Betting Strategy

What % of Hands Should You Play in Texas Hold’em?

Every card that hits the felt changes the game of Texas Hold’em poker. Your odds and percentages of winning a pot roller-coaster up and down at every turn. Of course, this is what makes poker so addictive in the first place. Players love this action and with poker, there is plenty of it.

To be successful at Texas Hold’em, knowing when to play is even more important than having the cards to play and the question that always comes up is, “what percentage of hands should I play?” If you’ve ever wondered this out loud or to yourself, you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled a cheap sheet list you are going to want to learn to help you become the best Texas Hold’em player you can be.

When Will I Get A Premium Hand?

If you haven’t noticed yet, premium hands don’t get handed out often. They are special. The changes of getting a top tier starting hand (double aces, picture pairs, or A-K suited) comes in at a miniscule 2.1%. Don’t hold out for these hands, you’ll be waiting quite a while.

Am I Flush?

If you are fortunate enough to grab a flush draw (one card away of a full flush) after the flop, you’ll make your hand 34.97% of the time and that’s just over a third for those of you keeping score at home.

Time For Some Straight Talk

If you flop on an open-ended straight draw, this gives you eight outs or eight possible cards that will complete your hand. With this in mind, you will hit your hand by the river 31.5% of the time. Be sure you’re getting the pot odds, which is the value of the pot versus the value of your bet, in order to see the next card.

Three of a Kind Talk

When you already have a pair, the odds of flopping a set, which is three of a kind, are a slim 7.5/1 odds. In this situation, it is smart to make sure you only play small pairs on the cheap side, and only when the pot necessitates it.

I am Suited, Now What?

Just because you are suited does not necessarily mean you have a playable draw. Never play simply because you are suited because it has only improved your hands by 2.5%.

Inside Straights

Rarely worth drawing to, with the turn and the river cards to come you’ll hit your four outs approximately 9% of the time.


When two pairs go head-to-head, and this will happen often, the bigger pair will when approximately 80% of the time, every time. That’s 4 out of 5, though so maybe it’s better to write it as such. Know when to fold in these situations. For instance, if you have queens and then see a bet, a raise and then a re-raise in front of you, you may be up against big cards like aces, kings, or both. That’s when you fold’em up.


When your top card matches the other player’s but you have a smaller kicker, you’ve got only a 24% chance of winning.

Such Perfect Cards

When you need two exact cards on the turn and river, the chances of getting them both is practically nil at 0.3%. And, to make it worse, if you are able to pull one, there’s only a 4.55% chance you’ll be getting the other.

Remember, It’s a Race

A pair against two overcards is often called a coin-flip or race, because they each win about half the time. If the overcards are suited, the pair will win 46%-54% of the time, if not, it’s 48%-57% of the time.

My Connectors Are Suited

Some people will tell you that middle suited connectors are better than aces because these have such strong straight and flush possibilities. However, when you’re holding the aces, no need for alarm. The over-pair will beat suited connectors approximately 80% of the time. Some people.

The Ole Pocket Pair

Sometimes it seems like a lifetime, however, you will be dealt a pocket pair on the average of one in every 17 hands. That’s about 6% of the time which comes around more than you think in a good Texas Hold’em session.

Pairs Everywheres

The percentage of one of your hole cards making a pair on the flop is 32.43%. About a third of the time. However, don’t forget, that’s true for everyone in the hand.

River Pairs Everywheres

By the time you get to the river, your chances of making a pair go up to roughly a half or 50%.

Flushed Out

There is a very good reason for folding low hands. Even if they’re suited, the chance of flopping a flush is a slim 0.8%. That’s about 124/1. Slim indeed.

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