Friday, 12 Jul 2024

The Best Poker Hands

Poker is a card game that requires strategy and knowledge, one of the key aspects being understanding different poker hands and memorizing a chart of hand rankings.

This chart includes premium starter hands you should consider using from any position and also connective pre-flop hands that could lead to stronger pre-flop hands that help win pots.

1. Straight flush

Though considered one of the weaker poker hands, straight flush is an effective combination that can win big pots over time. A straight flush consists of five consecutive cards from one suit (A-K-Q-J-10 in this example) arranged in consecutive order and beats out other combinations like three of a kind or pairs which only require two matching cards from different suits.

Pocket Kings are an elite starting poker hand and should always be opened first in most positions. Unfortunately, though, this Broadway hand can easily be taken down on the flop by other Broadway hands so raising pre-flop should only be attempted if you possess an exceptional kicker card.

2. Royal flush

Royal flush is unrivaled as an ideal poker hand when using standard hand rankings, making it nearly unbeatable unless your opponent holds an improved hand.

Pocket queens and pocket jacks are one of the best preflop starting hands you can hold in Texas Hold’em, boasting a high win rate against other pocket pairs while opening from early position. Furthermore, these hands provide great equity against AK and suited AA-KK hands as well.

At the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller event, Bryn Kenney raised all-in with A K against Erik Seidel who quickly called. The flop of J 9 T gave Seidel hope; however, Kenney completed his royal flush making him the winner and sending the table into an uproarious frenzy of celebration and fury.

3. Four-of-a-kind

Four of a Kind is one of the easiest and best poker hands you can achieve, being comprised of four cards of equal rank – for instance four aces or eights.

Four of a Kind ranks third in terms of poker hand rankings and can be immensely powerful when it hits the table. Therefore, holding four of a kind in pots with ongoing raises and reraises may prove very profitable.

If two players hold four of a kind, their card rankings are compared in order to decide who wins; however, standard poker does not take into account kickers as part of this equation, making four of a kind the strongest hand you can possess even over Full Houses.

4. Straight draw

Straight draws in poker are poker hands consisting of four consecutive cards in the same suit, and can be an extremely powerful hand to have in your arsenal, but can easily be outwitted by other Broadway hands your opponent may possess.

Before making your decision on this poker hand, the pot odds and reverse implied odds should be taken into consideration. Particularly if your straight is drawing close or one of your outs is compromised, take some time before chasing this poker hand.

On the flop, however, calculating pot odds correctly can be more challenging as there are two cards left to come and only consider improving to a pair over two as you assess these odds.

5. Two pair

Two pair is an extremely potent poker hand that can win you lots of money over time. It beats both One Pair (an obvious rival) and High Card hands.

At Pairs Poker, suits don’t play an important part when creating pairs; only their rank does. If two cards share equal ranks, then the higher pair wins; otherwise if both ranks tie then the next lowest card wins, e.g. J-J-9-5-3 beats 5-5-A-K-Q as an example of this situation.

An offsuit premium pair like AKo or AQo is an excellent hand to raise with on the flop in 6-max games as both hole cards can be utilized and reduces the possibility that another player might have an improved hand than your own.

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