Poker hands rank depending on the likelihood that you will get them. As for identical poker hands, they rank depending on the player who have the highest values. The player with the stronger hand decides which hand ranks better. You can remember important poker hands through mnemonic. It is a popular memory device used for poker games.
However, you should not just rely on a memory device to work your way through poker hands. It is best you understand the basic principles to know your best move. You cannot have a memory device giving you hints while playing on the table. Here are some important tips to learn to understand poker hands better and increase your win rate.
Lower Ranking Poker Hands
Take note that the 0, 1, 2 and 3 comprise the lowest poker hands. Be careful when having these types of cards on your hand. Remember that 0 is a high card. When you got 0 pairs then the rank or value of your hand will rely on your highest card. Your highest card determines the value or rank of your entire hand. Do not forget that ace ranks the highest while 2 ranks the lowest. Understand the following:
- One pair – this means you get two cards with similar value but with different suits. An example would be two of hearts and two of clubs.
- Two Pairs – this means you get two cards with similar value but under different suits. An example would be two of hears with two of clubs and three of diamonds with three of spades.
- Three of a Kind – this means you get three card with similar value but with different suits. An example would be four of diamonds with four of spades and four of clubs.
Separate Hands According to Straight
A straight hand can be categorized in between poker hand rankings. It is not that high or low in ranking. As the name implies, you get a straight if you have five cards in any suit with consecutive values. For instance, your straight hand may feature cards 2, 3, 4, 5, including 6. So long as you have them in order, the suit does not matter. You have a straight. You can also create a straight hand with a queen, jack, king, ace and 10 from any of the suits.
Understand the Highest-Ranking Poker Hands
Memorize the cards creating the highest-ranking poker hands. You can better memorize if you count the numbers of letters of the hand’s name. Take note of the following:
- 5: Flush – this means you get five cards under the same suit and of any value. For instance, you can form a flush with any of the cards under the suit of diamonds. Whether it would be 9, 7, 6, 2 and jack.
- 9: Full House – this means you have three of a kind and a one pair
- 11: Four of a Kind – this comes with four cards with similar value under the four suits. For example, 8 of hearts, 8 of diamonds, 8 of spades and 8 of clubs.
- 13: Straight Flush – this comes with five cards under the same suit and in consecutive values. For instance, you can form a straight flush with 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of spades.
- 18: Royal Straight Flush – you can form a royal straight flush using an ace for the high card including 10, jack, queen, king and ace of spades. This hand is unbeatable.
Given a hand cannot be considered in any category then the card with the highest value will decide its rank. For instance, if the set of cards got the Queen as the highest, then the hand ranks in relation to the queen. If another player has a similar card then you get the second highest, if not then the third, fourth or even fifth will be considered. This may be confusing at first but you will get the hang of it once exposed to a number of high card situations.
As mentioned in the previous sections, a poker hand consists of five cards. Depending on their variations, you can reach a certain position or advantage over other players on the table. The five cards will come from what you have been dealt with or what you have chosen. For instance, under Texas Hold’em, every player will get two private cards. However, they can also choose from five community cards. All players are given the same access. To an extent, all players get equal opportunities at creating a strong hand.
All in all, you can work with seven cards but you can only choose the five best cards to proceed with the game.
If you are new to poker then you have to read through the list again. You cannot get a good grasp of all the rankings unless you go through the list repeatedly. It also helps to do practice games so you will become familiarized with the hands naturally and slowly. Nothing beats knowing the hands or card arrangements by heart.
You need to study the type of poker game you are playing. Some poker games assign different values to hands. On others, it might be different which hands decide the winner. You will understand the real value or strength of the cards as you play along. If possible, play as many variations as you can. This can help you master how to create and manipulate cards whenever you can.
There are also many cheat sheets or PDF listings you can access to download hand rankings and images. It can be helpful to memorize the hands if you can see pictures attributed to the rankings. Some people are visual creatures. They learn better from what they see. It may do the trick for you. Go through your chart constantly. These are just some of the ways you can improve your poker game. Take some time to master them before taking other lessons.