Want To Learn Poker Hands

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  2. How To Learn Poker
Katie Callahan

May 22, 2009 How Not to Suck at Poker: Learn Basic Poker Odds How to Calculate Poker Odds Every action you make, hand you play or bet you face has odds, probability and statistics attached to it. I run a free poker blog and poker YouTube channel teaching people how to learn to play poker. I have also written 3 best selling books on the game. Bottom line, if you want to learn how to play poker like the best, then I would suggest learning from the best.

Maybe you already know the Texas hold'em poker rules. Maybe you don't.

Either way, New Year's resolutions are about trying new things, like playing poker online for the first time or maybe even playing online poker for real money.

Whatever you fancy, whatever your resolution, you should try to find the game that suits you. What better way to find out than to learn these five popular poker games!

Want to play poker online now? Once you've learnt the basics, you can play online now. Click here to find out more.

1. Texas Hold'em

This is the most popular poker game in the world. If you want to learn to play online poker games, this is a great place to start.

This is especially true because most of the marquee tournaments worldwide (WSOP, WPT, EPT, etc.) use this variation.

The dealer will shuffle a standard 52-card deck (but will not play in casinos and card rooms). In home games, the dealer duties are generally shared among all the players at the table (shifting each hand in a clockwise direction).

In poker games with a dealer, a round disc, or a dealer button, moves clockwise each hand, marking which player would be dealer if the game was self-dealt.

Each player is dealt two hole cards with the goal of creating the best five-card hand possible. The action moves clockwise but starts to the left of the dealer button. The two players to the left of the dealer are generally required to post a small and big blind to start the betting and move into the rest of the action on the preflop, the flop, the turn and the river.

Five community cards are displayed in the middle of the table on the flop, the turn and the river and players must make the best five-card combination from their seven cards.

Use this step-by-step guide on how to play Texas' hold'em poker to figure out the blinds and betting rounds before you try your luck in the most common poker game of all time.

Then, when your mind becomes all poker all the time, you can start looking into strategies based on skill level so that you can explain poker to your friends and rule the online poker rooms.

2. Omaha

If you've learned the Texas hold'em poker rules, buckle your seatbelt. Omaha could be for you if you're ready for some bigger swings.

In Omaha poker, players receive four hole cards instead of two and can only use two cards from their hand.

Similarly to a Texas hold'em poker game, Omaha has five community cards with a flop, turn and river. The betting rounds also play out the same way.

Omaha usually plays out in a limit or pot-limit format with the most common variations being Omaha High or Omaha 8-or-Better (Hi-Lo).

Omaha High is like Texas hold'em, with players hoping to win the pot with the best high hand. Omaha 8-or-Better splits the pot between the best high hand and the best low hand; qualifying for the low hand means have five different cards that are ranked eight or lower.

Omaha High is a fast-action poker game and players make the nuts more often than Texas hold'em. Position tends to be important in Omaha when looking at possible hand combinations.

The next step then is to check out the strategy section for all things Omaha.

3. Seven-card stud

This is a hipster poker game for those not playing along. This is the game that was popular before Texas hold'em exploded.

So take a second before you look into the top poker sites out there and learn how to play seven-card stud and use the strategy section to win big.

Played with two to eight players and without a flop and community cards, seven-card stud starts with two cards face down and a third face up (the hole cards and the door card).

After getting seven cards dealt – three face down and four face up – you choose the best five-card combination (with the same hand rankings in Texas hold'em or Omaha).

Seven-card stud is most often played as a limit game. Pay attention to the cards of your opponents in this game so as not to underestimate or incorrectly estimate the odds.

4. 2-7 Triple Draw

Once you feel you've tackled the world's best online poker sites, or you're just ready for some advanced poker games, 2-7 Triple Draw will be waiting for you with inverse hand rankings and all.

The goal of a poker game like 2-7 Triple Draw is to make the lowest possible five-card hand as possible in a four-round betting game with three draws a game.

Each round, players choose cards to discard anywhere from zero to five cards and the dealer will give out replacement cards. There is one last round of betting after the third and final draw and then the dealer button determines the order of betting and discarding.

Aces play high and deuces play low; remember, straights and flushes play against you, so the best hand is 23457 with no flush. This six-max player game uses a dealer button and the same betting structure as Texas hold'em.

Check out the five tips for success for draw poker or Justin Bonomo's strategy for this poker game once you're feeling comfortable.

5. Chinese Poker

There's a special rule in Chinese poker called 'Fantasyland.' Need we say more? Well, I guess we do if you want to beast this new and exciting form of poker.

Someone Who Wants To Learn

This newer poker game, open-faced Chinese poker, was invented in 2011 and evolved from closed-face, 'regular' Chinese poker. Open-faced Chinese poker has players drawing cards from a single deck, while trying to make the best hand possible.

Instead of rounds, players play for points, similar to card games like heart or gin rummy. After all the card-replacement rounds are complete, players arrange 13 cards into three hands: the top, middle and bottom.

Once you see how your hand measures up in this game, poker aficionados compare their regular poker hands. The top contains only three cards but is scored as a regular hand; the bottom and middle are regular five-card hands.

Max four players, this poker game is most commonly played heads up.

Intrigued? Head on over to the Chinese poker rules section and learn more about the rounds, the scoring, scoring bonuses, and yes, Fantasyland.

So take a chance! Try your hand at these basic mixed games that you can play online or in person. The best poker online is the poker you spend the most time mastering. Most rooms will give you a quick free lesson if you're looking to play poker live and understand the mechanics of the game and who knows? You could win some of the best tournaments around.

Finding a trustworthy room to play online poker can be a monumental burden. That's all the more true if you're just looking for a place to play poker for free. We've listed five of the best play-money poker sites to enjoy and help hone your skills.

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    7 card StudBeginner strategyOmahaOnline PokerOpen Face ChineseTexas Holdem

Table Of Contents

Do you want to know what beats what in poker? Use the official poker hands rankings chart and seem them from best to worst!

Whether you play live at your local casino or card room, you have your home game going, or you prefer the online action at websites like PokerStars, 888Poker, or partypoker, you need to learn the order of poker hands from best to worse.

Use the list of poker hands below to know beats what in poker.

Commit this poker hands ranking list to memory today and print it if you need it (there's a button for it at the bottom). Knowing the correct poker hands rank is key to start making winning poker hands.

Poker Hands From Best To Worst

Poker Hands From Best To Worst

1. Royal Flush10JQKAThe best possible hand in Texas hold'em is the combination of ten, jack, queen, king, ace, all of the same suit
2. Straight Flush56789Five cards of the same suit in sequential order
3. Four-Of-A-Kind3333KAny four numerically matching cards
4. Full HouseJJJKKCombination of three of a kind and a pair in the same hand
5. Flush2459KFive cards of the same suit, in any order
6. StraightA2345Five cards of any suit, in sequential order
7. Three-Of-A-Kind77745Any three numerically matching cards
8. Two Pair99KK4Two different pairs in the same hand
9. One Pair10103QKAny two numerically matching cards
10. High CardK248QThe highest ranked card in your hand with an ace being the highest and two being the lowest
Download as PDF / ImageImage

Not Sure What Beats What in Poker?

Many consider poker less of a gambling game than other casino games. For that to be true, players need to improve their understanding of game play and the strategy required to be a winning player.

The first step toward learning how to play poker is to learn the poker hand rankings.

Most poker players have these rankings memorized, which allows them to think about other things at the table when deciding the best way to play their hands.

The good news is these hand rankings tend to be the same among a wide variety of poker variants, whether it is Texas Hold'em, Omaha, seven-card stud, or other games.

All of those games use the same traditional poker hand rankings that were first developed way back in the 19th century when five-card draw first started to be played.

On this page, you find a complete list of poker hand rankings going from the highest possible hand (the Royal Flush), down to the lowest hand in which there is no pair among the five cards.

Hand rankings in poker correspond to the likelihood of making such hands.

A royal flush, consisting of the cards ranked ace through ten all being the same suit, is extremely rare — in fact, some players go their entire lives without making a royal flush.

A regular straight flush with any five consecutive cards of the same suit is a little less rare, four of a kind occurs slightly more frequently, and so on.

Notice that a full house is ranked higher than a flush.

That's because a full house comes just a little less frequently than a flush, thereby making it the higher-ranked hand of the two.

Additional readings for beginners:

  • Poker Tips: A collection of tips 'to bring your game from 'meh' to amazing' created to help beginners become better players.
  • Texas Hold'em Strategy: a complete manual to read as soon as you start to remember what beats what in poker.
  • Poker starting hands chart: the only article you need to read to learn how to use your cards to the fullest.

Understanding Winning Poker Hands

Players new to the game of Texas hold'em often struggle, at least at first, with what the best poker hands are.

Once they have read this easy-to-digest guide that will no longer be the case.

The aim of Texas hold'em is to make the best five-card poker hand at showdown.

You can win without having to show your cards if you force someone to fold before the river. Nonetheless, for the purpose of this article, we'll pretend that we've gone to showdown and need to know what beats what in poker.

Winning Poker Hands: What Are The Best Hands In Poker?

First up is the weakest possible holding you can make in poker, a hand that can still win you the pot, although the likelihood of that happening decreases in a pot involving multiple players.

We are of course talking about high card.

As the name suggests, you don't even hold a pair here and instead are using the highest card among the five you are playing.

Example:

You have and the board has come .

Your best five-card hand would be where you would hold queen-high.

Next up is one pair, one of the more common Texas hold'em hands and one that will win you plentyPoker del lejano oeste 2. of pots.

Example:

You have and the board comes .

Your five-card hand is — you have a pair of aces. Nice poker hand!

One place higher up on the poker hands chart is two pair.

Example:

You have and the five community cards are .

Your best five-card hand at showdown is or two pair, tens and nines.

One note of warning on this specific poker hand: if you are verbally declaring your hand, try to announce the higher pair first as to help avoid confusion.

Good Poker Hands

Now we're getting into the realm of the best poker hands because once you make three-of-a-kind (sometimes called a set or trips), you are much more likely to win the pot than with any of the previously mentioned hands.

Example:

Your five-card poker hand is — you have three-of-a-kind kings, often a very powerful hand in hold'em.

To beat three-of-a-kind you're going to need at least a straight.

A straight is five consecutive cards where at least one of them is a different suit from the others.

Example:
Should your hand read you would hold a six-high straight.

If someone held a seven-high straight, then that player would win the hand.

There are two straights that have nicknames that are worth remembering.

A wheel is a straight that runs from ace-to-five, and a Broadway straight — the strongest straight — runs from ten-to-ace.

A flush is one of the most powerful Texas hold'em hands because it is only beaten by a handful of others.

Any hand that that has five cards of the same suit is a flush.

Aces are always high when it comes to flushes, which means a hand such as beats .

There are few hands that can beat a flush — one that does is a full house. Also called a 'boat,' a full house is when your five-card hand is made up of three of a kind plus a pair.

Example:

With you have kings full of deuces, while is fives full of queens.

When it comes to full houses, the higher three of a kind determines which hand wins, so in this case 'kings full' would beat 'fives full.'

The Stronger Hands in Poker

The next three holdings are so rare that if you hold them, you can almost guarantee that they are winning poker hands.

Four of a kind is the minimum holding you'll need to beat someone with a full house.

Again, as the name suggests, four of a kind means having four cards of the same rank.

Example:

is four-of-a-kind tens and an extremely powerful holding.

Your only way to beat four of a kind, or 'quads' as they are often called, is to hold either a straight flush or a Royal Flush.

The former is five consecutive cards all of the same suit, so would be an eight-high straight flush and practically unbeatable.

If you manage to make (or the same holding in any of the other three suits), you have a Royal Flush and the only way to lose the hand would be to fold by accident!

Poker Hands Probability

If you are into numbers (most poker players are), you might be wondering about the probability of poker hands.

We said that she platers might go entire lives without ever getting the highest hand in poker but, looking at the numbers, what are the odds of a Royal Flush?

In this section of our complete analysis of the poker hand ranking and what beats what in poker, you get a clear overview of the probability of poker hands.

How to calculate the probability of poker hands?

Want To Learn Poker Hands

When you know that there are 52 cards in play and 2,598,960 possible combinations, the calculation is easy.

How To Learn Poker

You just need to divide the number of possibilities to build a specific poker hand by the number of total poker hands.

Let's run a few examples:

What are the odds of a Royal Flush? 0.000,001,539
(4/2,598,960)

What are the odds of a Straight Flush? 0.000,015,39
(40/2,598,960)

Use the table below to calculate the probabilities of all poker hands.

Poker HandNo. WaysProbability
Royal Flush40.000,001,539
Straight Flush400.000,015,39
Four-of-a-Kind6240.000,240,1
Full House3,7440.001,440,58
Flush5,1080.001,965,4
Straight10,2000.003,924,65
Three-of-a-Kind54,9120.021,128,45
Two Pairs123,5520,047,539,02
One Pair1,098,2400,422.569.03

Absolute Value vs. Relative Value of Poker Hands

It should be noted also that while poker hand rankings never change, sometimes circumstances can make a good hand less valuable and a poor hand more valuable.

In other words, when it comes to poker hands there's a difference between absolute value (reflected in the list of poker hands above) and relative value.

For instance, in a game of Texas hold'em, if you have two pair that might seem like a good hand.

But if your opponent keeps betting into you and it's possible he could have a straight or flush, your two pair is no longer looking so good.

Want To Learn Poker Hands

Meanwhile, if you have just one pair but your opponent keeps checking to give you a free play at the pot, you might well have the strongest hand and should bet your hand.

The 'absolute' value of your hand may not be great, but in that case the 'relative' value very well could be.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that in some games like razz, deuce-to-seven triple draw, Badugi, and others you might encounter when playing online poker, the hand rankings listed below do not apply.

These hand rankings are for regular or 'high-card' games, not 'lowball' games with alternate hand rankings.

Poker Hand Rankings F.A.Q.

What is the order of poker hands?

As shown in the poker hand rankings chart, the order of poker rankings (from the highest to the lowest) is: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four-of-a-Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three-of-a-Kind, Two Pair, One Pair, High Card.

What is the best hand in poker?

The Royal Flush is the best hand in poker. To have a Royal Flush, you need an Ace, a King, a Queen, a Jack, and a 10. All the cards that compose the hand need to be of the same suit.

What beats what in poker?

As you can see in our poker hand rankings chart, the hands in poker follow a clear hierarchy.

In a game of poker, the hand rankings work as follows:

  • a pair beats a high card;
  • a two pair beats a one pair;
  • a three-of-a-kind beats a two pair;
  • a straight beats a three-of-a-kind;
  • a flush beats a straight;
  • a full house beats a flush;
  • a four-of-a-kind beats a full house;
  • a straight flush beats a four-of-a-kind;
  • a Royal Flush beats a straight flush.

The Royal Flush is the best hand in poker, so no one other hands beat this one.

What is a straight in poker?

You have a straight when all the five cards that compose your poker hand are consecutive ones. E.g. 5-6-7-8-9.

If the cards are of the same suit, you have a straight flush, which is a considerably stronger hand compare d to the simple straight.

What beats a straight in poker?

Although many see the straight as a stronger hand, there are many other poker hands that beat it.

The list of hands that beat a straight includes:

  • a flush;
  • a full house;
  • a four-of-a-kind;
  • a straight flush;
  • a Royal Flush.

What beats a flush in poker?

The list of hands that beat a flush includes:

  • a full house;
  • a four-of-a-kind;
  • a straight flush;
  • a Royal Flush.

What beats a full house in poker?

The list of hands that beat a full house includes:

  • a four-of-a-kind;
  • a straight flush;
  • a Royal Flush.

What is the highest suit in poker?

All the suits in poker have the same value. In some games, different suits can be assigned different values.

When that happens, the value is as follow (from the lowest to the highest): clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades. In that case, spades is the highest suit.

How many poker hands are there?

The total number of poker hands in a game of poker is 2,598,960. Since a game of poker uses a 52-card deck of French cards, there are 2,598,960 different possible combinations (aka. poker hands).

What hands to play in poker?

The type of hands to play in a poker game depends on the game you play and other factors like your position in the hand, your stack, and the action at the table.

In a famous poker strategy article, professional player Jonathan Little shared which hands to play in poker and how to play marginal hands.

Can you make three pairs?

Although it is possible to hold a pair in your hand and then have another two pair appear among the five community cards, you can only use a total of five cards to make your poker hand, so you don't win anything for three pairs.

Which is better, a set or trips?

They are both essentially the same hand because they are both three of a kind.

The terminology 'set' is used when you have a pair as your hole cards and then catch another one of those cards on the board.

'Trips' is when there is a pair on the board and you have another of those cards as one of your hole cards.

Sets are easier to disguise than trips so many consider them to be a better hand, although they both rank the same.

What is a chopped or split pot?

If you and an opponent have the same five-card poker hand, then the pot is divided equally between you.

Say you have and your opponent has , and the board comes .

You both would be playing the same five-card hands in terms of their value (A-J-T-8-3), and so would split the pot.

If there is four of a kind on the board, who wins?

Because the aim is to make a five-card poker hand, whoever has the highest fifth card in this case wins.

If the board reads and you have in your hand and your opponent has , then you win because you hand is 7-7-7-7-A and your opponent's is 7-7-7-7-K.

You would also win even if your opponent holding was in this example.

Are the suits ranked in Texas hold'em?

No, they are not. Some poker variants have different ranks for suits, but hold'em is not one of them.

Why did my 4-4-4-T-T lose to my opponent's 7-7-7-8-8?

As mentioned earlier, it is the three-of-a-kind element of a full house that dictates the winner.

If you're new to the game and want a reference of all of Texas hold'em hands, you can keep this page open or you could always download and print our poker hands ranking chart and keep it next to you while you're playing poker.

Useful Poker Tools

  • Poker Odds Calculator: Add your cards to the calculator to discover your chances to win the hand.
  • How to use PokerStars Tools to Your Advantage: As a beginner, this article can save your life! Let us show you how you can use all the tools available on the PokerStars client to become an outstanding poker player!