Play Poker with Friends or for Money: Possible Hands in Texas Hold ‘em

In Texas Hold ’em poker, the player who makes the best five-card hand from the two cards they hold plus five on the board will win. This means it’s vital to know which hands are possible, and how they compare to others. So here is a list of the Texas Hold ‘em poker hands, ranked lowest to highest. Makes sure you know them, before you play poker with friends for fun, and definitely if you’re playing for cash.

High-Card

It can happen that nobody has a hand worth anything, even after all community cards have been dealt. In this case, the player with the highest card in their hand (regardless of suit) will win. In the event of a draw, the second, third, fourth and fifth highest cards are compared. Should the best hand be made solely of community cards, a draw is declared and the pot split.

One Pair

Two cards of the same value, either dealt direct or made with one community card. Players who have the same value pair will look to the kicker to decide the winner.

Two Pairs

Two sets of two cards of equal value – such as two queens or two aces. A player may hold one pair and see another on the board, or build both pairs with their own cards and the community cards dealt. If two players have this hand, the one with the highest value pair will win.

Three of a Kind

Three cards of equal value – made of either one or two cards in a player’s hand with the remainder from the board. A common hand when a player starts with a pair – and if you get your three of a kind from the flop, you can get set for some high stakes betting.

Straight

Five cards of sequential value, including a mix of suits. Rules for deciding the winner when more than one player has a straight may indicate that the highest or lowest card is taken into account – but never both in one game. Examples of a straight include Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, and Ace, Two, Three, Four, Five (note, King, Ace, Two, Three, Four is not a straight). You might be looking to complete a straight if you have open-ended cards (such as Ten, Jack, Queen, King), or a missing card in the middle (such as Ace, King, Jack, Ten) – though the latter is much more difficult to achieve.

 

Flush

Five cards of the same suit, in any order. When two players have a flush, the one with the highest card wins. A word of warning, though: when you’re dealt two cards of the same suit, you might assume that this sets you up for a flush – but it doesn’t, as this hand appears quite rarely.

Full-House

Three of a kind plus a pair makes a full house. If two players have this hand, the highest value three wins. Should the threes be the same, the pairs determine the winner – and if it’s still equal, a draw is declared.

Four of a Kind

A hand of four cards of the same value (also called Quads). The kicker is the decider when two players hold quads.

Straight-Flush

Five cards of the same suit, in sequential order. Unbeatable? Almost…

Royal-Flush

The best and least probably poker hand possible. It’s like the straight flush, in that it requires five cards of the same suit, in sequential order. But these cards must be Ten, Jack, Queen, King, Ace. Bear in mind the English saying – if you want to see a royal flush in a casino, you must go to the toilet. If you do make this hand, you can be confident of winning.

So now you know, and you’re ready to play free poker games online. At this stage, though, you should only play poker for fun. Don’t rush in to money games just yet, though – because as well as practice you need to know how a round of poker unfolds. It all takes time, but persistence is the key.