Q♥ K♠ J♠ Q♦ J♦

K♠ Q♦ K♣ J♥ Q♣ J♦

They are strong hands as they favor smaller cards and have virtually the same chance of winning as smaller pairs.

Suited connectors:

J♠ 10♠ 10♥ 9♥ 9♦ 8♦ 8♣ 7♣

These are speculative hands, which like low pairs, should only be played from late position, if no other player has raised and possibly if there are already some players in the pot. By “speculative”, we mean those hands that could, in the presence of a favorable flop, give us a very strong hand (three of a kind, straight or flush), but which in most cases only form a weak hand (small pairs or worse). The more players that participate in the hand, the more profitable the pot becomes, so it is worth playing even hands that rarely hit a good hand on the flop.

If you hit the flop with a speculative hand, you usually have a very strong hand and you can win big pots.

Starting hand groups

Starting hands can also be divided into groups. Starting hands that belong to the same group have almost the same strength.

  • Group one:

A♠ A♦ K♦ K♥ Q♦ Q♠

A♠ K♠

A♥ K♣

In Hold’em these cards make up the best starting hands. They can be played from any position, and the player holding these cards must, as a rule, raise.

  • Group two:

J♥ J♣ 10♥ 10♣

A♠ Q♠ A♥ J♥

K♦ Q♦

These cards are also great. With them we should normally raise if no one has raised before us. They can be played from any position.

  • Group three:

9♣ 9♥

A♠ 10♠

A♥ Q♠

K♠ J♠ Q♥ J♥ J♦ 10♦

These cards have great winning potential. In early position with these cards, however, you can fold, particularly when the table is very aggressive and subsequent players are expected to raise.

  • Group four:

8♣ 8♥

A♥ J♠

K♠ Q♣

K♠ 10♠ Q♥ 10♥ J♦ 9♦ 10♣ 9♣ 9♠ 8♠

With group four hands it is more common to win than to lose against random hands. However, they should be folded in early position and, if there have been raises, also in middle and late position.

  • Group five:

7♠ 7♦

A♠ with any other card

K♦ J♦

Q♠ 9♠

Q♠ J♦ J♠ 10♦

10♠ 8♠ 9♠ 7♠ 8♠ 7♠ 7♠ 6♠ 6♠ 5♠

These are hands that have some potential. If you are in early or middle position, you should fold with these cards.

  • Group six:

6♠ 6♦ 5♦ 5♥

A♠ 10♣

K♥ 9♥

K♦ 10♠

Q♦ 10♠

J♥ 8♥

8♠ 6♠ 7♠ 5♠ 5♥ 4♥

These hands can be played in late position if none of the other players have raised.

  • Group seven:

4♠ 4♦ 3♥ 3♣ 2♥ 2♣

K♥ with any other card

Q♣ 8♣

J♦ 9♣

10♦ 9♠

10♣ 7♣ 9♠ 6♠ 6♥ 4♥ 5♦ 3♦ 4♠ 3♠

These are very weak hands, which certainly require a lot of help from the board. As this rarely happens, they normally must be folded unless there are several calls and no raise in the pot.

  • Group eight:

    A♠ 9♦

    K♦ 9♣

    Q♦ 9♥

    J♠ 8♥ J♦ 7♠

  • 10♥ 8♠
  • 8♥ 5♥ 7♠ 4♠ 4♠ 2♠ 3♠ 2♠
  • 9♦ 6♠ 8♠ 7♣ 7♠ 6♦ 6♦ 5♣ 5♠ 4♦

These hands are weak. You have to play only when you are on the button or in the blinds or if several players have already called and no one has raised.

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