What is Hand Strength in Poker?
In Texas Holdem Poker [NLH] there are two hole-cards or personal cards, similarly in Pot Limit Omaha [PLO] there are four hole-cards or personal cards. In NLH you can take both hole-cards, single card or no cards to make a hand. But in PLO you have to use exactly 2 hole-cards from the four dealt cards to make a hand. The community cards or common cards are same for both the games NLH and PLO, there are 5 community cards. In NLH you can take 3, 4 or all 5 community cards to make your best hand on the other hand in PLO you have to take exactly 3 community cards t o make your hand.
The player whose hand is better wins the game after all the betting rounds have been completed. The winning criteria depends on the players hand-strength which is put here under, first the image and then the explanation followed by a short video that goes through the same hand strength concepts.
Hand strength priority from top to bottom
For the beginners it is advised to keep a image or photo of this poker hand ranking handy. It is pretty easy to be confused in early days, but with the passage of time you will memorize these automatically.
The key here is that a hand is always of 5 cards in both NLH and PLO. Unlike in teen-patti the hand is made with three cards and in rummy the hand is of three or four or more cards. Another important thing I would like to repeat is for NLH you can take no cards, one card or both cards from your hole-cards [personal cards] and in PLO you have to take exactly 2 cards from your four hole-cards.
Hand strength video from bottom to top
Hand Strength Explained
- Nothing : Yes! Even this a possibility in Poker. For example, if every player has no good sequence or a great hand, then the player with the highest card wins.
- Pair : Pairs are considered higher in poker than cards that don’t form any pair. For example, two 2s, two 5s, two Queens, two Aces, and likewise.
- Two Pairs: Having two pairs will lead to having a single pair. This is essentially a double pair. For example- having a pair of 2s and a pair of 7s.
- Three of a Kind : Having three cards of the same number like three 6s is called being three of a kind. They lead over single pairs and double pairs.
- Straight cards : If all your cards form a sequence like 6-7-8-9 then it will lead on any of the above sets. One thing to note here is the usage of the ace card. One can either use it in a higher-order or a lower order. It can be a set of Ace-2-3-4 or Jack-Queen-King-Ace.
- Flush : This is the simplest one. If you have all your cards from the same suit, then you have a flush. For example, you have all your cards from the diamond family, which will lead over any of the pairs or straight sequence cards.
- Full House : A full house in poker means having a hand that contains three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. For example, having 3 Jacks and 2 6s.
- Four of a Kind : This is the most ideal set. For any kind like four aces.
- Straight Flush : A sequence in the same suit has the most chances of winning.
- Royal Flush : This royal flush includes the top sequence (Ace-King-Queen-Jack-Ten) in the same suit.