Holdem Hand Rankings

Understanding Holdem hand rankings is imperative for individuals interested in playing the game. It is impossible to be an effective player if a person has no idea what the cards in their hand means. Knowing whether or not a hand is strong will allow individuals to make certain moves or take risks that they might not if their hand was average or weak. A weak hand may require that a person folds so that they don’t lose a great deal of money. Below, we will review various Holdem hand rankings. Hopefully, this short guide will be helpful for those who are not well acquainted with them.

Straight Flush: A Straight Flush is made up of five cards, all from the same suit and in consecutive order. For example, a 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 of Hearts. The strongest straight flush is a royal flush. It is made up of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten and can not be beat.

Four of A Kind: In this hand, four of the cards have the same rank. The last is a ‘kicker’ or of a different rank. In cases of a tie, the hand with the strongest ‘kicker’ wins.

Full House: A Full House is made up of three cards which have the same rank, plus two cards with identical rank. In instances when the three highest matching cards are the same as another player’s, the tie breaker comes down to who has the best or highest ranking pair (the two additional matching cards).

Flush: This is a hand make up of cards from the same suit. For example, a Flush might include the following hand, K, J, 9, 7, 6 of Clubs. In instances of a tie, the highest ranked hand wins.

Straight: A player has a Straight, when all of the cards in their hand are in sequence. They are not all from the same suit. An example of this would be 2 of Hearts, 3 of Spades, 4 of Clubs, 5 of Hearts and 6 of Diamonds.

Three Of A Kind: This hand includes 3 cards of the same rank, plus two random cards. For example, King of Hearts, King of Spades, King of Diamonds, 8 of Hearts and 3 of Spades. A player wins a tie when their three cards of identical rank are higher in value then their opponent’s.

Two Pair: A Two Pair hand is made up of two pairs of cards with equal rank but varying suites and a side card. A Two Pair might look like the following, King of Hearts, King of Spades, 10 of Diamonds, 10 of Spades and 2 of Hearts. If there is a tie, the highest pair (1st and if necessary, 2nd) wins out.

One Pair: A One Pair consists of a hand with one pair and three random cards. The pair is of identical rank. For example, Queen of Hearts, Queen of Spades, 8 of Clubs, 4 of Diamonds and 2 of Hearts. In instances of a tie, the highest ranking hands win. If two players have identical pairs, the player with the highest ranking side card wins out.

High Card: This is a hand that does not include any of the aforementioned combinations. When there are other high cards at the table, the highest card breaks the tie. It may be necessary to compare each card in the hand, in order to determine a winner.

Recognizing and understanding Holdem hand rankings is extremely important for anyone desiring to play this very popular poker game. Playing without being fully knowledgeable of hand rankings is akin to playing blindly. It becomes impossible to make good decisions and to know where one stands, without being able to recognize whether or not a particular hand is weak or strong. Fortunately, learning hand rankings is fairly easy. It will initially take a bit of study and practice, but before long, a person will be able to easily identify rankings.

Once a person becomes familiar with Holdem hank rankings, the next step is to be able to apply strategy. Understanding which moves should be made when a person has a particular hand will become very important. This will require learning to correctly strategize and then applying that strategy, which takes time and experience. Free games, which are offered at most online poker rooms, can be invaluable for this purpose.