The Best Texas Hold’em Hands by Winning Percentage

Pocket Aces – statistically the best starting hand in Hold’em – are less than a 75% favorite against 2 or more opponents according to my Texas Hold’em hand rankings.

If you’ve ever played Texas Hold’em you already know how important starting hand selection is.

I’ve found that lack of hand strength knowledge is the #1 reason that beginning poker players lose.

The problem is that starting hand guidelines are all based on opinion and there certainly isn’t a shortage of those.

What is there was a way to rank Texas Hold’em hands simply by strength and winning percentage?

What if you could take opinion out of the equation?

That’s what I developed in these charts and what you can use to make better decisions at the tables..

These numbers tell you the exact long-term winning percentage of every hand in Hold’em against specific numbers of opponents holding random cards.

Here’s the bottom line:

I believe that long-term average winning percentage is the perfect way to rank starting hands in Texas Hold’em.

No arbitrary bias, no adjustable strategy; simply the raw metrics of the game.

Why random cards?

texas-holdem-winning-percentages-80

Random opponent cards won’t give situational context, but they’ll give you pure winning strength with no subjective analysis.

One interesting key you should keep in mind is the simulations I ran to get these numbers are based on opponents holding random cards.

Why? Because that’s the only way to run a fair simulation without bias.

Here’s the deal:

You and I might realistically know that pocket Aces are almost never going to play to a showdown against 7-2 offsuit, but if you try to limit simulations to hands that are likely to meet you’ve introduced opinion to data.

If I’m just giving opinions I can make an opinion-based starting Hold’em hand chart and be done with it.

That’s been done to death and I’m not terribly interested in repeating it.

These charts won’t tell you, “Play this hand and not this one,” but they’ll rank which hands win more than others statistically. You’ll learn why hands are as strong as they are.

That’s pretty powerful, right?

texas-holem-hands-45

Printable PDF of all my hand rankings

This is an 8.5 x 11-inch PDF of every Hold’em hand strength chart I’ve calculated. I’ve also formatted it as a color-coded “heat map” so you can easily see which class any given hand is in by its cell color.

It is sized to print perfectly on one sheet of paper, making it handy to live in front of your monitor and serve as a non-verbal guilt-maker for playing that 4♣-3♥ with a black rating.

Note: If sitting in front of your monitor and next to you mouse it can also serve as a dried hummus catcher, coaster, and scrap paper for writing random phone numbers down when your phone won’t let you switch to Notes during a voicemail. I know it happens to you, too.

Click the image below to view/download the PDF.

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Click the image above to download my complete hand rankings on one page.

Hold’em Starting Cards

The following chart contains every 2-card possible combination you can be dealt in Texas Hold’em. The hands are arranged by largest hole card with a separate section for pocket pairs.

Each hand will be followed by its long-term winning percentage (out of 100) against a specific number of opponents holding random cards. I believe that is the most logical way to rank overall poker hand strength.

It may be obvious, but look at how every starting hand wins less against more opponents. Statistics are telling you why you need to isolate with premium hands.

texas-holdem-hands-44

Every Texas Hold’em Poker Hand by Winning Percentage

To find a specific hand look it up by its largest card. Unless noted, unpaired cards are unsuited. Suited cards add an average winning percentage of 3-4%.

Average Winning Percentage (out of 100) with Pairs

CARDS

# of Opponents

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

AA

85

73

64

56

49

43

39

31

KK

82

69

58

50

43

38

33

29

QQ

80

65

54

45

38

33

28

25

JJ

78

61

49

40

34

29

25

22

1010

75

58

45

36

30

25

22

19

99

72

54

41

33

26

22

19

17

88

69

50

38

29

24

20

18

16

77

66

46

34

26

21

19

16

15

66

63

43

32

25

20

17

15

14

55

60

40

29

22

19

16

14

13

44

57

37

25

21

17

15

14

13

33

54

34

24

19

16

15

14

13

22

50

31

22

18

16

14

13

13

Winning Percentage with Ace-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
AK (suited) 67 51 41 35 31 28 25 23
AK 65 48 39 32 28 24 22 19
AQ 64 47 37 30 26 23 20 18
AJ 64 46 35 29 24 21 18 16
A10 63 44 34 28 23 20 17 15
A9 61 42 31 25 20 17 15 13
A8 60 41 30 24 19 16 14 12
A7 59 39 28 22 18 15 13 11
A6 58 38 28 21 17 14 12 11
A5 58 38 28 21 17 14 12 11
A4 56 37 27 21 17 14 12 11
A3 56 36 26 20 17 14 12 10

A2

55

35

25

20

16

14

12

10

Winning Percentage with King-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
KQ (suited) 63 47 38 33 28 25 23 20
KQ 61 44 35 29 25 21 19 17
KJ 61 43 34 28 24 20 18 16
K10 60 42 33 27 22 19 17 15
K9 58 40 30 24 20 17 14 12
K8 56 37 27 21 17 15 13 11
K7 55 36 26 21 17 14 12 10
K6 54 35 25 20 16 13 11 10
K5 53 34 25 19 15 13 11 10
K4 52 33 23 18 15 12 11 9
K3 51 32 23 18 14 12 10 9
K2 50 31 22 17 14 12 10 9

Winning Percentage with Q-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
QJ (suited) 60 44 36 30 26 23 21 19
QJ 58 41 33 27 23 20 17 15
Q10 57 40 31 26 22 19 16 14
Q9 56 38 29 23 19 16 14 12
Q8 54 35 26 21 17 14 12 11
Q7 52 33 24 19 15 13 11 9
Q6 51 32 23 18 14 12 10 9
Q5 50 31 20 17 14 12 10 9
Q4 49 30 21 16 13 11 9 8

Q3

48

29

21

16

13

11

9

8

Q2

47

28

20

15

12

10

9

8

Winning Percentage with J-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
J10 (suited) 58 42 34 29 25 22 20 18
J10 55 39 31 25 22 19 16 15
J9 53 37 28 23 19 16 14 12
J8 52 34 26 20 17 14 12 11
J7 50 32 24 18 15 12 11 9
J6 48 30 21 17 13 11 9 8
J5 47 29 21 16 13 11 9 8
J4 46 28 20 15 12 10 9 8

J3

45

27

19

15

12

10

8

7

J2

44

26

18

14

11

9

8

7

Winning Percentage with 10-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
T9
(suited)
54 39 31 26 23 20 18 16
T9 52 32 28 23 19 16 14 13
T8 50 34 25 20 17 14 13 11
T7 48 31 23 18 15 13 11 10
T6 46 29 21 17 13 11 10 8
T5 44 27 19 15 12 10 8 7
T4 43 26 19 14 12 10 8 7
T3 42 26 18 14 11 9 8 7

T2

42

25

17

13

11

9

8

7

Winning Percentage with 9-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
98 (suited) 51 36 29 24 20 18 16 15
98 48 33 25 20 17 14 12 11
97 47 31 23 18 16 13 11 10
96 45 29 21 17 14 11 10 9
95 43 27 19 15 12 10 9 7
94 41 25 17 13 11 9 7 6
93 40 24 17 13 10 8 7 6

92

39

23

16

12

10

8

7

6

Winning Percentage with 8-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
87 (suited) 48 34 27 22 19 17 15 14
87 46 31 23 19 15 13 12 10
86 44 29 21 17 14 12 10 9
85 42 27 19 15 12 11 9 8
84 40 24 18 13 11 9 8 7
83 38 22 16 12 10 8 7 6
82 37 22 15 11 9 8 6 6

Winning Percentage with 7-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
76 (suited) 46 32 25 21 18 16 14 13
76 43 29 22 17 14 12 11 10
75 41 27 20 16 13 11 10 9
74 38 25 18 14 11 10 9 8
73 37 22 16 12 10 8 7 6
72 35 20 14 11 9 7 6 5

Winning Percentage with 6-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
65 (suited) 43 30 24 20 17 15 14 13
65 40 27 20 16 13 12 10 9
64 38 25 18 14 12 10 9 8
63 36 23 16 13 11 9 8 7
62 34 21 15 11 9 8 7 6

Winning Percentage with 5-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
54 (suited) 41 29 23 19 17 15 14 13
54 38 25 19 15 13 11 10 9
53 36 23 17 14 11 10 9 8
52 34 21 15 12 10 9 8 7

Winning Percentage with 4-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
43 (suited) 38 26 20 17 15 13 12 11
43 34 22 16 13 11 9 8 8
42 33 21 15 12 10 8 7 7

Winning Percentage with 3-x

CARDS # of Opponents
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
32 (suited) 35 24 18 15 13 12 11 10
32 31 20 14 11 9 8 7 6

 

Texas Hold’em starting hands best to worst

This chart will give you the rank of Texas Hold’em hands from best to worst. This can serve as an easy list of all hands sorted by strength rather than separated by biggest starting card.

I am including all 13 pocket pairs and 78 unique non-paired starting hands for a total of 91 hands. Those 78 hands could be counted a second time as suited starting hands win slightly more often, but I’m omitting suited cards to be more concise.

Keep in mind that these are not recommendations or rankings for playing starting hands in real-life scenarios. This is simply ranked raw data of which Texas Hold’em hands win most against random opponent cards.

Poker Hand Percentages Chart

RankStarting hand# of opponents
123
1AA857364
2KK826958
3QQ806554
4JJ786149
51010755845
699725441
788695038
877664634
9AK654839
10AQ644737
11AJ644635
1266634332
13A10634434
14A9614231
15KQ614435
16KJ614334
1755604029
18A8604130
19K10604233
20A7593928
21A6583828
22A5583828
23K9584030
24QJ584133
2544573725
26Q10574031
27A4563727
28A3563626
29K8563727
30Q9563829
31A2553525
32K7553626
33J10553931
3433543424
35K6543525
36Q8543526
37K5533425
38J9533728
39K4523323
40Q7523324
41J8523426
42T9523228
43K3513223
44Q6513223
4522503122
46K2503122
47Q5503120
48J7503224
49T8503425
50Q4493021
51Q3482921
52J6483021
53T7483123
5498483325
55Q2472820
56J5472921
5797473123
58J4462820
59T6462921
6087463123
61J3452719
6296452921
63J2442618
64T5442719
6586442921
66T4432619
6795432719
6876432922
69T3422618
70T2422517
7185422719
7294412517
7375412720
7493402417
7584402418
7665402720
7792392316
7883382216
7974382518
8064382518
8154382519
8282372215
8373372216
8463362316
8553362317
8672352014
8762342115
8852342115
8943342216
9042332115
9132312014

Poker hand percentages

Why is poker hand strength important?

Understanding poker hand strength is one of the first key concepts new players should learn and veterans should never forget. Recreational players (often called simply recs these days) miss this basic building block of Texas Hold’em, playing starting hands based on hunches, tilt, intoxication level, or personal grudges. Be better than that. I’ll help you with these Hold’em hand charts.

You cannot be a winning Texas Hold’em player without knowing the value of starting hands relative to each other

Take control of your poker hand's strength

Take more control of your poker game by learning the true strength of the hands you play.

3 observations on Texas Hold’em hand strength

  • Every hand in Hold’em wins less often when played against more players. That sounds obvious, right? Yet players routinely slowplay their top starting hands pre-flop like pocket Aces and Kings. By doing this you’re literally inviting your winning percentage to go down.
  • Mediocre hands are all a jumble of mediocre winning percentages. Some of the most common hands that many Hold’em players stick with like KQ, J-10, or Q-J all have similar middling winning percentages. They all have similar unremarkable hand strength, meaning that unless you have position, lots of experience, or a good read you’re probably better off not playing them at all.
  • Winning poker hands are more about how you play them than the numbers. Take, for example, the poker percentages of AK, one of the few extremely powerful hands in Texas Hold’em. Technically, it wins less than a middle pocket pair like 7-7. Aside from all-in heads-up tournament situations A-K is a much stronger hand in real-life scenarios because real-life hands aren’t random hands staying in to showdown. Big Slick would have (should have) eliminated those weaker random hands pre-flop.
Tune up your hand strength

Tune up your Hold’em starting hand game.

Poker winning percentages aren’t everything

Average poker winning percentages, which is what hand strength is based on, certainly aren’t everything, but it’s half of the pre-flop puzzle. If you can have a general set of starting hand guidelines (i.e. what you’ll play from what position) that are rooted in hand strength you can make more automatic pre-flop decisions.

That will free your mind up to actually start playing your opponents and the specific table situation. Once you’ve mastered starting hand discipline you can make deviations to your rules and play a wider range of hands.

Hold’em hand rankings reinforce essential concepts, even if you don’t pay careful attention to the numbers. Limit the number of opponents with your strongest hands and realize just how few starting hands are dominant by the numbers.

If only one thing sticks with you from these charts make it that even the best hands in Hold’em have pathetic value against several opponents. Still want to slowplay those Aces pre-flop?

Premium winning poker hands

Learning to thin the field with your premium hands? Your chip stack will thank you.

How many starting hands are there in Hold’em?

Strangely, the number of starting hands in Texas Hold’em is somewhat subjective and the answer depends on how broad you want define the results. The commonly accepted number is 169. Here are some key numbers on starting hands:

  • There are 13 pocket pairs you can be dealt as starting hands: 2-2 through A-A.
  • There are 78 unpaired hands that you can be dealt in Texas Hold’em, ignoring suit (e.g. A-2, K-10, 6-2).
  • Those same hands make up another set of 78 when suited (e.g. 9♥-8♥, A♣-8♣, Q♦-J♦)
  • The above 3 sets of hands add up to form the common answer of 169 Texas Hold’em starting hands
  • There are actually 1,326 combinations of starting hands if you count suits (e.g. A♣-A♦ and A♠-A♥ are different hands), but that is more of a “just for fun” number as suits have no value over each other in Texas Hold’em.
  • As suited cards slightly increase the value of a starting hand due to their higher flush capabilities (you can see this illustrated in the poker hand strength charts) those 78 suited non-paired starting hands are counted separately from unpaired starting hands.
  • However, since the increase in hand strength is minimal (never more than 3-4%) I often simplify the starting hand number down to 91 when teaching beginners the game of Texas Hold’em. It sounds a bit less daunting to spin it as, “less than 100 hands”.

What are good Texas Hold’em hands?

Look at these hand charts and notice the average winning percentages. Any hand that has a score over 80 is a premium hand and anything over about 65 are very strong hands.

That’s what these poker hand percentages are all about: telling you which hands to play pre-flop before you have any other information. The numbers tell you they’re good hands because they simple win more often than others on average.

Poker winning percentages

Be the shark. While not without flaws, poker winning percentages can reinforce essential Hold’em concepts

What to take away from hand strength rankings

texas-holdem-poker-hands-5

These hand rankings reinforce the concept that you want to isolate opponents with your premium hands that win much less often against more players.

Essentially, the lesson here is to hold strong starting cards and thin the field when you play a hand likely to be the favorite. You can see the extremely low average winning poker hand percentages for commonly played hands like Q-10 or J-9 so my advice would have to be to stick to the premium hands as you learn the game.

As you gain more experience you can experiment with those lower percentage starting cards, but you’ll need to be disciplined enough to learn when to continue beyond the flop.

Every poker hand’s strength decreases against more players

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, every hand wins dramatically less when it is played against more opponents. Even the top two Hold’em hands of A-A and K-K win, on average, less than half of the pots when 4 or 5 players stay in. Your goal should be to thin the field preflop and increase your odds of that premium hand holding up.

The hands that you want to encourage opponents with, such as low suited connectors, have such low winning expectations anyway that you’ll need huge pot odds from the extra callers to make them worthwhile. These are essential Texas Hold’em concepts.

Poker hand strength fundamentals

Tune up your game with statistical hand rankings that show you exactly which hands fare best long-term against multiple opponents.

Tune up your game with statistical hand rankings that show you exactly which hands fare best long-term against multiple opponents.

Of course, the fundamentals of poker are based on proper starting hand selection so take a look at the above charts and see how the cards you play rank.

If you’re looking for more poker strategy you can check out our extensive poker strategy section or my latest mega-guide on how to stop losing at online poker.

Also, if you’re looking for the rank of made poker hands try our standard poker hand rankings or learn poker lingo for poker hand nicknames.

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Josh H
Josh H
Owner and Editor-in-chief at Beat The Fish
A lifelong poker player who moved online in 2004, Josh founded Beat The Fish in 2005 to help online poker players make more-informed decisions on where to play and what to do once they got there. He hopes to cut through the rampant dishonesty in online gaming with objective reviews and relevant features. Also believes that 16 bits are enough. You can reach Josh directly at support@beatthefish.com.
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2 Comments on "The 13 Best Texas Hold’em Poker Hand Strength Charts [2016]"

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lois
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lois
March 12, 2016 7:23 pm

So are the hands listed like 75 listed as suited or non suited. Is it 41% or 44% vs 1 player.

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