A fundamental choice you will have to decide on when you play Texas hold’em at poker sites for U.S. players is which starting hands you will play. As shown in Casino Royale, James Bond knows all about this, and so should you!

Although this may seem like a minor decision, it’s actually one of the most significant choices you will make in the game. Deciding which poker hands to play and which hands to fold is vital to making money or just winning in general.

Starting Hands in Limit Texas Hold’em

What must be understood about limit online Texas holdem is that there is indeed a limit on how much you are permitted to bet. This means that hands that are trivial and not very good should not be played, as most of the time you will not be able to bluff your opponent into folding. Good starting hands to play in limit Texas hold’em are medium to high pairs. However, suited connectors or an ace or king high hand can be considered, based on the other players’ bets.

Starting Hands in No Limit Texas Hold’em

No Limit Texas hold’em allows you to be more open-minded with the hands you choose to play. Being allowed to bet as much as you want will give you the ability to bluff out other player’s if need be. Small pairs and random hands can be played more frequently in No Limit. If you get medium to high pairs however, you should lay low for a while and then start betting big near the end when your opponents make an attempt to bluff you into folding, or try to raise you, when you most likely have the better hand.

Starting Hands in Texas Hold’em Tournaments

You must be more cautious when playing in a tournament, as all tournaments are primarily based on stack sizes and blinds. If you have a bigger sized stack, you can have a similar mindset on playing cards as you would in No Limit Texas hold’em. Depending on the size of your stack, you should consider playing a more laid-back style, only throwing in chips if you believe you have a good shot at winning more chips. However, if you have a tiny stack, you should be waiting for an opportunity to throw all your chips in with a medium to strong hand. Any high card, pair, suited connector or even suited hand will do.