In Texas Hold ‘Em, you have to make the best 5-card hand out of a possible 7 cards using a mix of your 2 hole cards and the 5 community cards dealt across the flop, turn and river. You can choose to use just one of your hole cards in conjunction with 4 community cards or both of your hole cards and 3 community cards. You could just rely on the five community cards if you have nothing assuming you’re running a bluff given that everyone else will have the same – your kicker (next highest hole card) would determine a winner in this scenario. Winning hands in Texas Hold ‘Em are as follows from best to worst:
1. Royal Flush: A straight from 10 to A with all 5 cards in the same suit – any suit i.e. 10H, JH, QH, KH, AH.
2. Straight Flush: This is a straight with all 5 cards of the same suit (any suit) in order i.e. 4H, 5H, 6H, 7H, 8H.
3. 4-of-a-kind: any 4 cards of the same rank e.g. 6H, 6D, 6S, 6C. Also referred to as ‘quads’. If two players both have 4 of a kind, the highest quad wins. If the quads are of the same value, the highest fifth card, the’kicker’ decides the winner of that hand.
4. Full House: this is any hand that has 3 cards all of the same rank along with two cards of another equal rank e.g QH, QS, QC, JH, JD – this would be ‘queens full of jacks’. If it were 3 jacks and 2 queens, that would be ‘jacks full of queens’ and still be a full house but the earlier hand would win as the higher cards dominate.
5. Flush: this is any 5 cards of the same suit. They don’t have to be consecutive and the highest card in the 5 determines the rank of the flush. For example, AC, 2C, 5C, 10C, 6C would give you an Ace-high flush. Ace-high is the highest ranking flush you can get.
6. Straight: a straight is made up of 5 cards in any suit but in consecutive order e.g. a 6-high straight would be; 2H, 3S, 4D, 5H, 6C. Aces can be used as high or low cards in this instance. In the case of multiple players getting a straight, the straight with the highest cards wins.
7. 3-of-a-kind: also referred to as ‘trips’, this is 3 cards of equal rank supported by the two highest cards available. The highest trip-set wins e.g. AH, AC, AD, KC, QS would be the highest 3-of-a-kind with trip aces and the highest side cards possible.
8. Two pair: this is made up of any two cards of the same rank along with another two cards of the same rank. The highest pair dictates the overall rank of the two pair e.g. AD, AC, KS, KH, 6D would be the highest two pair using aces and kings. The fifth card would come into play in the case of a draw.
9. One pair: a pairing of two cards of the same rank supported by three other cards. The highest ranking pair will determine the winning hand. AH, AD, KS, QC, JD would be the best pair.
10. High card: when there is nothing on the table, the winning hand will come down to the highest card. Ace is the highest but if everyone shares the ace as a community card it will be the highest hole card that determines the winner.