Human leukocyte antigens (HLA) are cell-surface proteins that present peptides to T cells. These peptides are bound within the peptide binding cleft of HLA, and together as a complex, are recognised by T cells using their specialised T cell receptors. Within the cleft, the peptide residue side chains bind into distinct pockets. These pockets ultimately determine the specificity of peptide binding. As HLAs are the most polymorphic molecules in humans, amino acid variants in each binding pocket influences the peptide repertoire that can be presented on the cell surface. Here, we review each of the 6 HLA binding pockets of HLA class I (HLA-I) molecules. The binding specificity of pockets B and F are strong determinants of peptide binding and have been used to classify HLA into supertypes, a useful tool to predict peptide binding to a given HLA. Over the years, peptide binding prediction has also become more reliable by using binding affinity and mass spectrometry data. Crystal structures of peptide-bound HLA molecules provide a means to interrogate the interactions between binding pockets and peptide residue side chains. We find that most of the bound peptides from these structures conform to binding motifs determined from prediction software and examine outliers to learn how these HLAs are stabilised from a structural perspective.