One of the most difficult things to grasp as a new or novice poker player is that the opportunities to win and the winning hand combinations are seemingly endless. With so many rules and an overabundance of cards, every single hand is completely different than the last. Luckily, while the actual card ranks can vary, there are only ten basic poker hands that can be made:
1. Royal Flush – If you’re holding an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 suited, you’re in luck! A royal flush is the best poker hand you can have, taking it’s “royal” name from the court cards that make up its majority.
2. Straight Flush – A step down from it’s royal superior, a straight flush includes any five cards, suited and in sequential order.
3. Four of a Kind – As its name suggests, this hand is made up of four cards of the same kind, one of each suit, and a fifth “kicker” card. Should two players have the same four of a kind, the player with the higher kicker wins the hand.
4. Full House – A mixture of three of a kind and a pair make up a full house. For example, having three aces and two kings would be considered “aces full of kings,” and is the highest full house hand possible.
5. Flush – Any five cards suited makes a flush, but while all five cards must share the same suit, they do not have to be in consecutive order. The highest card in the hand determines the flush’s rank.
6. Straight – The complete opposite of a flush, a straight must be consecutive but does not have to be suited. Again, the highest card in the straight determines the strength of the hand.
7. Three of a Kind – Similar to the higher ranking four of a kind hand, three of a kind consists of three cards of the same rank unsuited and any two others. The additional two cards do not have to be of equal rank or suit, but the higher they are the better.
8. Two Pair – If you’ve got two kings, two queens and a jack, that’s an example of a two pair. As long as you have two pairs of cards, each with matching rank, you’ve made the hand. The highest pair you’re holding will determine the strength of the hand.
9. One Pair – Just under the two pair is the one pair, consisting of only one pair of cards with matching rank and three additional cards. While this is usually not the winning hand, the higher the pair, the better!
10. High Card – When all else fails and your hand doesn’t fit any of the above requirements you’ve got a high card hand. If it comes down to it, the person with the highest ranking card wins the pot.
Now that you’ve got the basics down, how about trying your luck at your own casino party before hitting the big leagues? At Casinos by M&M we offer a wide variety of poker game variations with authentic casino-grade tables to match!
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