Top 10 poker hands

Poker hand rankings are important to understand. The strongest top ten poker hands can be played almost from any position at the poker table and will generate profits. Depending on what is measured when looking at poker hands the list of top 10 poker hands can deviate a little from time to time.

The legend Phil Hellmuth

Phil Hellmuth the legendary professional poker player endorsing Ultimate Bet poker give his vision of top ten poker hand sin his popular poker book “Play poker like the pros”.

The advice from Phil Hellmuth of Ultimate Bet Poker is that new players and poker players who are still considered beginners in Texas No Limit Hold’em should only play the top 10 hands he list.

AA, KK, QQ, AKs, JJ, TT, 99, 88, AQ suited and 77.

The main idea behind this top 10 poker hand strategy is that all pocket pairs are fairly easy to play after the flop and thus new poker players avoid too many complex poker decisions as long as they are still in the learning phase. Poker can be very complex but playing the above hands in a 10 handed game or in a 10 handed tournament definitely make poker an easier game for poker newbie’s.

Playing pocket pairs is all about hitting what is called “a set” on the flop. A set is defined as a pocket pair in your hand (you hold 77) and one more card of the same value (another 7) hitting the flop. Sets are extremely powerful poker hands and losing when flopping a set is pure unlucky. Sets can be played very aggressive and should be. Betting and raising with a set can almost never be wrong and thus it is very difficult for new poker players to make errors with such an extremely strong hand.

Flopping top set (KK) on a K73 board is extremely strong. At the same time it is hard to get a lot of money in to the pot unless another player hold the case King in his hand or has flopped mid or bottom set.

More vulnerable sets

Bottom sets are more vulnerable than top sets but it is more likely someone else at the table flop top pair if you hold 77 and the flop is AT7. It is easier to make money on sthe mid and bottom sets but they are also exposed to higher sets and lose a big pot. Sets most often lose to flushes or straights compared to higher sets.

If a set is not flopped then the hand should be thrown away if any significant action take place or if to many over cards hit the flop. Continuing in the pot with 99 on a AJ8 board is most likely not a wise choice and the hand should be thrown in the much. Holding KK on a JT3 board is of course a different story and it is not an easy hand to much. However after the flop players should continue carefully with one pair only even if it is an over pair.

Flop it or drop it is a wise sentence to remember when you have a pocket pair in your hand.

AK and AQ

AKs and AQs is a bit more difficault to play but if you flop an A you will have top pair with top kicker which is a strong holding. Holding AQ with a Queen on the flop also give Top pair with top kicker and it is easy to proceed in the hand- although you still need to consider if your opponent could have your one pair beat.

In general playing top ten hands in poker is a strong strategy and something all new poker players should consider doing. The more experience you get the more hands you can add to your arsenal of starting hands.

In his book “Hold’em Poker for Advanced players” David Sklansky uses a more mathematical point of ranking top ten poker hands.

His list deviates from Phil Hellmut’s top ten poker hands 3 places. 99, 88 and 77 are not amongst top 10 poker hands if you look at Sklansky poker chart. They are replaced by AK (not suited), AJs and KQs. Texas Hold’em is a game where high cards have significant value and those hands Sklansky recommend as his top 10 poker hands are all high pairs or hands consisting of 2 very high cards in the same suits.

Playing 13 hands instead of only top ten poker hands will not make poker a lot more complicated. Just remember that every time you only hold one pair after the flop you should proceed carefully.

You can meet and play against the famous Phil Hellmuth at Ultimate Bet poker where you can take advantage of our Ultimate Bet referral code.

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