If you’re new to Texas Hold’em, you might be wondering how it’s possible to tell the best Texas Hold’em hands apart from the rest of the pack. How can you know if you have the best hand, or if someone else has something better? The answer lies in poker hands, with this list of six best Texas Hold’em hands ranking some of the most useful hands to have in your repertoire if you want to win.
1) Straight Flush
In a classic five-card poker hand, a straight flush is four cards of one suit and another card in a different suit. For example, 8♥ 9♥ 10♥ J♣ Q♦ would be an ace-high straight flush. Suits aren’t considered in straight flushes: all you need is five cards of consecutive ranks regardless of suit for it to count as a straight flush. And yes, straights and flushes can overlap: it’s possible to have two straights or two flushes at once! The best way to think about straights and flushes is as follows: Aces play high regardless of what other suits they might belong to, so an ace always works as an ace regardless of what other cards are present.
If you’re lucky enough to have four of a kind, hold onto those cards! A full house might be great, but it can’t beat four-of-a-kind. Even a straight flush would come up short against a player holding four of a kind. With that said, there are also some times when you should fold if you have four of a kind. For example, if an opponent has pocket kings and is drawing to his own royal flush, holding those kings isn’t going to help. In fact, it may only lead them to beat you with their own hand. In situations like these, folding helps protect your winnings and can put more money in your pocket for later hands – if not immediately then eventually!
3) Full House
A full house is a hand that consists of 3 of a kind and a pair. In other words, it’s a hand with five cards that combine into a three-of-a-kind and two kicker cards. For example, if you have 4-4-5-5-10, your full house is J♦ J♣ 9♥ 9♠ 10♥. In many ways, full houses are considered one of the best starting hands at Texas hold ’em.
A flush is a straight hand in which all five cards are of one suit, but it is possible for them to be different suits. The Ace may be played high or low. If you have four cards of one suit and one card of another, it’s called a minor flush. For example, if you have two Diamonds, two Hearts, and an Ace of Spades, it’s considered a minor flush. Some poker games consider only straights where all cards are of different suits as flushes; others recognize both forms as flushes.
If you have two cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, it’s a Two Pair. If they’re both pairs, it’s a four-of-kind. For example, if you have ace-2 and 4-5 of clubs, those are two pairs: one pair is 2s and 4s of clubs, and another pair is aces. In total, that means you have four cards in your hand that will count as points in your poker hand.
6) Two Pair
In a two-pair hand, you have two cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. For example, if you have A-A and 5-5, that’s a pair of aces and a pair of fives. If your opponents also have two pairs, it comes down to the highest pair. So if your opponents both have AA and you have an AA in addition to 4-4, congratulations: You won’t win any money from them but you do beat four jacks or four tens. When it’s only you against everyone else, however—or when no one raises before betting is complete—the highest pairs wins. In poker lingo, that means they beat every other hand at the table in terms of value received from an eventual showdown.