The rules of poker are simple. Know the poker hands ranking system at the heart and use it strategically to win the game. All popular forms of poker like Texas Holdem or poker-based casino games such as three-card poker use these rankings. You need to have a firm grasp on these rankings to create your winning hand and turn the table!
Types of Online Table Poker
There are two main types of poker games if you are playing online:
- Casino Poker
In this game, you’re playing against the house, i.e., the casino. You cannot bluff against the online casino automated players since you are playing against dealers through the screen. The best hand wins, as online casino poker can only end in a showdown, or if you fold.
Popular variants include: Three-card Poker, Texas Holdem Plus, Ultimate Texas Holdem, Let it Ride, Caribbean Stud, Four-card Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Video Poker
- Player versus Player or PvP Poker
In PvP poker, you’re playing against people, both online and offline. In this game, the casino is the game host and the rest are players. The casino takes a minor cut of the money generated in the game, known as the rake, in exchange for hosting the game.
Popular variants include: Texas Holdem Poker, Omaha Poker, Draw Poker, Stud Poker, Mixed Poker Games
Before we learn about the hand rankings, it’s important to know the basics of different betting structures that come into play. In casino table games, you have a minimum and maximum bet. However, in PvP poker, there are three blind structures:
- Limit- The amount you can bet or raise is limited to the size of the ante (a mandatory bet for every player at the start of the game to create a pot).
- Pot Limit- The amount you can bet or raise is limited to the size of the pot.
- No Limit- In this structure, you can bet or raise as much as you like, up to the full value of your stack.
Highest to Lowest Poker Hand Rankings Chart:
Poker follows the basic order of cards as other card games. The highest card considered is the Ace, followed by King, Queen, and Jack. From there, the number goes down from 10 to 2. According to this order, a pair of Aces is higher than a pair of Kings and a three of Queens will beat a three of 8s.
So, let’s check out this cheat sheet poker hands and how you can win a game:
1. Royal Flush
The royal flush is the best poker combinations. It comprises five consecutive cards, all the same suit, in the order of value from 10 through to Ace. This poker high cards is extremely rare but if it occurs, it can make you win the game!
This means you will have the A, K, Q, J, and 10 from the same suit. If you have this hand, you are guaranteed to win, unless the royal flush is on the board, then it will be a split pot.
2. Straight Flush
The straight flush is the second strongest in the poker cards ranking. Five cards in a row, all from the same suit that is not a royal flush is the straight flush.
For example, if there are 5, 6, 7, and 8 of spades and you have 4 of spades, then you get a straight flush. However, a 9 of spades can beat your 4 of spades since it ranks higher. Therefore, cards of higher rankings are the only hands that can beat a straight flush.
3. Four of a Kind
Next comes the four of a kind in the poker hands list. This is another strong hand which occurs when you have four cards of the same value.
For example, if you have four Kings, then you get this hand. If your opponent has four Queens, then you come out as the strongest because the highest will complete the hand.
4. Full House
As per poker full house rules, three of the same value card in three different suits along with a different pair of the same rank card in two different suits in one hand makes up this hand.
For example, a full house is a 10, 10, 10, and 8, 8. If both you and your opponent have a full house, then the player with the highest three of a kind card will win the hand. And if the value is equal, then it leads to a split pot.
According to the poker chart sheet, flush occurs when you have five cards of the same suit, in no particular order. This is another one of the strong hands in cards which improves your chances of winning.
For instance, if you have two hearts in your hand and there are three or more on the board, you have a flush. Be mindful of the fact that if you have an Ace and Jack of Diamonds in your hand, and the board is K (Hearts), Q (Hearts), 7 (Hearts), Q (Spades), K (Spades), you have a flush. However, if a different player has either a Kind or Queen, they will beat your full house.
From this hand, the series of weaker hands begins. A straight hand happens if you have five cards of consecutive numerical value composed of more than one suit.
For example, 7, 8, 9, 10, J forms a straight hand. In this hand, an Ace can normally rank as low (below a 2) or high (above a King) but not at the same time in one hand. You can make a straight from Ace to five or from ten to Ace.
7. Three of a Kind
On this hand, the value of cards in poker containing three cards of the same rank in three different suits creates a three of a kind.
For instance, if you have an Ace and a King, and the board is A, A, J, 7, 4, then you have three of a kind. Therefore, the two highest available cards beside the three of a kind complete the hand.
8. Two Pair
You get two pair of hands when you have two different sets of two cards which are of matching rank.
For example, if you have an A, K, and the board is A, 8, 6, 6, 3, then you have two pairs of Aces and sixes. The King or the highest-ranked card that is left available will complete your hand and this card is called the kicker.
A pair occurs when you have a pair of cards of the same rank in different suits. The rest of the hand is formed from the three highest-ranked cards available.
So, if you play 4-5 and the board is A, K, 19, 8, 5 and you have a pair of fives, you will get beaten by a higher pair.
10. High Card
The high card is considered the weakest and is the lowest-ranked card hand for poker available. In this case, the highest card in the hand is your best hand.
For example, if you have a King and a Jack and the board is 10, 9, 7, 6, and 3, you have a high card K. You can beat your opponent if they have cards apart from K.
How Can You Determine the Best Poker Hand?
In poker hand games, the winning hand is not always the highest-ranked hand as per the poker all hands rankings. It is how you use the hands to get the best hands in poker. There are three ways you can determine the best cards in poker:
- Hi or High-high Hand
One of the most simple ways ranks are used in Hi or High hand games is where the best poker hand is decided as per the hand which ranks the highest according to the ranking list. Common examples of the use of this hand are in Texas Holdem and Seven-card Stud.
- Lo, Low-hand or Lowball Poker
Lowball poker hand rankings work in the exact opposite way of High-hand games. The ranks are reversed in this case and the lowest ranking hand is considered the best possible hand. The main variation centres around the Ace being positioned as the high or low and whether straights and flushes are counted. One popular low-hand poker game is known as the Razz.
- Hi-lo or High-Low Split Poker
In the final use of poker hand rankings, the pot is split evenly between the players with the highest-ranking poker hand and the lowest-ranking poker hand. A common example of this high-low split poker is Omaha Hi-Lo.
Poker Cheat Sheets for Starting Hands
Remember that the best-starting hands in poker do not always win a pot. However, you can definitely create a winning strategy. To do so, you have to know the strongest starting hands. This is because the stronger you start, the better your chances of finishing ahead in the game.
- A Pair of Cards
If you start the game with high-value pairs such as A-A, K-K, Q-Q, J-J and 10-10, then you increase your chances of winning. However, it depends on the situation of the game. It might also be smart to play lower-ranked pairs including middle pairs. This can include 9-9, 8-8, 7-7 and 6-6. You may also get fruitful results by playing low pairs like 5-5, 4-4, 3-3 and 2-2.
- High-value Cards
High-value cards are considered the best poker best cards, especially if they are your starting hand. For instance, if you are playing Pot Limit Omaha, A-Q, 10-J is a strong hand. In this game, anything from Ace to 10 can be classed as a high-value card.
- Connectors and Suited Connectors
If you play two cards that are close in value, you increase the potential to make straights. For example, if you are dealt 6-7 in Texas Holdem, these cards have the scope to make a straight. In contrast, a hand like 8-4 could also make a straight but is less likely because they aren’t connected. Connected cards are stronger if their suits match as it opens up the possibility of making flushes, straights or even straight flushes.
You have to abide by specific rules in every game you play. Let’s find out how you can win Texas Hold’em.
In this game, each player is dealt two cards that they can only see. In the betting rounds, community cards are dealt. Everyone has the liberty to use these cards to make the best five-card poker hand by using one, both, or none of the cards.
In Texas Holdem, the following order is considered the best-starting hands:
- Pairs from A-A to 10-10
- A-K, A-Q, A-J, A-10
- K-Q, K-J
- 9-10, 8-9, 7-8, 7-6 (suited connectors)
How to Use Poker Table Positions to Win Poker
In most of the poker games, you do not know what other people’s cards are. But you can identify their moves throughout the rounds- fold, call, check, bet, or raise.
Poker is usually played in a clockwise direction. Your position is relative to the bings and the button. The closest positions to the dealer are known as the early poker positions whereas the furthest away are the later poker positions. The seats between these two positions are the middle poker positions.
A general rule of thumb is that you should only play the strongest hands in an early position. As you move from middle to late positions, you can open up and play a wider range of hands. Also, you can gain an upper hand if you are in the late positions as you will have more knowledge about the other players.
You can win poker and its different variations by carefully understanding its rules. The most important part is to understand how the hand rankings work and use it to your advantage. Use your best card in poker to strategically create a winning hand. Make sure to follow this poker checklist so that you can make informed decisions to win the game!