Poker is a game in which card combinations are decisive in determining the winner. The player with the highest hand wins, is the first commandment of this game. Therefore, it is crucial to know what the poker hands are and in what order their hierarchy is established according to their strength.
And that is what we are going to dedicate this post to, to teach you the order of poker hands and the combination of cards that form them.
Poker moves: order according to hand strength in Texas Hold’em
Let’s start with the poker hands in descending order, that is, from the strongest to the weakest. The strongest hand is the royal flush, and the high card is the one with the lowest value.
- Royal flush.
- Model combination: A♣ K♣ Q♣ J♣ 10♣
- Description: this is the most powerful hand in poker. A straight flush formed by the highest cards of the same suit. The hand must be presented in that order to be considered valid, with the ace leading the combination.
- Straight flush.
- Model combination: 9♦ 8♦ 7♦ 6♥ 5♦
- Description: like the Royal Flush, this is a combination of five cards of the same suit in successive numerical order. It is the strongest hand, if we do not take into account the Royal Flush, which is still a straight flush with the highest cards of the suit.
- Model combination: K♦ K♣ K♥ K♠ 6♦
- Description: the hand that gives name to the game is formed by a combination of four cards of identical value and a kicker, the loose card is the kicker, which is the one used to break the tie in case that, in a showdown, the hands have an equivalent value.
- Full House.
- Combination model: Q♠ Q♥ Q♦ 8♥ 8♠
- Description: it is the hand formed by three cards of the same value, and two others of equivalent value, that is to say, by a three of a kind and a pair.
- Model combination: K♠ 9♠ 8♠ 4♠ 2♠
- Description: a hand consisting of five cards of the same suit. They must be non-consecutive cards. If they were consecutive, we would speak of a straight flush.
- Model combination: 7♣ 6♠ 5♦ 4♠ 3♥
- Description: the straight is formed by five cards of consecutive value, but of different suits.
- Three of a kind.
- Model combination: 9♠ 9♥ 9♦ 3♣ 2♠
- Description: three cards of the same rank form the three of a kind. It is accompanied by two cards of unequal value.
- Double pairs.
- Model combination: 8♣ 8♦ 5♠ 5♥ 3♦
- Description: two different pairs included in the five cards that form the hand give rise to double pairs. The fifth card will be the kicker.
- Model combination: J♥ J♠ 10♦ 7♣ 4♦
- Description: two cards of equivalent value together with three cards that do not result in any higher combination result in a pair. It is among the worst choices, and second on the list of poker hands in ascending order.
- High card.
- Model combination: K♦ Q♠ 8♥ 7♠ 3♣
- Description: it is the worst possible alternative, whatever the order of hands. In poker, high card is the same as having nothing because we are talking about a combination of cards that makes it impossible to form any minimally competitive hand.
What you should know about poker hands if you are a poker newbie
No matter how low your poker level is, you surely know how the game is governed and what role the hands play. But there’s more to it than that. The hands in poker follow an order that must be mastered to the letter. The hand rankings are crucial for proper decision making.
You should know that this hierarchy is the traditional one, the one that follows the ranking of high hands in poker, but there are also other ways to create an order of hands in poker if you play in other modalities, other than Texas Hold’em on which we have focused in this article, or follow different methods to create that hierarchy.
In Ace to Five, the poker moves follow another order.
And the same is true in Deuce to Seven, with a unique poker hand order that needs to be learned depending on the type of game you intend to master.
What is clear is that poker hands, in ascending or descending order, must be handled to the letter. Therefore, one of the crucial steps to advance in your poker training is to learn to visualize in the rounds the poker hands in the order of appearance, and to rank them in your mind to establish a relationship of strength between the possible hands of your opponents and yours. That will give you a perspective of where your game stands and help you not to pay foolishly for bets you are not going to win.