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Poker Hand Rankings and Probability Explained

Your journey to being a skilled poker player begins with understanding hand rankings.  Knowing the likelihood of receiving specific hands lets you assess your possibility of winning and make better decisions at key times.

This guide will provide you with a thorough rundown of the ranks of poker hands, ranging from the unbeatable Royal Flush to the simple High Card. Card. You’ll learn the probability of being dealt each type of hand, which is essential for evaluating your position and maximizing your edge.

Hand Rankings

  1. Royal Flush

It is the topmost hand in poker. It consists of the ace, king, queen, jack and 10 all of the same suit. For example, a Royal Flush in spades would be:(A♠, K♠, Q♠, J♠, 10♠). The probability of being dealt a Royal Flush is 1 in 649,740. This rarity makes a Royal Flush a highly coveted hand in poker. If you manage to get a Royal Flush, you can be confident you hold the best possible hand.

  1. Straight Flush

It is the second-highest poker hand. It consists of five consecutive cards that are also of the same suit. For example, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of clubs. The probability of being dealt a straight flush is 72,192:1.

  1. Four of a Kind

Four of a Kind, also quads, is the next highest hand in poker after a straight flush. Four of a Kind contains all four cards of the same rank. For example, four Aces would be AAAA. The probability of being dealt Four of a Kind in a five-card poker hand is 0.024% or 1 in 4,165 hands. This very rare hand is only beaten by a straight flush and royal flush. 

  1. Full House

A full house is a hand that contains three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, such as three 8s and two 4s. It is a very strong hand, beaten only by a four-of-a-kind, straight flush, and royal flush. The possibility of being dealt a full house in a game of Texas Hold’em is approximately 693:1. While a full house is certainly uncommon, experienced players do see them on a fairly regular basis.

  1. Flush

A flush is a poker hand that contains five cards all of the same suit, but not in sequence. For example, a hand with five spades (5♠, 7♠, 9♠, 10♠, K♠) would qualify as a flush. The probability of being dealt a flush is approximately 508-to-1.

  1. Straight

A straight is made up of 5 cards of any suit in sequence, but not all of the same suit. For example, a hand with the 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of mixed suits would qualify as a straight. The probability of getting a straight is 0.00393.

  1. Three-of-a-Kind

Three of a Kind, alsoTrips or a Set, is a hand containing three cards of the same rank, such as three Aces. The remaining two cards in the hand can be of any rank. The probability of being dealt Three of a Kind in a random five-card poker hand is around 1 in 47.

  1. Two Pair 

Two pairs is a hand containing two cards of the same rank, plus two cards of another rank (that also match each other). For example, holding a pair of jacks and a pair of threes would qualify as two pairs. In terms of probability, the odds of being dealt two pairs in a single round is about 4.75%.

  1. One Pair

One pair contains one pair of cards of the same rank and three unmatched cards. For example, holding 4♥ 4♠ J♦ 8♣ 3♠ means you have one pair of 4s. Since one pair only requires one matching pair, it is one of the easiest hands to make in poker. The probability of being dealt one pair in a random hand is 42.26%, making it the second most common hand after high card hands. 

  1. High Card

If no better hand was produced, that is, if no five cards of the same suit or rank sequentially, and each card has a different rank than the other cards in the hand. The probability of getting a high card is 50.12%.

Also Read:

Tips for New Players Getting Started with Poker in India

Poker for Beginners: Simple Strategies to Win

Essential Poker Math: Calculating Pot Odds and Expected Value

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