The Basics: Understanding the Poker Hands
If there’s one thing you should avoid as much as possible when you play poker online, it would be trying to understand your hand. Get to know each poker hand as early as possible so that all of your focus is on how to properly maximize your hand. This feature will help get you familiarized with all the hands in poker.
Poker hand rankings: highest to lowest
1. Royal flush
The best hand in poker. If you see yourself completing a hand with A, K, Q, J, and a 10, with all in the same suit, make sure you get the most out of it. You don’t want to let what could be a once-in-a-lifetime hand go to waste.
2. Straight flush
This poker hand requires five cards in a sequence, in the same suit. An example of a straight flush would be: 5,6,7,8,9; all diamond.
3. Four of a kind
All four cards in the same rank (eg. 4 A’s). When it comes to a four of a kind, most situations have you holding a pair and the remaining two revealing itself on the table.
4. Full house
A three of a kind with a pair results in a full house. If in case of two players pulling off a full house, the player with a stronger three of kind wins the pot.
You have a flush if you have five cards of the same suit but not in a sequence. Beginners tend to overlook the suit of their hand, creating ‘surprise win’ scenarios where they could have got a lot more out of their hand.
Five cards in a sequence scores you a straight. It can be tempting to chase after a straight, hoping to get that fifth card on the river (last card dealt in hold’em poker). Stay wary.
7. Three of a kind
Three cards of the same rank is a three of a kind, also called a set. What’s great about a set is that it has a 2 to 1 chance of turning into a full house. So, make sure you maximize what you can earn from that kind of hand.
8. Two pair
Two cards of the same rank plus two cards from another rank. Let’s say you’re holding two A’s and the flop (first 3 cards dealt in hold’em poker) shows: K, K, and a 9. Thanks to the kings, you now have a two pair.
Two cards of the same rank, and is also the most common ‘playing’ hand in poker. Pots will often be decided on who has the ‘top pair’.
10. High card:
If you’re not able to make any of the hand above, you have a high card hand. If it comes down to 2 or more players with high cards at the end of a round, the highest card wins the pot.
Now that you’re familiar with poker hands, and as you play more games online, you’ll feel a lot better about easily deciding your hand without delay, so you can focus on the real art of poker.
For more tips and guides on online poker, be sure to check out our Poker Guide, and be sure to check out our weekly poker tournaments with huge prize pools.
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