# Poker rules for beginners

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#### Mark | Poker Articles, Poker Rules

In this post I will give a more detailed description of each of the poker hands I listed in my previous post, but first a couple of introductory remarks. In Texas Hold’em and most other poker variants a hand consists of 5 cards. The player with the best 5 cards wins the pot. Here are some additional general rules:

· Individual cards are ranked A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8 , 7 , 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A. Aces are only low when they appear in a 5 high straight or straight flush (A-2-3-4-5)

· Suits (e.g. Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades ) have no value. This means for example that a flush in hearts is just as good as a flush in spades

Here’s the more detailed description of the individual possible poker hands:

Royal Flush

An ace-high straight [A-K-Q-J-10] with all cards being the same suit, this is the mother of all poker hands. The probability of getting a royal flush is 0,00015%. In other words a royal flush comes along once in 649740 hands! Many poker sites offer significant bonuses to players who get royal flushes.

Straight Flush

5 cards in a sequence [for example 10-9-8-7-6] with all cards being the same suit. As with the regular straight a king-high straight flush [K-Q-J-10-9] beats a queen-high straight flush [Q-J-10-9-8] which beats a jack-high straight flush and so on. The probability of getting a straight flush is 0,0015% which means that you can expect to see one once every 64974 hands.

Four of a Kind

Also known as quads. As usual the indivual card ranks determine the winning quads. If two players share the same quads, the fifth card (the kicker) will decide who wins the pot, the bigger card the better. The probability of getting quads is 0,024% so you will only have to wait 4061 hands to see one.

Full house

Also known as full boat or simply boat. A full house consists of 3 matching cards with one rank together with 2 matching cards of another rank (for example 7-7-7-6-6 which is known as a full house “sevens over sixes”). The hand with the highest set of three wins; 8-8-8-2-2 beats 5-5-5-A-A. If two players share the same set of three, the player with the higher pair wins. The probability of getting a full house is 0,14% which makes it a less than “one in a thousand hand” (1 in 694 to be precise)

Flush

A flush is made up of any 5 cards with the same suit. The highest of the 5 cards gives the flush its name (e.g. queen-high flush, ace-high flush etc.). Determining the winning hand between the players holding flushes with the same high card can be tricky, so pay attention:-). If both hands have the same highest card, then the second-highest ranking card is compared, and so on until a difference is found. If the two flushes contain the same five ranks of cards, they are tied. The probability of getting a flush is only slightly better than a full house, namely 0,20% or 1 in 509.

Straight

A straight is 5 cards in sequential rank but in more than one suit (otherwise it would be a straight flush). As mentioned before, straights are described by their highest card as in a “9-high straight” [9-8-7-6-5]. A straight cannot made from both sides of an ace as in [Q-K-A-2-3]. This means that the lowest straight is A-2-3-4-5 and the highest straight is 10-J-Q-K-A. The probability of getting a straight is 0,39% or 1 in 255.

Three of a kind

Also known as trips or a set. In Texas Hold’em the set refers to the combination of a pocket pair (two hole cards of the same rank) and a third card of the same rank among the community cards (more about community and hole cards in “Learning the poker rules and how to play Texas Hold’em_Part 3″). If two players share the same three of a kind, the remaining two cards (the kicker’s) determine the winner; [3-3-3-A-2] beats [3-3-3-K-Q] which beats [3-3-3-K-J] and so on. Three of a kind is the first hand with a probability over 1%, namely 2,1% or 1 in 47.

Two pair

Two pairs consist of two cards with the same rank together with two more cards of the same rank (but not the same rank as the first pair, in this case you have quads). When comparing two two pair hands, the two pair hand with the highest pair wins. If two players share the same high pair, the player with the highest low pair wins. If two players share the same two pairs, the remaining card determines the winner; [3-3-5-5-K] beats [3-3-5-5-10] which beats [3-3-5-5-6] and so on. The probability of getting two pairs is 4,75% or 1 in 21.

One pair

Not much need for explanation on this one. One pair is two cards of the same rank. In a showdown the highest pair wins. As usual if two players share the same pair, it’s down to the kickers to determine the winner. Most poker hands are won with one pair outranking another. The probability of getting one pair is 42,26% or just under 1 in 2.

High Card

High card is basically 5 cards that do not match in any way to form any of the hands explained above. However, you will be surprised how many showdowns are won with the best high card hand. When comparing two high card hands you start by comparing the highest card. If both hands have the same highest card, then the second-highest ranking card is compared, and so on until a difference is found

In my next post I will start explaining the specific gameplay of Texas Hold’em

· When determining the winning hand, hands are first ranked by category; then by individual card ranks. Thus a full house will always beat a flush no matter how good the flush is.

This post belong to the following series:

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