Texas Hold ‘Em is a variation of classic Poker gameplay, meaning that, while the mechanics of the game may differ from more traditional variants like Five Card Draw or Seven Card Stud, the strategies of the game remain largely unchanged.
In the simplest terms, the goal of Texas Hold ‘Em is to repeatedly assemble the best five-card hand at the table. Texas Hold ‘Em Hands, therefore, are judged and ranked in traditional Poker fashion. The best hand a player can compile is a Royal Flush, or a hand of 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, all in the same suit. From there, hands rank as follows (from best to worst): Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair and High Card.
A ‘flush’ refers to a hand that contains five different cards of the same suit. If two players bet until the end of a hand and both reveal a flush, they will always split the pot. No suit is considered ‘better’ than another and no flush can beat a similar hand unless it is also a straight. In a straight, the cards count up in a five-number series with no breaks (e.g., 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7). The cards can be compiled from any suit, and the highest straight (the one that begins or ends on the highest card) wins.
Four, three and two of a kind hands are self-explanatory: they are hands that include more than one of the same number card, so four aces, three tens, or two kings are examples of each. A full house combines a three of a kind with a two of a kind for a superior hand, and is identified in a very specific manner. For example, if the hand includes three kings and two nines, the full house will be referred to as ‘nines full of kings.’ If two or more players present full houses at the end of a hand, the one with the highest three of a kind wins, regardless of the two cards surrounding it.
Finally, a high card hand will only be victorious if no players can present any of the above hands. In high card situations, a 2 is considered low and an ace is considered high.