In poker, the ability of the players to tie the best hand is decisive. Knowing the ranking of hands is essential to know which combination of cards is the strongest and what is the hierarchy that is followed to establish the most powerful combination of cards.
Since poker hands are essential to determine who wins in a game, it is necessary to know which are the best hands in poker, at least in Texas Hold’em variant which is the most played type of poker worldwide.
Best poker hands: what are they?
The royal flush, the straight flush, the poker flush, the full house and the flush are the best hands in poker. Any of these five hands should be considered as potential winners and that’s big talk, especially in competitive games where the reward is higher.
Let’s take a brief look at the characteristics of these poker hands and how they can make you win in a game of Texas Hold’em.
Flush / Flush
Let’s start in ascending order. Of the five poker hands we’ve mentioned, this is the weakest. The best poker hand consists of five cards of the same suit, whether or not they are in consecutive order. With any combination of five cards of the same suit a flush can be obtained.
Occasionally it happens that two players have a flush. In this case, it is the player with the highest value card who wins. It is also a somewhat comfortable hand, since it serves to easily beat a double pair or a three of a kind and rarely faces a superior hand such as a straight, since, in a game, if you are experienced enough, you can spot the telltale signs of a straight flush or a poker flush.
Full House or Full House
A Full House, also known simply as a Full House, is formed with three cards of the same rank and two of another. That is, with a three of a kind and a pair. K♣ K♥ K♦ 8♣ 8♦ would be an example. If more than one player has a full house, it will be the highest value three of a kind that determines who is the winner.
The best way to tie a full house is to have a pair in your hand and form the missing three of a kind with the community cards, because that way you get more concealment of your hand and your opponents can’t see it coming.
It is important that the players who go for the full house do not expose too many chips because the opponents could hide a poker and beat the full house. And the statistical probability of seeing a Full House on the flop is quite remote.
A poker hand is formed with four cards of the same value and one of a different value. For example, Q♥ Q♣ Qª Q♦ 3ª would be an example of Poker. In Texas Hold’em poker it is one of the top hands. It is not the most powerful, but it is perfect to easily beat all other hands considered strong, such as a Full House.
But this hand has a downside: when the community cards on the table are very obvious, it will be difficult to make the hand pay off because, as soon as the opponents read your hand, they will stop betting. Therefore, the tricky part of poker is to get players to bet when you have a hand formed or about to form.
This is a big one. A straight flush is a very strong hand, one of the best hands in poker. In Texas Hold’em the probability of forming it is, on average, 0.01%, which makes it particularly rare. It is second only to the royal flush, the most powerful version of the straight.
The straight flush is formed with five consecutive cards of the same suit. It is an almost perfect hand. Being able to form a straight flush and lose to a royal flush is remote, so it is almost always a sure guarantee of victory.
At the top of the ranking of the strongest hands in poker and Texas Hold’em is the royal flush. Like the straight flush, it is formed with five consecutive cards of the same suit, with the peculiarity that here those five cards are the five highest cards in the deck, i.e. A♥ K♥ Q♥ J♥ 10♥, if that were the suit. The same goes for clubs, spades and diamonds.
A royal flush in poker, not just in Texas Hold’em, but in general, is among the strangest of hands. It is a statistical anomaly, occurring once every 650,000 times. In Texas Hold’em that probability drops a little because of the possibility of being able to use the community cards to form the hand, but it is still a very difficult rarity to obtain.
Dangerous hands in poker: What are they?
It is common to talk about the best hands in poker as we have done, but be careful: do not lose sight of the hands capable of making you lose your stack.
Let’s start with the lesser evil, with Aª 4ª, for example. The fact that with the ace we have a bad card will leave us in a somewhat delicate situation, because we will have to be satisfied with splitting the pot and the ace will be wasted. And we say that it is dangerous because it is a difficult hand to play that, in the best case, will leave you with nothing or splitting the prize with the rest.
Another hand you should keep your eye on is the king and queen of any suit. Suppose you have K♥ Q♥. The potential is huge, we won’t dissuade you from this, but know that these are cards that can turn against you almost without you realizing it.
It is important that you enter the hand raising, especially if you are the first to enter the pot, because it is easy to find hands in the game that dominate you. For example, if a player attacks your raise, it means that he has you dominated or is ahead of you with a pair or A♣ K♣ regardless of suit.
Another thing to avoid is to limp into a pot when you have a combination like K♥ Q♥. What you will be doing is giving advantage to flush connectors and low pairs preflop, that’s why you should play pots hand for hand.
Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s a strong card combination, but your trump card will be at showdown. So, if you only have top pair, you should stick to a small pot.