There are various theories on what the best hand in poker should be, but some consider a suited ace-queen to be the strongest starting hand – often known as Little SLick or Big Chick.
Connector hands such as AKs, KQs, QJs and JTs can play well from most positions and may make straights and flushes that lead to additional pots won.
Royal Flush hands are considered the ultimate poker hand, featuring Ace, King, Queen and Jack all from one suit – it can even beat Straight Flush, Four-of-a-Kind and Full House hands! Therefore they often make appearances in movie scenes that feature poker.
Pocket Aces Suited (known as “the nuts”) is considered an extremely strong pre-flop poker hand that will typically defeat other two pair or AK suited hands in raised and re-raised pots, often creating tilt from opponents while increasing pot size.
Straight Flush: This poker hand consists of five cards of one suit that have been sequenced consecutively into a sequence – no matter what their suit might be – in consecutive order. A Straight Flush is one of the three strongest poker hands; only Royal Flush and Four-of-a-Kind rank higher.
An Ace-King combination is a solid starting hand in pre-flop poker, but can easily be defeated by higher-ranking hands like AK-QQ and KK (suited). When faced with larger bets when in late position, increase your bets in order to preserve this hand.
Whenever two players hold poker hands with equal ranks, a side card known as a kicker can come into play to determine who will emerge victorious. Kickers are used to break ties for four of a kind hands, three of a kind hands, two pair and high card hands where both have equal odds.
Three of a Kind
Three of a Kind, commonly referred to as Sets or Trips in poker terminology.
General consensus holds that middle strength poker hands, but these can still be overcome by stronger pairs or flushes.
Three of a Kind beats Pair hands, Two-pair hands and High Card poker hands; it cannot defeat Straight Flush or Royal Flush hands however.
Starting poker hand AK suited is a strong starting hand that can be played from any position. But be wary of players with stronger hands like KK who may raise you – in such instances it may be best to fold. Doing so will increase your odds of success as well as protect your bankroll from a potential bad beat.
Four of a Kind
If you hold pocket aces before the flop, it’s always worthwhile raising. This is particularly important if there has been heavy pre-flop action and you have enough of a stack in play to increase.
Four of a Kind (aka Four of Diamonds or Clubs or diamonds and Clubs, etc) is the second-best poker hand, though it may be overtaken by higher hands depending on their denominations. For example, JJJJ will defeat all other four of a kind hands with lower cards (e.g. A Clubs or A Diamonds).
Quads can be an engaging poker hand to play and often cause much drama in the pot. When making decisions regarding whether or not to raise or call with your quad hand, keep the following things in mind: game variant, board texture and kicker as these may all play into whether your raise or call; kickers also help break ties between hands of equal rank so the winner may be determined more easily.
Full House (Three of a Kind and Two Pair) is one of the strongest hands in poker, though it may still be outmatched by four-of-a-kind hands or straight flushes.
Order is important when it comes to full house hands, but rank or denomination matters more. For instance, Aces Full of Kings beat any full house hand with lower ranks like Kings Over or Queens Over.
When Mike holds pocket kings and Laura holds an ace-king suit, Laura wins due to their pair kicker; however, this does not indicate superior full house holdings as suits do not factor into full house hands; only denomination of three-of-a-kind counts towards full houses.