Players who are new to the world of online poker may be confused by the number of hands that are available and how one can rank above another. While it’s possible to play poker with a relatively low level of knowledge and experience, understanding these hands is absolutely critical. It’s important that any player takes a bit of time to research them before they sit down at the (virtual) poker table for the first time. Players who do not have a good understanding of poker hands will not be able to assess the value of the cards in their own hands and the cards that other players claim to have. Luckily, learning the hands of poker is a fairly straightforward process, and once players have a basic knowledge of what is involved, they can pick up the rest of what they need to know in-game. This guide will review poker hands in descending order of value.
This is an incredibly rare hand and the type of thing that usually only appears in movies. It involves an ace, king, queen, jack and 10 of the same suit. Any player who has this in their hand is likely to want to go all-in and take everyone else with them. Opportunities like this do not come up on a regular basis!
This hand is similar to the royal flush but is not concentrated at the top of the pack. This is any five cards of the same suit held in order. For example, the 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of spades would be a straight flush. These are more common than the royal flush but, once again, it is rare for more than one player at the table to have a straight flush during the same game. For this reason, most players who have a straight flush will want to go all in.
This is one of the poker hands where the name tells you everything that you need to know about it. To have four of a kind, a player needs to have all four of the same card. An example of a four of a kind win is the jack of clubs, jack of spades, jack of hearts and jack of diamonds. Again, it’s rare for more than one player at the table to have this type of hand during the same game. Still, it’s certainly not unheard of, and players should weigh up the chances of this being the case before they conclude that they have the winning hand.
This sounds like it should be one of the most valuable hands but actually ranks below all of the hands above. This hand is three of a kind plus a pair. Again, it relies on five cards, but since there are so many more combinations that meet this criteria than the hands already covered, the odds of a player having this are much stronger. An example of a full house is the 10 of diamonds, 10 of clubs and 10 of hearts and the 9 of clubs and 9 of diamonds.
Five cards of the same suit but not in order. At this point, the odds are getting significantly shorter, and there is a serious chance that more than one person at the table will be able to show this in their hand at the end of the round.
Another selection of cards in order but once again the rules get looser. This is five cards in order, but they do not have to be at a particular point in the deck or even of the same suit. An example of this hand would be the two of spades, three of hearts, four of diamonds, five of spades and six of clubs.
Like four of a kind but with one fewer. Players should always check that they are not able to claim a full house before settling on this as a claim as the odds of them being beaten are becoming significantly shorter by the time they get down the list to this particular hand.
Another one that is simple to explain. Two pairs of cards of the same rank.
By the time a player gets down to this stage, they will know that there is every chance that someone else will have a better hand than them. This is simply a pair of cards of any rank, which is not difficult to get in a game of poker!
If all else fails (and it’s relatively uncommon for a game to get to this stage), the remaining player with the highest card on the table wins. Players should consider this before deciding to fold, but not many games are won on this basis.