Texas Hold'em Poker Hand Rankings + Possibilities
When playing Texas Hold'em, anyone who has ever been a participant knows about the many, many different hands that can be played. Oftentimes, it's about making a mediocre hand seem like a great hand, in the way that a bet is being made. The opposite can be true as well though, giving the appearance of a weak hand to your opponents even though you know it's a very strong one, trying to entice them to dig their own grave with big bets.
No matter what the strategy that a poker player uses, there is no denying that some hands are just better than others. No matter how a player chooses to give the appearance of their hand, at the end of the day, the cards are the cards, and there are some hands that rule the day.
Ever heard of the expression 'it's the luck of the draw'? Well this is certainly true, because there is a rank of hands in Texas Hold'em. It's a pecking order in which certain hands are simply better than others, and there is no way around it.
Most are likely familiar with the order of hands in poker, but if not, this is where we give you a rundown starting at the top.
Royal Flush - The royal flush in Texas Hold'em is the ultimate of all possible hands. It's a straight flush, beginning with a 10 and going through the Ace, where all cards are in order and of the same suit. It's the best hand in Texas Hold'em, because it's the rarest hand in online poker or poker played in real-life... it simply trumps all.
Straight Flush - Below the royal flush is the straight flush. This flush is slightly below the royal flush because there are more combinations that can be made. Where a royal flush can only be those five cards, a straight flush can be any combination in order and suit.
Four Of A Kind - The next hand is where pairs come into play. The four-of-a-kind is the third-strongest hand in Texas Hold'em, where a player possesses all four of the same cards, each a different suit. This hand loses only to a straight flush or royal flush. The highest four-of-a-kind possible would be four Aces.
Full House - A full house ranks No.4 in terms of the strongest Texas Hold'em hands. This is where a player has three of one kind of card, and two of another. In other words, all cards in the hand play an important role. There is no single card outlier here.
Flush - A standard flush rounds out the top-five hands that a player can make when playing Texas Hold'em. If a player has all five cards of the same suit, regardless of the number or value, it's a flush. The cards can be mixed all over the board, so long as they are all diamonds, spades, hearts, or clubs.
Straight - Continuing down the line we get to a standard straight. This would give a player a sequential order of five cards in a row, where the suit plays no role. Any combination of five ordered numbers or face cards in a row would constitute a straight.
Three Of A Kind - Three-of-a-kind is next on the hand rankings, which is just above two pairs. Three cards of the same value beat two-pairs, despite more cards being needed to actually compose a pair of pairs.
Two Pairs - Just as it sounds, two pairs isn't the strongest hand but it can definitely surprise someone sitting on top pair. This hand is strongest when the player has two different hole cards that pair with the board. Two pair can be made with a pocket pair, however the other pair would need to be on the board which opens the door for someone to slide in with three of a kind.
One Pair - The lowest valued hand in Texas Hold'em (outside of a "high card") is a single pair. Despite not having much weight, if played properly, a single pair can win a lot of hands. Knowing how to play with a pair, especially pocket pairs (hole cards), can be very valuable.
High Card - A high card hand has no pairs or matches, and results only in the highest card in the hand being in-play. While not always the case, if you win using a high card usually means you bluffed to buy the pot. There's nothing wrong with that, especially if your previous plays dictate that you are likely in a position of power. The lowest high-card that can be played is an eight, highest is an ace.