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 most starting hand guidelines are all based on opinion and there certainly isn’t a shortage of those.

What if 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. Each one is based on simulations of at least 10 million hands.

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 random cards? 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.

PREMIUM CONTENT LOCKED

Enter Your Email for Instant Access

Besides your hand strength cheat-sheet you'll also receive:

  • 4 more original poker strategy complete eBooks
  • 7 secrets I can't publish about online poker​

texas-holdem-hands-chart

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

Beat The Fish helped my game tremendously and the hand strength charts helped me the most.

Keep creating good articles 😉 Thanks

Jon Lamoureux

Your thoughts on position play and starting hands helped me the most. It's easy to read, right to the point.

Jay Aldridge

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

These charts show the average winning percentage (its equity) of every Hold’em hand at showdown. To find a specific hand’s ranking 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

35

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

 

How I calculated these hand strength numbers

The incomparable PokerStove desktop application may look like a relic from the Windows 95 days, but it’s actually invaluable for running large-scale Texas Hold’em calculations. It still works on Windows 10 and it’s quite easy to use once your eyes recover from the last-millennium GUI.

I manually set each Hold’em hand to player 1 and run separate Monte Carlo calculations of at least 10 million hands for each one against 1-8 opponents.

The results look like this for each hand, which shows how often the hand won the simulation:

texas-holdem-hand-strength-101-2

An example PokerStove hand strength calculation setup for pocket Aces against 8 players holding random cards.

I then rounded each result to the nearest percentage point and put them into a table, which is what you see above and in the PDF.

texas-holdem-hand-strength-101-1

The detailed results of the simulation, which shows games simulated and how each hand fared in terms of equity (winning percentage). The 34.619% for pocket Aces was rounded up to 35%, which you’ll find in the complete charts.

Texas Hold’em starting hands best to worst

Premium winning poker hands

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

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 Strength Chart

Poker RankingStarting hand# of opponents
123
Texas Hold'em Winning Percentage at Showdown
1A-A857364
2K-K826958
3Q-Q806554
4J-J786149
510-10755845
69-9725441
78-8695038
87-7664634
9A-K654839
10A-Q644737
11A-J644635
126-6634332
13A-10634434
14A-9614231
15K-Q614435
16K-J614334
175-5604029
18A-8604130
19K-10604233
20A-7593928
21A-6583828
22A-5583828
23K-9584030
24Q-J584133
254-4573725
26Q-10574031
27A-4563727
28A-3563626
29K-8563727
30Q-9563829
31A-2553525
32K-7553626
33J-10553931
343-3543424
35K-6543525
36Q-8543526
37K-5533425
38J-9533728
39K-4523323
40Q-7523324
41J-8523426
4210-9523228
43K-3513223
44Q-6513223
452-2503122
46K-2503122
47Q-5503120
48J-7503224
4910-8503425
50Q-4493021
51Q-3482921
52J-6483021
5310-7483123
549-8483325
55Q-2472820
56J-5472921
579-7473123
58J-4462820
5910-6462921
608-7463123
61J-3452719
629-6452921
63J-2442618
6410-5442719
658-6442921
6610-4432619
679-5432719
687-6432922
6910-3422618
7010-2422517
718-5422719
729-4412517
737-5412720
749-3402417
758-4402418
766-5402720
779-2392316
788-3382216
797-4382518
806-4382518
815-4382519
828-2372215
837-3372216
846-3362316
855-3362317
867-2352014
876-2342115
885-2342115
894-3342216
904-2332115
913-2312014

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.

Poker winning percentages aren’t everything

Tune up your hand strength

Tune up your Hold’em starting hand game.

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?

How many starting hands are there in Texas 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”.

Start DOMINATING the fish online

New Bonus: My 14-Step Sit and Go Battleplan

Free offer expires in:​

27
Days
08
Hours
47
Minutes
13
Seconds

"Better than any book I have ever bought." Johnie Lee Stewart

What are good Texas Hold’em hands?

Poker winning percentages

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

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.

What to take away from hand strength rankings

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

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.

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.

Those community flops are a realistic scenario at looser sites like Ignition Poker.

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.

More Resources

Josh H on EmailJosh H on FacebookJosh H on GoogleJosh H on TumblrJosh H on Twitter
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 how to win once they got there. He hopes to cut through the rampant dishonesty in online gaming media with objective reviews and relevant features. Tech nostalgic. Nintendo apologist. You can reach Josh directly at support@beatthefish.com.
More from Beat The Fish
 

Leave a Reply

2 Comments on "The 13 Best Texas Hold’em Poker Hand Strength Charts [2017]"

avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
Sort by:   newest | oldest
lois
Guest

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

wpDiscuz

Send this to friend