An Insight into Poker HandsFollowing are brief descriptions of the different poker hands, applicable to all poker variants. The hands are listed in the best to worst order.
Royal flush – This is easily the best possible hand you can get in any type of poker game. A Royal flush comprises of a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, all belonging to the same suit. The probability of getting a Royal Flush is 1 in 650,000. So, consider yourself super lucky if you do get one! You may never get it again in this lifetime!
Straight flush – Any card combination having a sequence of cards belonging to the same suit is called a straight flush. Hence, a hand of 8, 9, 10, Jack and Queen of spades would be considered a straight flush. The chances of getting a straight flush are 1 in 65,000.
Four of a kind – Getting a hand comprising of 4 cards of the same value, for instance, 8, 8, 8 and 8, constitutes a four of a kind. The probability of getting such a hand is 1 in 4000.
Full house – This is a hand consisting of a pair and a three of a kind, for example, a 7, 7, 7 and a Jack, Jack. The chances of getting such a hand are 1 in 3700.
Flush – Getting five cards belonging to the same suit, but not necessarily in a sequence, is considered a flush. For instance, 6, 8, 9, Ace and Jack of hearts is a flush. The probability of getting such a combination is 1 in 500.
Straight – Getting five cards in a sequence, not necessarily of the same suit, is considered a straight hand. For example, a hand consisting of 8 of hearts, 9 of diamonds, 10 of hearts, Jack of clubs and Queen of spades, would be treated as a straight hand. The chances of getting a straight hand is 1 in 250
Three of a kind – Getting any three cards of the same value in a hand is considered a three of a kind, for instance, a 10, 10 and 10, and any other two cards. The probability of getting such a hand is 1 in 50.
Two pair – Getting two separate pairs in a particular hand is referred to as a two pair, for instance, a Queen, Queen, 5, 5 and any other card. There’s a 1 in 20 chance that you may get such a hand.
Pair – A hand consisting of at least two cards of the same value is treated as a pair, for example, a 9, 9 and any other 3 cards. There’s a 1 in 2 chance that you may get this type of hand.
Junk – A poker hand that doesn’t have any of the above detailed combinations is considered a ‘garbage’, ‘nothing’ or a ‘junk’ hand. It has almost zero chances of winning, unless of course everyone at the table gets garbage hands too. In that case, the person with the highest card/s would win the game.
Wild cards – Any article on poker hands would be incomplete if it skips the mention of wild cards! Poker games featuring wild cards can completely change the complexion of the hands, blowing even the supposedly best poker hands away! Inclusion of wild cards significantly increases the chances of getting even the toughest hands!