## General Info

In Texas Hold 'Em, hands always consist of 5 cards exactly, no more and no less.

Hands differ in rank (i.e. strength), and the player with the highest-ranking hand wins the game.

A hand is produced by using any of the 5 community cards and 2 hole cards; the player picks the 5 cards out of this total of 7 that allow making up the strongest hand.

Hand strength is determined by the following:

- Firstly, its overall rank (please, see below);
- Secondly, the numerical rank (or value, if you please) of the cards than make it up (please, see further down).

If player 1 has got a Straight, and player 2 a Two Pair, player 1 wins (since a Straight ranks higher than a Two Pair), and the card individual ranks do not matter anyway.

If several players have hands of the same rank, the winner will be the one whose hand is made up of higher-ranking cards. If card ranks are also, in fact, the same, players simply split the pot.

Some of the hands involve a Kicker card, which does not determine the hand rank directly, but can affect its overall value. You can learn more about Kicker cards here: Kicker

## Hand Ranks:

### Royal Flush

A Royal Flush consists of the 5 highest cards of the same suit (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten).

This is the highest possible hand in the entire game, and it is also the rarest; a Royal Flush occurs, on average, once in every 30,939 hands. In fact, a Royal Flush is a Straight Flush of the highest possible rank.

If a Royal Flush is dealt with the 5 community cards, all the players split the pot (and boy will this be a game to remember!).

## Straight Flush

A Straight Flush consists of any 5 cards of the same suit ordered in a sequence (except for the Ace-to-Ten hand, which is the Royal Flush we've outlined above). Here, an Ace may act as both the highest (closing) or the lowest (opening) card of the sequence; that is, you can play a Straight Flush of Ace, Two, Three, Four and Five.

The value of a Straight Flush is determined by the highest card involved; therefore, a Straight Flush ending with a King is valued higher than a Straight Flush ending with an Eight. A Straight Flush of Ace-to-Five is the lowest possible one, since an Ace here is likened to a "One".

Any one given game can only possibly involve a Straight Flush of one suit. If there are 2 players at the same time who have a Straight Flush on their hands, the winner will evidently be the one whose hand is of higher rank (or value). For example, if you have community cards of 5 6 7 8, player 1 has a 4, and player 2 a 9 , player 2 will win, as she has a higher-ranking Straight Flush ending with a Nine: 5 6 7 8 9.

If community cards make up an entire "common" Straight Flush (say, one of 8 9 10 J Qending with a Queen), the pot will be split between players upon showdown—except for the case when one of the players has a К on his hands, which automatically upgrades him hand to a Straight Flush ending with a King: 9 10 J Q К.

Here's an example of a Straight Flush ending with a Five: А 2 3 4 5. Here, an Ace is the beginning of the hand, its rank likened to "One", and a Five is the highest and closing card.

## Four of a Kind

A Four of a Kind, also called Quads, consists, as the name suggests, of 4 cards of the same numerical rank + a Kicker.

The rank of this hand is determined, in the first place, by the four cards that make it up, and only then by the kicker.

In any one given game, there can be no more than two Four of a Kind hands of different rank played; and the winner will be the player who has produced a higher-ranking four. For example: say, we have the community cards of 4 4 9 9 2, player 1's hole cards are 4 4 , and player 2's hole cards are 9 9. Both players have a Four of a Kind on their hands, but player 1 wins, since his hand is made up of Nines rather than Fours.

If a Four of a Kind is made up entirely of community cards, the winner is determined by the Kicker high card; the Kicker, in turn, may be both a card from the table or a player's own hole card (in fact, there may be more than one player with the same available high card). For example: say, our community cards are J 10 J J J, player 1's hole cards are К 2, and player 2's hole cards are 10 5. In this case, both have the same-ranking Four of a Kind, but player 1 will grab the pot because he has a King as his Kicker, which is higher than a Ten.

If the community cards are J J J J А, player 1 has К 2, and player 2 has 10 5, the pot will be split between these players, since they have both produced the same Four of a Kind and used the community Ace as Kicker.

## Full House

A Full House consists of any 3 cards of the same numerical rank (a Three of a Kind, in fact) and a One Pair.

The strength of a Full House is determined by the rank of the triplet first and then by the rank of the remaining pair.

If there are two or more players who have a Full House at their disposal, their hands' ranks are determined first and foremost by the rank of the highest Three of a Kind across all hands. If two players have collected the same Three of a Kind, we turn to the remaining One Pair to determine the winner. For example, a Full House of 3 3 2 2 ranks higher than a Full House of 2 2 2А А; a Full House of J J J 9 9 ranks higher than a Full House of J J J 8 8. Don't forget that a hand consists strictly of 5 cards, no more and no less.

Here's one of the most common of the "tricky" scenarios: say, you have community cards of 7 2 7 9 К , player 1's hole cards are 9 9 (so she has a Full House of Nines and Sevens—9 9 9 7 7), and player 2's hole cards are К 7 (so she has a Full House of Sevens and Kings—7 7 7 К К). Player 1 wins here, as his Full House involves a Three of a Kind of Nines, which is higher than player 2's Three of a Kind of Sevens.

Let's say, our community cards are 7 7 7 6 6, player 1's hole cards are 5 5, and player 2's hole cards are J А; in this case, players will split the pot evenly, since they both have played a Full House of Sevens and Sixes, conveniently made up of the community cards available to both of them. In this specific case, the hole-card pair of 5 5 that player 1 has does not upgrade his hand in any way.

If the community cards are 7 6 7 7 6, player 1's hole cards are 9 9, and player 2's hole cards are J А, it follows that both players have collected a Full House, but player 1's hand ranks higher, as it is a Full House of Sevens and Nines: 7 7 7 9 9.

## Flush

A Flush consists of 5 cards of the same suit in any order.

In any one given game, it is possible to play a Flush hand of only one suit. If there are two or more players with a Flush on their hands, the winner is the one with the highest closing card of the sequence. If the highest card is the same for several players, the second-highest is used to determine the winner, and so on until you get to the 5th card. If all the 5 Flush cards are the same for the players, they split the pot between them.

For example, say, our community cards are 7 6 9К 6, player 1's hole cards are 8 Q, and player 2's hole cards are 6 J; here, player 1 will win because his hand involves cards of higher rank.

With community cards of 7 9 К 8 Q , player 1's hole cards of 3 4, and player 2's hole cards of К 6, the final pot will be split because both players have collected a Flush hand made up entirely of community cards, and player 1's Clubs do not upgrade his hand in any way.

Here's one more example with community cards of 9 7 К 8 Q , player 1's hole cards of 10 3, and player 2's hole cards of К 6. In this case, player 1 wins, since his 10 does indeed upgrade his Flush hand to 8 9 10 Q К. Don't forget that your hand is all about 5 best available cards exactly, no more and no less.

## Straight

A Straight consists of any 5 cards of any suit, but ordered in a row by rank.

Here, an Ace can both open or close the sequence, with one of the potential hands beginning with an Ace and ending with a Five.

The rank of a Straight is determined by the highest card in its makeup; therefore, a Straight ending with a King ranks higher than a Straight ending with an Eight. The Ace-to-Five Straight is considered the lowest, since an Ace here is likened to a "One", which makes Five the highest card.

Here's an example: our community cards are 5 6 7 8, player 1's hole cards include a 9, and player 2's hole cards include a 4.

Player 1 wins, as she has a higher-ranking hand of a Straight ending with a Nine:

If the community cards spell out a "common" Straight (say, a 8 9 10 J Q ending with a Queen), and if no other player can produce a stronger hand, all players will split the pot. However, if any player has a King on their hands, this card will upgrade their hand to a Straight ending with a King, making this player the winner in the end:

Here's a Straight ending with a Five: А 2 3 45. An Ace opens the sequence, with its rank likened to a "One", and a Five closes it as the high card.

## Three of a Kind

A Three of a Kind, also called Set, consists, quite evidently, of 3 cards of the same rank and two other cards, acting as Kickers.

A Three of a Kind's rank is determined firstly by the numerical rank of the cards that make up its triplet and secondly by the high Kicker; should these two criteria fail, the second (low) Kicker is examined.

If there are several players who manage to collect a Three of a Kind at the same time, the winner will be the player to produce the highest-ranking identical three. If the ranks of a Three of a Kind are the same, we turn to the high Kicker (have a look here for more details: Kicker)

If both Kicker ranks turn out the same, players split the pot, like in this example:

Here's another example, with community cards of 9 5 А К 3, player 1's hole cards of 9 9, and player 2's hole cards of 5 5. Player 1 will win with his Three of a Kind of Nines.

Another example, with community cards of 5 8 5 3 9, player 1's hole cards of 3 3, and player 2's hole cards of 5 А. Now, player 2 here has produced a Three of a Kind of Fives, but victory shall go out to player 1, who, in fact, has a higher

**ranking****hand**of a Full House of Threes and Fives: 33 3 5 5.## Two Pair

A Two Pair consists of two pairs of same-ranking cards of any suit and an extra Kicker.

The rank of the two pairs is determined firstly by the highest pair and secondly by the lowest pair; if these do not differ, players' Kickers come into play.

Here's an example: our community cards are 3 5 Q К 8, player 1's hole cards are К 3, and player 2's hole cards are Q 8. Both players have produced a Two Pair of their own, but player 1 wins, since his highest pair is made up of Kings.

Just a quick reminder that you cannot possibly have a "Three Pair" hand, since a hand consists strictly of 5 cards, no more and no less. Our next example involves community cards of К910 5 5, player 1's hole cards of К 2 , and player 2's hole cards of 10 9. Player 1 has produced a Two Pair of Kings and Fives, while player 2 has produced a Two Pair of Tens and Nines. (Mind you, there's technically another "pair" on the table—a pair of Fives—but it is of no use to player 2). So, player 1 will win, as his highest pair (the Kings) ranks higher numerically.

Have a look at this example, too, with community cards of 9 9 10 10 К, player 1's hole cards of 8 8, and player 2's hole cards of Q 8. Both players have produced Two Pair hands of Nines and Tens, and the pot is split evenly, since the "extra" pair of 8 8 that player 1 has does not upgrade his hand in any way.

This scenario is also possible: with community cards of К 7 10 10 7, player 1's hole cards of 8 8, and player 2's hole cards of Q 8, it is player 1 who will be in the money. Player 1 has produces a Two Pair of Tens and Eights (Sevens are not used to enhance his hand), while player 2 has produced a Two Pair of Tens and Sevens only.

## One Pair

A One Pair consists of a pair of cards of the same numerical rank and 3 more Kickers.

A One Pair ranks according to the rank of the cards making it up to begin with, and then is determined by the highest of the 3 Kickers; if these fail, we move on to the second-highest Kicker and then on to the lowest one.

Say, you've got community cards of 10 5 8 Q К, player 1 has 8 2, and player 2 5 7. Player 1 wins with his One Pair of Eights.

## High Card

A High Card is the lowest hand in Texas Hold 'Em.

This hand involves no matches as such, and it is simply about the card of the highest numerical rank, as well as four subsequent Kickers.

So, the ranking order for this hand is, first of all, determined by the highest single card a player can put forward (including a card picked from community cards). Then the highest Kicker is used to determine the winner, and, should it not be enough, we go for the rest of the Kickers one after another until we get to the fourth and the final one. (Remember, we can only consider 5 cards and no more, just as we do with any other poker hand).

Example 1: We have community cards of 2 J 10 9 4, player 1's hole cards are А 7, and player 2's are Q 7.

Here, both players have no hands available but the High Cards, so player 1 wins, since his High Card is a Ace and is superior to player 2's Queen.

Example 2: We have community cards of 8 А К 4 6, player 1's hole cards are 10 2, and player 2's are 9 5.

Again, neither of the players have make up even a One Pair. We examine their High Cards. The community Ace is the High Card for both, and the community King is similarly both players' first Kicker. Now, the second Kicker is a Ten for player 1 and a Nine for player 2, so the win goes out to player 1.

Example 3: We have community cards of К 3 8 J 6, player 1's hole cards are Q 7, and player 2's are Q 5.

There are no matches available to the players. Both of the have the community King as their High Card; then each has a different Queen among their hole cards as the first Kicker; then the second Kicker is the community Jack from the table, and the third is the community Eight.

And player 1 ends up in the lead, since his fourth Kicker is a Seven from his hole cards, while player 2's final Kicker is the community Six.

Example 4: We have community cards of А 2 Q 10 9, player 1's hole cards are К 7, and player 2's are К 3.

Let's compare the players' High Cards. The community Ace is the High Card for both of them, and they both have a King as one of their hole cards to act as the first Kicker; then there's the community Queen as the second Kicker, the community Ten as the third, and the community Nine as the fourth. Looks like an even split of the pot, as both players have the exact same hands!