At any poker table, you will find many variations in the types of players. Many well-experienced players know which hands top poker hands to play, when to bluff and how to recognize their opponents. These are the sharks.
On the other hand, the extreme opposite of sharks is fish. These players are the bad players who play non-playable hands. Fish are more bent towards showing off, bluffing unnecessarily, betting way too much with terrible cards.
Even though you might identify the fish as newbies, amateur players, that is not always the case. Many poker pro players tend to be fishy while playing against better players, sharks.
Usually, the shark seems to be feeding on the unreasonably high bets by the fish, although it is essential to stay wary of players bluffing as fish. If you are a reasonably good player, laying against someone weaker, chances are he is either a fish or very good at bluffing to get a player like you right where they want you.
List Of Poker Hands
AA: Bullets or Pocket Rockets
These are the best starting hands at any Texas Hold ‘Em game. Also called American airlines, these hands are probably going to get you winning the table if you play them smart. Analyze the table thoroughly, before overpaying or underplaying these hands. There is a chance that a smarter player might still win against these hands.
KK: Cowboys or King Kong
The next in rank is the King – King pair. The only way you might lose an opportunity is if an Ace shows up at the flop. Otherwise, play smart, and these hands have your game covered.
QQ: Cowgirls or Ladies
The ladies or a Queen – Queen pair is the third-best hand that you can get. However, it is better to back off if an Ace of King shows up at the flop.
AK: Big Slick or Anna Kournikova
An Ace- king Suited hand comes next in rank. There are many opportunities if you know how to bet just right while analyzing the table, and slowing down if better cards show up on the flop. Play if you see a flush, straight or pair forming at the flop. If not, it is advisable to Fold and back out of the game. There is a chance of getting a Royal Flush, A straight with a high card, or a high pair.
AQ: Big Chick or Mrs. Slick
A suited Ace-Queen pocket is the fifth in line. You have excellent chances of making a nut flush, royal flush, straight, or high pair at the flop. If you do not see that happening, you better fold out of the game.
AJ: Ajax or Blackjack
An ace-jack suited pair is next, although many poker sites say that the hooks come sixth, with a higher chance of winning the pot, and a chance for better ranks to form at the flop, it is smarter to consider a high card like Ace above the hooks.
KQ: Royal Marriage or Marriage
The king queen suited pair is called marriage for obvious reasons. The poker players who coined these terms sure knew how to make the game enjoyable. This pair of hands give you a very good chance of making a Royal flush, so keep playing if a suited Ace shows up at the flop. That is your priest. You could also get a flush, which would not be as bad either. To conclude, this pair gives a high chance of winning.
JJ: Jokers or Hooks
A controversial high pair, suited jacks are sometimes ranked higher up in this queue, but they are easily beatable by a pair of aces, kings, and queens on the flop. So we rank them lower, so maintain caution in our readers’ minds.
The only off suited pair that makes it to the top ten is the Ace-Queen off suited pair. It does not give you as much as a chance of a nut flush as the Big Slick does, but is still a better hand than a lot of other pocket hands. Play these hands smartly and do not bet too much as it is not relatively reliable.
TT: Dimes or Boxcars
The Dimes or a pair of suited tens is a high pair, excellent cards. Look out for a flush, royal flush(less probable, of course) or merely a high pair forming. Make sure to notice how the opponents are playing and strategize smartly with these hands.
QJ: Maverick or Oedipus Rex
The queen jack suited pair is one of the high cards, giving you many opportunities, depending on the flop.
JT: Cloutier or Up and Down
The jack ten Suited pair is a great advantage, but be careful since you now know the cards that might rank higher up the queue. Also, an off suited pair of jack tens will not be a very advisable pair to play.
99 (Phil Hellmuth or Popeye’s), 88 (Octopussy or Infinities), 77 (Mullets or Hockey Sticks), 66 (Route 66 or Cherries), 55 (Presto or Nickels), 44 (Magnum or Sailboats),
33 (Crabs or Treys), 22 (Ducks or Swans)
Best if there is a suited pair, but an offsuit should also work fine unless there are not any high cards showing at the flop.
Poker Hand Ranking Scenarios
The above mentioned ranks of pocket hands are very controversial, especially when it comes to the last 10. Although the first four-pocket hands, i.e.AA, KK, QQ, and JJ suited pairs are probably unbeatable depending on the table, you should always raise or re-raise with these cards unless you are very sure that there is an increased chance of losing.
The top 16 cards are the most important ones, but they make up only 7% of the cards dealt. Consider yourself lucky if you get one of these, but do not get too ahead of yourself, as even though they are good cards, there are still chances of losing considering the table, the opponents and the community cards.
The double Jacks (JJ), suited or off suited are one controversial pair as mentioned earlier. Many poker pros play more with these hands, and many others chose to let it go earlier. Again, how you play these cards depends on the pot, the flop, and the opponents’ games. It is very crucial to know how to read your opponents’ minds and step with caution with a pair of Jacks.
Consider the following scenario. You made it to the river and now there are only 2 players at the table after the river. Here are the ten best cards that you should keep playing with.
Any other cards or even the cards above should be played only if the table, community cards, and the opponents give you the advantage to win.
Here is another scenario: There are 6 players left at the table after the river. Consider the following top poker hands to play in this situation.
Beware of stronger cards that might show up. Bet reasonably and play safe if you are not bluffing. Do not bluff too much without these cards, and make a decision considering the river cards and analyzing your opponents well.
Bonus Poker Tip
When you are in a super tight position, like the UTG or even the hiJack, raise with only the top 5 cards. Keep your raise and re-raise ranges closed and small, unless you are skilled enough to risk bluffing at the table.
The Ace King Suited is a perfect card to play at a big table with scanty players. Such games are often called short-handed games and put you to an excellent advantage where you can play most of the top 5 to 7 pocket hands loosely.
A pocket like pair of tens, or nines does not show much strength with very few players. So only raise if you have safely assumed your opponents have weak cards. It is best not to bet with these and never is it advisable to bluff too much with such weak hands.
After all, you do not want to be a fish in a pool of sharks.