If you’re a beginner at poker or any other card game, it can be hard to know what hands you should be going for in order to have the best chance of winning. With so many different hand rankings and variations between games, how do you figure out which ones to shoot for? In this guide, we’ll cover the basic hand rankings that will allow you to take down pots when you’re playing high card poker, starting poker hands and other similar types of games.
1) Four Of A Kind
Four of a kind is an unbeatable hand in any variation of poker. To get four of a kind, you need all four cards on your hand to be one value and then one card that has that same value on it. For example, you could have two Kings and two Queens and then on your last card, you could have a Queen. This would be a very good starting poker hand in Texas Hold’em because if your Queen was higher than everyone else’s Queens, you would automatically take the pot without having to show any cards. If there were more than one player who had four of a kind at showdown, it would come down to who had their highest cards that matched up with their other ones.
2) Full House
Three cards of one rank plus two cards of another rank. The ace can count as either high or low in straight, flush, and straight-flush games, but not in flushes where it must be another card. Full houses are often referred to as boats. The term is derived from being dealt three-of-a-kind combined with a pair, making it a full house. An example is Q J Q K . A full house gives you 12 points when using variations for holding four-of-a-kind poker or three-of-one-kind in a five-card stud. It has 4 points when counting variations for holding four of a kind in Texas hold’em.
While you might think that getting three of a kind is one of the only ways to guarantee winning in poker, there’s actually one hand out there that is better. The hand consists of four cards—including two 10s and two 5s, for example—all of which are in different suits. That’s right: four-of-kind beats three-of-kind every time. Just remember, don’t try it at home unless you’re playing online poker for money!
Three-of-a-kind refers to having three cards of equal rank. For example, you have two kings and a king in your hand. This is an easy one; it’s called trips because you already have three of something (three kings). Three of a kind is always listed at about 2.5:1 against, meaning that if you bet $100, then expect to lose $250 or more while winning less than half of your investment back. If you hold trips, call if everyone else calls around to you; otherwise, fold right away.
5) Three Of A Kind
This is one of my favorite starting hands. You need three cards of the same rank, but that’s it. No pair, no kicker card. This can be used in combination with two other cards for a full house or straight, but if you’re playing online with virtual chips or at a low-stakes casino, you can cash out with just three of a kind by itself. Pair: Two cards of matching rank and one non-matching card make up a pair. Aces are always high; Jacks are always low. Make sure your pairs aren’t ones that will split—such as 8-8—because that would result in four separate hands rather than one winning hand.
6) Two Pair
One of our favorites is a hand that’s two pairs, also known as pocket pairs. This is where you have two pairs of cards in your hand. For example, if you were playing with 7-7 and got another 7 on the flop, then you’d be holding 2 pair – Sevens and Sevens. While it isn’t considered a great starting hand to win with (we’ll get into that later), it can still help your chances and even give you bragging rights over other players if nobody has an identical pair to yours. Just make sure not to gloat too much!