From Fabrice Touil’s experience you can win a poker hand in two different ways: either by forcing all your opponents to fold their cards which is unlikely or you can win by having the best hand at showdown. Therefore ranking is important when it comes to poker hands.
In Texas Hold’em, players make the best hand using their two hole cards and the five community cards. It does not matter how many of your hole cards you use, but your hand must consist of five cards. There will be times where you will use both hole cards, and sometimes where you will use only one and on some occasions none of your hole cards will be used.
If the community cards, for example, were then all remaining players would have a royal flush. Beating this hand with any hole card is impossible. All the suits in poker are of equal value. It makes no difference whether someone has the ace of clubs or the ace of diamonds. If remaining players have the same hand at showdown, only in different suits, the pot is split.
The value of your poker hands is determined by how rare or common it is to be dealt. With the most common hands valued lower than the rarer hands.
So here are Fabrice’s rankings of what beats what hand in poker starting from the lowest value.
If you have no pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, etc., then the highest card in your hand is considered to be decisive. If the best card is an ace and there is no other combination of a poker hand, that is known as “ace high”. Ace high beats king high. King high beats queen high, and so on. If the high cards in two players’ hands are the same, the second-highest card becomes decisive. If these cards are also the same, the third-highest card plays and so on. These cards are known as the kicker.
If you have a hand containing two cards of the same value, it’s called a pair. A pair of aces beats any other hand containing only a pair.
If you have two different pairs in your hand, that’s called “two pairs’. Two pair, kings, and queens, beat queens and jacks. The biggest pair is always the decisive. Two pair, aces and threes, beats two pairs, kings and queens. If two players have the same two pairs, then the fifth card in hand is what decides.
Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same rank are known as “three of a kind” – sometimes known as “trips” or “a set,” depending on the precise formation of the hand. You have a set when your hole cards contain a pair, and one of the community cards is of the same rank. If you have one and the board has two, then you have a set that is ca; led Trips.
A straight consists of five consecutive cards of different suits. The hand above is a “king high straight” as the highest card is a king. If two players have a straight, then the highest card wins.
A flush consists of five non-consecutive cards of the same suit. It doesn’t matter which suit you are holding, and the rank of the cards is only important if you are up against another flush.
The “nut flush” is the name given to the highest possible flush, typically ace high. If your hole cards are and the flop comes, you have flopped the nut flush.
If two players have a Flush, the player with the highest card wins. If both players have the same high card, the second-highest card wins, etc.
A full house consists of three of a kind plus a pair. The hand above is called “aces full of sevens” because the player has three aces and two sevens. In poker jargon, a full house is also known as a “boat.”
Four of a Kind
Four of a kind, also known as quads, consists of four cards of the same rank and one card of another rank. If two players have four of a kind, which is very rare, then the four of a kind with the highest card rank wins. If two players have the same four of a kind, then the kicker card is decisive.
A straight flush is five consecutive cards of the same suit. If two players have a straight flush, then the highest card wins.
A royal flush consists of a straight from ten to the ace with all five cards of the same suit. A royal flush is exceptionally rare and is, therefore, the most coveted hand in poker.
If two or more players reach a showdown with a hand that is of equal value, then the pot is split, and each remaining player gets the same amount.
The kicker determines who wins a showdown if two players have the same hand. It is not a key component in building the hand, but it can decide who wins if two players have similar hands.
A hand consists of five cards, but only a straight, flush, full house and straight flush use all five cards. However, with hands where not all of the cards are required to make the hand, such as three of a kind or two pairs, the remaining cards can be decisive.