Poker Hands

The Winning Hands of Poker

Poker is one of the most popular casino games online, attracting more new players than any other online casino game. But like any other game, knowing what separates winners from losers is vital for any new player, and though poker is a game with many variations the list below is a ranking system with which players should familiarise themselves before entering any round or tournament.

Straight Flush

A straight flush is the highest ranking poker hand, containing five cards of the same suit running in sequence. Should two players have a flush, the winner is decided through comparison of their highest ranking cards. A Royal Flush (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten) is the strongest possible hand, with the Ace performing as the high card.

Four of a Kind

Literally meaning four of the same cards, four of a kind is the second strongest in a standard poker hand. As with straight flushes, higher ranking cards beat lower ones. In community-card games, the fifth card acts as a “kicker” in instances when players have the same hand.

Full House

A full house is a hand in which three cards out of five are matching, and the remaining two match each other. In this way, a full house containing three Jacks and two sixes will beat a hand containing three eights and two Kings. It is always the three cards together that hold the highest rank. However, in community games the highest pair will defeat the lowest if the three cards in a full house are shared.

Flush

A flush is any set of five cards in the same suit, but do not have to be in sequence. As in the other hands of poker, it is the high card that determines the winner if two hands are drawn. If two flushes hold the same high card, the second cards are compared, then the third etc. until one is higher.

Straight

Unlike a flush, a straight can be a mixture of suits bust must run in sequence. The probability of obtaining a straight is higher than that of a flush, but both have a far inferior probability of occurring than a straight flush – the highest ranking hand lauded amongst the casino news sites covering major tournaments.

Three of a Kind

Like four of a kind, its higher-ranking big brother hand, three of a kind describes three matching cards in a five card hand, with the remaining cards being any other cards that do not match each other. Also in a similar way, the higher three set defeat the lower set, while the kicker in this case is the highest card out of the three set.

Two Pair

Two pair literally describes two different pairs of cards in any five card hand, for example: three, three, five, five, six. The final card can be any card, and is the determiner should two players have the same hand.

One Pair

A pair is the most commonly found hand in poker, having the highest probability amongst any of the winning hands with a probability of a little over 40 percent. As such, it is common to determine hands through the kicker cards compared in descending order until a hand is found victorious.

Naturally, this information is vital to any player playing a friendly round with friends as much as for he or she entering into a poker tournament. The vital trick is to learn them like the back of a hand, upon which real poker strategy can be founded.

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