There are many ways to learn poker, but the starting point is almost always the same – you need to remember the poker hand rankings and the seniority of combinations.

One of the reasons for the nationwide love for poker is the simplicity of the rules. Understanding them is not difficult and requires minimal effort. We’re going to show you how to remember poker hands by explaining each one completely.

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Poker is also good because the poker hand rankings are the same in no-limit Texas Holdem, pot-limit Omaha, draw poker, and several other variants of the game. Let's go through all the poker hands in ascending order.

High Card. In the hierarchy of poker hands, a high hand is the weakest. It basically means that you have not connected with the community cards in any way. Now the strength of your hand is based on the value of your cards individually.

If none of the opponents hit a match at showdown, the winner is determined by the highest card in their hand. For example, we have A6 and our opponent has KQ. The board is 2789J. Neither player hit the board, so the pot goes to the holder of the highest card—the Ace.

Remember this point about poker hand rankings: This is why hands with an Ace are valued – they can win even without hitting the board.

Pair. This is the easiest poker combination to remember. Cards of the same value in your hand and on the board form a pair. If we have A6 and the flop is 269, we hit a pair of sixes. In poker there are top pairs and overpairs. If we had A9 instead of A6, we would have the top pair of nines. Matching the board's highest card always results in top pair.

Sometimes players are dealt a pocket pair preflop. If we have TT and the flop is 269, we have an overpair because a ten is higher than any board card.

Two Pairs. If both your hole cards match the community cards, you have two pair. A6 in your hand and a flop of A69 gives you two pair. Professional players often refer to two pairs as a "doper". In most situations, having two pair is a strong hand to stack off with.

Sometimes two pairs will be one of your cards matching a paired board. For example, A6 on a flop of 622. Formally, this is two pair, but much weaker than the first example. Play this type of two pair cautiously and remember that everyone at the table has the pair of 2s, but someone could have a 2 in their hand, making three-of-a-kind.

Set/Trips/Three-of-a-Kind. A combination of a pocket pair and a third card of the same value on the board forms a set. If we have 22 and the flop is 28J, we have a set. Inexperienced players confuse sets and trips.

Trips are also called three of a kind, but are formed differently: two matching cards on the board plus one of yours.

Sets are better disguised than trips and more profitable. Opponents pay off trips less readily, and you may lose to a higher trips. Especially if you hit trips and your opponent has a full house.

Straight. Five consecutive cards form a straight. For example, we have 78 and the board is 9T6. We made a straight. Suits are irrelevant. The ace plays a special role in straights. It can complete the strongest TJQKA straight and the weakest A2345 straight.

Flush. Five cards of the same suit form a flush. If we have As6s and the flop brings 3 more spades (2s7s9s), we have a flush. A flush can also be made using just one of your cards. Rarely, the entire board will be the same suit, forming a flush on its own.

Full House. A full house is a combination of a pair and a set (three of a kind). If we have A6 and the flop is A66, we have a full house. You can also make a full house with a pocket pair. If we have 66 and the board is AA6, we also have a full house. When multiple players have a full house, the rank of the three of a kind is compared first, then the pair.

Four of a kind. Four cards of the same rank form quads. If we have 77 and the board is 7710, we have quads. Quads can also be made using one of your cards.

Straight flush. Five consecutive cards of the same suit make a straight flush. If we have 6s7s and the board runs out 8s9s5s2d7c, we have a straight flush. This is the second strongest hand in No Limit Texas Hold'em.

Royal Flush. The absolute best poker hand. A royal flush is a straight flush containing a 10, J, Q, K, and A, all of the same suit. Not all professional players make a royal flush even once in their careers.

Playing at micro-stakes can be a great way to solidify these poker hand rankings in your mind. For a few dollars, you can play real money poker for practice, while barely investing more than a cup of coffee.

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There is a special branch of poker generally called "low games". The sequence of streets and betting is the same as in standard poker variants, but the worst hand wins instead of the best. The most popular low variant is Omaha Hi-Lo. The key difference from regular Omaha is that at showdown, the pot is split between the best high hand and the best low hand. Sometimes one player will scoop the entire pot by having the best high and low.

Low games also include lowball and 2-7 single draw. In lowball, the goal is to make the worst possible hand. The ideal hand is 2-3-4-5-7 offsuit. In single draw, players can exchange cards, but otherwise the rules resemble lowball.

Short deck poker also alters the standard poker hand rankings slightly. Short deck is played with 36 cards and flushes are harder to make than full houses, so a flush ranks above a full house.

Types Of Poker Games You Should Know About
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The easy way to memorize poker combinations is to print out a list of the rankings and post it on your wall. Seeing the rankings clearly helps commit them to memory faster, especially if you play online. Discussing hands with other players also helps a lot. Thousands of players do this daily on our forum – both amateurs and pros.

Another easy way to remember poker hands is to use a special poker calculator. These constantly deal with matrices of starting hands and potential combinations. The most popular poker calculator is Flopzilla. Its user-friendly interface and wide array of useful tools make it the top choice.

Many poker fans quickly memorize the hand rankings and immediately start practicing. We offer a fully updated list of freerolls to everyone and there are thousands of dollars worth of free tournaments every day.

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