In our first lesson, we’ll learn all of the poker hands, rankings and how to identify hands. Any time you’re playing Texas hold ‘em poker, it’s important to remember the following:
A) A hand consists of five cards.
B) Each player is dealt two cards face down. You will not show anyone these cards, and (hopefully!) nobody will be able to guess what they are.
C) These two cards are used in conjunction with what are called “community cards.” These five community cards can be used with two, one, or none of your own cards to make a hand. For example, if we have AK, and the community cards are Aj842, we would still have a flush.
D) The higher the rank of your hand, the better it is.
When betting has completed and it’s time to see who has the best hand, the hand with the highest rank will win. Hand rankings, and the odds of receiving that hand, are listed below from weakest to strongest:
9) One pair (1.36:1)- Matching two cards creates a pair. If two players both have one pair, the highest pair wins. In the event that both players have the same pair, the highest remaining cards determine the winner.
8) Two pair (20.0:1)- Having two pairs, as you might imagine, creates two pair. If two players have two pair, the highest pair is used to determine the winner. If two players have the same highest pair, their highest second pair wins. In the event that both players have the same two pair, the player with the highest remaining cards will win.
7) Three of a kind (46.3:1)- Having three cards of the same value creates a three of a kind. If two players have three of a kind, the player with the highest value three of a kind wins. If both players have the same three of a kind, the highest remaining cards are used to determine the winner.
6) Straight (254:1)- Having five cards in sequence of their value creates a straight. If two players have a straight, the player with the highest ranking top card in the “run” wins.
5) Flush (508:1)- Having five cards of the same suit create a flush. If two players have a flush, the player with the highest card wins. If they have the same highest card, the player with the better next-highest card wins, and so on. In Texas hold ‘em, it’s impossible for two players to have the same numerical value of a flush of a different suit, since at least three community cards are needed to complete a flush.
4) Full house (693:1)- Having BOTH three of a kind AND one pair creates a full house. In cases where two players have a full house, the player with three matching cards of the highest value wins. In cases where two players both have the same three matching cards, the player with the highest pair wins.
3) Four of a Kind (4,164:1)- Having four cards of the same value creates a four of a kind. If two players have four of a kind, the higher four of a kind wins.
2) Straight flush (72,192:1)- Having a straight where all cards are of the same suit creates a straight flush. If two players have a straight flush, the player with the highest cards will win.
1) Royal flush (649,739:1)- Having a straight flush using a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace creates a royal flush. It’s the rarest hand in poker, and it’s only possible for more than one player to have a royal flush in Texas hold ‘em if all five community cards create it. In that case, the pot would be shared between the players.
Take your time to learn those Poker Hands and when you feel comfortable enough with them check our 2nd Lesson about Poker Hands and their Rankings!