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Discerning Hand Strengths In The Game Of Poker

Aug 17, 2007
The game of poker has several different variants that can be played. Understanding what hand you have and just how to play that hand is crucial to your winning the game. Though poker is predominantly a game of chance, and you are only as lucky as the hand you play, how you play that hand can make all the difference. For example, if you have a bad hand, but are able to bluff successfully, you were able to turn your projected bad luck into better luck.

Below are the basic hand strengths in 5 hand poker games. Depending on the specific game there may even be some variations such as adding wild cards to the mix.

In this case, the hand with the real cards will be higher than the same hand with the wild card.

Here are the poker hand strengths from highest to lowest. Royal Flush. This hand has five cards of the same suit from the 10 up to the ace. Straight Flush. This hand has five cards of the same suit in numerical sequence. Four of A Kind. Here, four of the cards are all of the same rank. Full House. This hand contains a 3 Of A Kind as well as a pair. Flush. Here, all five cards are of the same suit, but not in numerical sequence. Straight. Here, all five cards are in numerical sequence, but not of the same suit. Three Of a Kind. In this hand, three of the cards are of the same value. Two Pairs. Here, there are two pairs of cards as described, with the cards in each pair being the same rank. One Pair. This is one pair of two cards. No Pair. The pot will have nothing in it. If all players in the game have this hand, the winner is determined by the highest ranking cards.

There are many different combinations of cards players can have in a hand, and understanding what makes up a good hand is essential to your playing a good game.

Since there are several different types of poker games, remember that the rules may vary with each. The basics, however, still apply.

For example, in Texas Hold'em, the first two cards dealt in the game are listed in groups according to their relevant strength. Here the strongest starting hands are as follows.

Pair of high cards
Ace and high card suited

Though these are just the basics, they will help get you started. These basic hand strengths will assist you when deciding which hands to play, or whether or not to play the hand at all. Remember, the more you practice, the more you will learn about improving your game. Knowing the hand strengths will definitely get you started.
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