One of the fundamentals to know how to play poker and start making money at the tables is to know the winning poker hands and what the poker hand rankings are according to the established hierarchy. Although all poker varieties share the traditional ranking for the highest hands, the Omaha and Razz varieties resort to the Ace to Five ranking system for low hands, while the Deuce to Seven is the typical one used in the 2-7 Single Draw and 2-7 Triple Draw.
Poker plays: high hand rankings
Every poker aficionado should have a good grasp of the poker hand rankings in order to be able to play the game with ease. If we take a look at the list in ascending order, the highest poker hands are pair, double pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, flush, full house, poker and straight flush. The order of the highest poker hands is crowned by the straight flush, the highest hand, which we will talk about a little later.
- Pair. This is one of the easiest poker hands to achieve, and consists in having two cards of the same value next to three cards of different values. Despite what many believe, the value of the accompanying cards is very relevant in this hand because it is decisive for the tiebreaker.
Certain poker plays are decided by the value of cards of different values, although this is more common in lower poker hands. For example, it is common to play with the cards mismatched in a pair or a double pair, but in a poker hand it is more difficult for this to happen as it is a more complex hand.
- Double pair. It is the next in the ranking of poker moves, and can be achieved by putting together two cards of the same value twice in a row in the same hand. That is, if we have five cards, four must form a double pair. In the event of a tie, the highest pair wins, but if both pairs are of the same value, the remaining cards will decide the result.
- Three of a kind. Three of a kind is the next hand on the list, and occurs when three cards of the same rank and two of a different rank come together. In games played with community cards it is decisive to look at the accompanying card to break the tie, although it is usually the highest three of a kind that breaks the tie.
- Straight. This is one of the most important poker hands. It occurs when five consecutive cards from the deck of different suits come together. For example: 3-4-5-6-7 combining diamonds, clubs and hearts. It is one of the most versatile and eye-catching poker plays, because the ace comes into play, which can be used both at the top of the deck and at the bottom of the deck.
In poker, winning hands are achieved throughout the game and with patience, gathering the necessary cards as the game progresses. This is especially important when it comes to not rushing and waiting to collect an ace in case of, for example, having four of the highest cards in the deck. If we add an ace to our K-Q-J-10 we will have an Ace High, the highest straight combination. But we can also add it together with the 2-3-4-5 and create a Five High, the lowest straight, but a straight nonetheless.
- Flush. This is achieved when five cards of the same suit are put together. It is one of the best examples to demonstrate that the order in poker hands is sometimes not determinant, being able to combine high and low cards of the same suit to create a flush hand.
As always, in these cases the player with the highest card will win if there is a tie. If this does not work, the value of the remaining cards will determine which player is the winner of the game.
The three most spectacular poker plays that continue in the hierarchy are the full house, the poker and the straight flush. We say that we have a full house when three cards of the same value and two cards of a different value to the three of a kind, but equal to each other, are part of our hand. The poker is achieved by gathering four equal cards and one different card, the so-called kicker.
But it is the straight flush that really stands out as one of the great poker moves. It is achieved by gathering five consecutive cards of the same suit (6-7-8-9-10 of hearts, for example). And you can go even further. In poker, winning hands can be reserved for the end and give the opponents the coup de grace, leaving them with no room to maneuver and causing them to be confident until the end.
Among all the poker moves that can leave anyone present during the game open-mouthed, the royal flush is the most spectacular. It is in the highest position of the ranking that gathers the classification of poker moves, being an unbeatable hand at all. The royal flush is composed of an ace, a king, a queen, a jack and the ten of the same suit, looking like this: A-K-Q-Q-J-10.
To know to what extent these poker hands have implications in the game, it is best to put them into practice during the games. There is no better way to get by in poker than trying to go one step further, practicing with the moves and trying to beat real opponents. Only in this way the player will be able to know his true potential, trying to beat real players of a similar level to his own, putting into practice during the poker game the winning hands from this list and experimenting with new techniques to try to analyze the opponents and predict their moves.