Of course, poker ultimately is a game of complete chance like all other casino games, playing against the other players rather than the house. It completely depends on the luck of the hand and how fortunate you are with the dealing of the cards. However, there is also a way to win with a bad hand; bluffing. If you manage to bluff your way through the hand and convince the other players that you, for sure, have the winning hand then they are more likely to fold and allow you to walk away with the pot. Saying that, this skill is useless if you don’t have the knowledge to actually understand how good your hand is.
- Call – A call is when you match the current bet on the table since the last time you placed a bet.
- Raise – Raising is when you bet enough to match initially but then you increase the amount of the bet. In essence, it is mostly a way of indicating that you believe you have the winning hand and want to increase your winnings.
- Fold – A fold is a player dropping out of the hand because they do not believe that there is any possibility of them winning the hand. It also means that you do not have to put any money into the pot.
- Check – Checking is essentially calling when you don’t owe anything to the pot.
The Ranking Of Hands
It’s not always appearing confident with the lingo in poker that will lead players into thinking that you have the best hand, you must also be able to walk the walk. This means knowing which hands are the best. So, we’ve listed them in ascending order for you:
If nobody has a pair or better, then the highest card wins. However, if there is a tie for the highest card, then the second highest is taken into account and so on. The High Card can also be used to break ties when the best hands have the same type of hand.
This hand is when a player has one pair with three distinct cards. An example of this, to illustrate, is if you are holding a 9 (Diamonds) and a 9 (Hearts). You could also get a pair by pairing one of the cards you are holding with a card from the flop. So, for example, if the flop is made up of a King (Hearts), a 3 (Spades) and a 6 (Diamonds) but you have a King (Diamonds) and a Queen (Spades), you would have one pair as you can couple the two Kings together.
This is when you have two clear pairs of cards as well as a 5th card. Then the highest pair takes the hand. However, if two hands have the same pair, it goes to the second pair. If this still doesn’t outline a winner, the highest card wins.
Three Of A Kind
Three cards of any suit with two cards that are not a pair is called Three Of A Kind. Then, the highest three of a kind wins. Again, if both hands have the same rank then the high card wins.
5 cards in order is called a flush (but they must be different suits or it becomes a straight flush). For example, the hand could be 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. In this instance, an ace can be either high or low. The thing to remember with this hand, though is that you cannot have a ‘wraparound’. This is where you get something like K, Ace, 2, 3, 4. Also, when a straight ties, the highest straight wins unless they have the same value. In this instance, the pot is split between the two players.
A Flush is a hand that has cards all from the same suit. For example, if you had a 5, King, 9, 6 and 3 of diamonds, you would have a flush. With this hand like every other, when the flushes tie, you must decide who wins with the High Card.
A Full House is similar to a three of a kind, but it also has a pair. Ties are broken by the three of a kind rule and then pair. Therefore, King, King, King, 2, 2 beats Queen, Queen, Queen, Ace, Ace.
Four Of A Kind
This is where a player has four cards of the same rank. When two or more hands qualify, the higher ranking of the hands wins.
A straight flush is a straight where the cards are all part of the same suit, and it is the best natural hand that a player can get. However, a straight flush is made up of 5 cards in order, where they are all from the same suit. So a straight flush could be a 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of diamonds. However, the highest natural hand that you can get in a game of poker is a Royal Flush. This is an ace high straight flush (Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten of the same suit).
Now that you know more about how to play poker, you can use your knowledge to dazzle the dealers at your local casinos as well as the fellow players. So, why not try out your new-found poker knowledge today?