Know Your Poker Hands - Do You Know a Straight Flush from a Full House?

mcherwood By mcherwood, 10th Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3xupq2v7/
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Poker is a Game of Skill as Well as a Game of Luck

Know Your Poker Hands - Do You Know a Straight Flush from a Full House?

I grew up in a large, extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins who liked to get together on occasion to play poker, usually for pennies or a nickel. From the age of 12, we sat at the table with the grown-ups and were subject to the same rules as everyone else. Thus, I learned very early the game of poker, and will pass this on to those who are new at the game and unfamiliar with the value of particular hands.

Whether you are playing stud poker or Omaha poker or Texas Hold 'em, five cards constitute a hand. It is important to learn the rank of a poker hand as the ranking is always the same.

The following poker hands are ranked from highest to lowest.

1. Royal Flush - The highest possible hand in poker.

If you have an ace, king, queen, jack and ten all in the same suit, you have a royal flush and you will win the hand. If another player also has the same hand in another suit, you will split the pot. The probability of making a royal flush is extremely low which is why it has a high value.

2. Straight Flush - The second highest possible hand in poker beats any hand except a royal flush.

If you have five cards of the same suit in sequential order, such as ten, nine, eight, seven, six and five, you will beat any lower ranking hand. You will also beat a straight flush whose highest card is not as high as a ten, such as a run of six, five, four, three and two of the same suit.

3. Four of a Kind - The third highest possible hand in poker beats any hand ranked below four of a kind.

If you have four jacks, for instance, your jacks will beat any other hand with four of a kind from four tens on down. If another player had four aces or kings or queens, you would be outranked and would lose.

4. Full House - The fourth highest possible hand in poker will beat any hand ranked below a full house.

A full house consists of three of a kind plus a pair. If you have three queens and a pair of fours, you will beat any hand with three jacks on down plus any pair, even if the pair is higher than a four. However, if your opponent's full house has three kings or three aces, you will lose.

5. Flush - The fifth highest possible hand in poker will beat any hand ranked below a flush.

If you have five cards of the same suit, such as the ten, seven, four, three and two of diamonds, you have a flush which will beat any hand lower than a flush. However, if another player has a flush with a card higher than your ten (jack, queen, king or ace), the other player wins regardless of which suit he holds.

6. Straight - Five cards of any suit in sequential order. A straight only beats any hand ranked below a straight.

If you have, for instance, a seven, six, five, four and three, you have a straight. However, if another player has a straight consisting of nine, eight, seven, six and five, the other player wins the hand

7. Three of a Kind - Three cards of the same value will beat any hand ranked below three of a kind.

If you have three kings, you will also win over another player who has three of a kind lower than a king.

8. Two pair - Two pair of two cards having the same value beats any combination ranked lower than two pair.

If you have two jacks and two sevens, you will win this hand over another player who has two tens and two nines. Only the highest pair counts as the winner. However, if another player has two kings and two threes, the other player will win.

9. One pair - One pair beats any hand that doesn't have at least one pair.

If another player has a higher pair than you, such as two eights to your two fours, the other player wins.

10. High card - A high card will beat any other hand with no matching pair and whose high card is lower than your high card.

If you do no have at least a pair in your hand, you may want to stay in the game if your highest card is an ace. If another player has only a high card and it is lower than your ace, you will win the pot.

The cards you are dealt is a matter of luck. The way you play the cards you are dealt takes skill. As Kenny Rogers tells us, you have to "know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." Knowing your opponents, whether they are loose or tight players, is also a factor in winning a hand.

Shuffle up and deal!

Sources

Personal experience

http://www.pagat.com/vying/pokerrank.html

http://www.home-of-poker.com/handrankings.htm

Tags

A Pair, Four Of A Kind, Poker, Straight, Straight Flush

Meet the author

author avatar mcherwood
I am a retired teacher/ administrator for the Buffalo School System. I hold a Ph.D. in Educational Administration.
I write book reviews, film reviews plus a large variety of topics.

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