You must have read the term highest ranking hand in poker. That’s because knowing which is the winning hand in poker is crucial for poker strategy. However, we are often dealt with the cards at the beginning of the game. So we have to know right then what our chances are of winning the game. The best hands in poker have specific characteristics that set them apart from the rest of the deck. Learn more about what makes a hand strong and how to increase your chances of winning next time you are at the tables.
Understanding the Value of Best Hands in Poker
In the poker game, having a strong hand is essential for winning. Poker hands have a clear hierarchy in which one hand beats the others. Knowing these winning poker hand rankings can be the most valuable asset in your strategy. The truth is many poker variants use the same hierarchy as Texas Hold ’em as the most popular game in the poker world.
Having said that, once you receive the cards at the tables, you will know whether or not this is the best hand in poker to play. You must have seen professional players fold before the game even started, and that is because they play safe with the probabilities of their hands. On the other hand, other players might continue the game even if they don’t have good cards. Why? Because anything can happen on the Flop, Turn, and River.
But, there is always a catch when you consider probabilities that increase and decrease depending on your position at the table. As you may know, sitting to the dealer’s left means you are an early player and playing before anyone else, also known as being out of position. On the other hand, if you are the last to play, then you are in place. The latter means that there are many more options for you to play with, as it is the best position to see what everyone else does.
As position plays a significant role in your starting hand than you can easily divide them into categories such as:
- Premium Hands
Hold or Fold Hand Types – The Best Hands in Poker to Play
That doesn’t sound very easy, but it’s not. You must have sat at the table online or offline and stared down at the cards wondering whether or not to fold them right there or continue to hold them just a little bit longer. That’s why poker experts have a few hands that are more than welcome. However, even the best hands can turn around on the River. So look closely at hand types and how they become the best poker hands to play.
A pair is one of the stronger and best hands in poker you can get. They are a pair of the same value and different suites. How you play them depends on a few things, your position at the table and whether you had them pre-flop or post-flop. As you know, the higher the pair’s value, the better your chances of winning the hand.
You might know of the famous poker moments when a professional player had pocket aces, also known as bullets. So what are your odds of getting pocket pairs? In truth, the chances are 0.045%. Yes, it seldom happens, but it does. First, of course, aces alongside queens and kings are premium pairs. Then you have medium teams such as sevens till tens. Finally, you have small pairs like two’s till sixes, and these odds are more likely at 32.43%.
Premium Pairs: Most poker players will use pocket aces to instill their advantage before the flop. Why? Because the more players are in action and the community cards are on the table, they will call the previous player and get a chance to beat your pairs on any of the upcoming streets. The only sure thing is to do this with aces. Otherwise, you risk that the player who has one card higher than yours gets a chance to beat you at the River.
Medium Pairs: Many players will still play even with medium pairs because, in all truth, they can change post-flop. For instance, you might have a pair of tens and post-flop with community cards you get a three-of-a-kind. However, the medium pairs should be raised only if you are in the middle or late position.
Small Pairs: Who ever said small pairs couldn’t win big pots? Yes, they can, but they are a risky and costly business for many players. For instance, if you are in the late position and raise pre-flop, this is the same as a bluff, as it has a slight chance of winning against other players’ better hand should they decide to call. Hence you need another card to strengthen your hand and secure that win.
Suited gappers are two cards of the same suit in your hand but missing one rank in between. For instance, you hold a king and jacks and are missing a queen in the same suite. This hand is specific because one gapper like this can succeed on the flop and become a valuable disguised hand.
On the contrary, a two-gapper missing two cards can be risky because it might not get a meaningful match after the flop or turn. Gappers are best hands in poker only when the cards are not too low, and the price for playing at the table is correct.
As with gappers, the suited connectors are cards from the same suite without missing a card in between. For example, there are two cards next to each other in rank, ten and jack. The truth is that connectors can reveal a disguised hand post-flop and make up a straight with a 4.63% probability or flush, which has a 3.03% probability. It’s why many players don’t give up on this hand. However, just as with gappers, the hand has its own risk if it doesn’t turn out to be what you expected. That is why many players play safe only if they are in the position or last to play to bet on such hands.
More Premium Hands
There are best hands in poker in cards such as pairs of jacks, ace, and a king, ace, and queen. As they are valuable cards, the players are often discouraged from letting them go, thinking they will make a strong hand later. However, if they do not match with cards on the table post-flop, then they risk getting beaten by the small pairs.
Ultimately, what hands you play and how you play them depends on the table, your opponents, your position, and your experience. The truth is that many professional players lose much more often than you think, but it’s their experience and reading the table that helps them make better decisions. So before you play your next game, think about your odds and opponents before you employ tactics.