When it comes to gamepay, up to 9 players can play the game at the same time. If the game is played between two players, it is called ‘Heads-up’. If there are from three to six players, it is called ‘Short Handed’. Finally, ‘Long Table’ or ‘Full Ring’ comprises the game with 6 players or more.
Texas Hold’em is one of the most positional versions of poker, and the betting order is fixed during all rounds post-flop. The game is frequently played worldwide, although other poker versions like Omaha hold’em may be more common in some countries. In this Texas Hold’em winning hands review, we will focus on the best combinations to win in this game.
How Do You Play Texas Hold’em – Rules
Like in other poker versions, the objective in Texas Hold ’em is to draw a 5-card winning hand. However, some of the rules of poker may differ from one game version to another. For instance, in Texas Hold’em, there’s a difference in the way players form their hands. To start with, each player is dealt two cards facing down.
Then, over several rounds, five cards are face up on the table for any player to use in combination with their own cards. Just for your information, this game can be played on most real money online poker sites in the UK, where you’ll be able to experience all that we are explaining from a practical perspective.
Keep in mind that your goal is to form your Texas Hold’em poker winning hands using the best available five cards out of the seven cards in total. That is to say, your two cards and the five community cards. The community cards that we have just mentioned are dealt in three stages:
- The Flop: These are the first three community cards.
- The Turn: This is the fourth community card.
- The River: Name for the fifth community card.
This can be done by using your two cards combined with three community cards, one hole card (‘hole’ meaning ‘owned’ card) combined with four community cards, or with no hole cards. As you can see, you can do without your hole cards if the five community cards lead to a better combination.
The ‘big blind’ is equal to the minimum bet, and the ‘small blind’ is usually half the big blind. Hold’em is played using small and big blind bets, although forced contributions (Antes) may also be used. A dealer button, which rotates clockwise, is used to represent the player in the dealer position. This button changes the dealer’s position and the blinds.
The small blind is posted by the player to the left of the dealer, and the big blind is posted by the player to the left of the small blind. In tournaments, the blind and ante structures increase as the competition progresses. After one betting round is fulfilled, the next one will start with the person in the small blind.
With a little bit of luck and knowledge, you could be able to form one of the craziest poker hands. When only two players remain, the blinds are posted in a different way. In this case, the player with the dealer button posts the small blind, and their opponent places the big one.
Some casinos allow the player to the left of the big blind to post a straddle. A straddle bet is an optional blind bet carried out by a player after the small and big blinds have been posted, but before cards are dealt. A straddle bet usually doubles the big blind amount, which causes the player to go for the big blind and have the option to raise when their turn comes again.
Winning Hands Texas Hold’em
You can do whatever works best for you to get to the winning Texas Hold’em hands. If all players but one fold, the remaining player wins the pot with no need to show any cards. This is the reason why poker players do not always have to hold the best hand to win the game.
This situation can be achieved by ‘bluffing’, meaning to induce the other players to believe that you have good cards, getting them to fold better hands than yours. If two or more players make it to the showdown, the only way to win is to have the highest-ranking hand. Have a look at the ten best winning hands in Texas Hold’em in order below:
- High Card – Five unmatched cards: ♥10 ♣️4 ♦️7 ♠️ K ♠2
- Pair – Two cards of one kind: ♠7 ♦7 ♣2 ♥5 ♥3
- Two Pairs – Two pairs of cards of one kind: ♥ K ♥ K ♣6 ♦6 ♦5
- Three of a Kind – Three cards of one kind: ♦ Q ♣ Q ♠ Q ♣5 ♣3
- Straight – Five sequenced cards of any suit: ♠2 ♣3 ♦4 ♣5 ♠6
- Flush – Five cards of the same suit: ♦ A ♦ K ♦9 ♦5 ♦2
- Full House – Three cards of one kind and a pair: ♥ Q ♣ Q ♦ Q ♠2 ♥2
- Four of a Kind – Four cards of one kind: ♠3 ♥3 ♣3 ♦3 ♦2
- Straight Flush – Five sequenced cards of the same suit: ♣2 ♣3 ♣4 ♣5 ♣6
- Royal Flush – The best combination is a straight flush to the ace in the same suit: ♦10 ♦ J♦ Q ♦ K ♦ A
In case the best hand is shared, the pot is split equally among the players, with any extra chips going to the first players after the button in clockwise order. It is common to get closely valued, but not identically ranked hands. If there are fewer than five cards in the hand, then kickers are used to settle ties.
A kicker, or side card, is a card in poker which does not participate in determining the rank of the hand. On the contrary, it can be used to unequal hands of the same rank. The card’s numerical rank is the only significant factor here, suit values are indifferent. Having arrived at this last stage, there can now be a winner.
Best Strategies to Follow
Most poker experts recommend playing few hands, but betting and frequently raising with those opponents that play aggressive. Nearly all the experts agree that a player’s sitting position when playing is a significant element of strategy. This is because the players who act later have more information than the rest. Consequently, players usually play fewer hands from early positions.
Since Texas Hold’em is a complex game, it has received some attention from academics. There is a quantitative study model of a Texas Hold’em tournament that had success. Besides, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Alberta worked to develop poker programs that use artificial intelligence and game theory techniques.
In 2015, the University of Alberta coded Cepheus, a computer program that can learn from its playing experience. Thus, it optimises its algorithm and approach to playing at close to perfection against high-level players in one-versus-one (heads-up) Texas Hold ’em. If you want to improve your poker playing, you’ll be happy to know that it is possible to play against Cepheus online.
If you really like poker, you could learn about casino poker rules and strategies online. As obvious as it sounds, the more you know, the higher the chances to win are. However, do not forget that online PvP poker is considered a mix of game of chance and a game of skill, so there’s no definite outcome.
Best Texas Hold’em Poker Winning Hands Tips
If you are a novice player, you should start with the basics. Not only the first steps are the easiest ones to learn, but they are essential to understand the gameplay. We have prepared 10 tips for Texas Hold’em newcomers. Whether you are completely new at poker, or an inexperienced player, we suggest that you read them in the table below:
|😠 Play Fewer Hands Aggressively
|As we mentioned before, experts recommend playing a low range of strong hands.
|⛔ Don’t Limp First
|If you call the big blind preflop first, you won’t be able to win the pot before the flop and you’ll face multiple players.
|🃏 Bluff Effectively
|Let your cards lead you to bluff or not. If they have outs to improve, go for the bluff. Otherwise, folding is a better idea.
|⏩ Play Your Strong Hands Fast
|If you play slowly, you’ll look afraid. If you have a good hand, you’ll be interested in building the pot, so react quickly.
|🐺 Attack When You See Weakness
|An opponent’s weakness is usually shown when they check their cards multiple times, especially during the flop and the turn. Thus, it would be a good time to bluff.
|😕 Unsure? Take One Step Back
|With bad hands, it’s obvious that you should fold, but also when you’re unsure whether to bet or raise versus to fold or call. Better safe than sorry.
|✔️ With Right Hands Defend Big Blinds
|If you are sitting in the big blind and faced, you’ll have better pot odds. Consequently, you’ll be able to call other positions since you will be the last person to act preflop.
|🔥 Don’t Worry About Survival at the Start
|In the beginning, you should play aggressively to build up a significant pot. Later on in the game, survival becomes more important, especially if you’re short-stacked.
|🥇 Choose the Right Table
|You don’t want to play against more experienced players than you. Choose a table where players are not as good as you, or, at least, where they are at the same level.
|🧠 Remember: It’s a Game
|Poker is supposed to be fun. Therefore, you should play when you feel like it. If you feel fatigued, frustrated or any other type of negative emotion, you should stop playing. Play responsibly.
Despite its complexity, learning how to play Texas Hold’em poker is not that difficult, thanks to the simple nature of its rules. Nevertheless, there is a huge number of combinations. Consequently, memorising and knowing all the possible situations might be the hardest part of the game. Keep in mind that, as it happens with everything, the more you play, the more you learn.
You can even try some free demo versions in the wide range of poker online casinos in the UK. We suggest trying the best Hold’em sites for UK players which is a bit different than PvP poker, but still has a lot in common. Mind that Hold’em is different from Texas Hold’em since it requires participants to play against the dealer, not against themselves.
This article has now come to an end. We have answered the question ‘What are the winning hands in Texas Hold’em?’, among other aspects. However, some other doubts might pop up when reading this post. Don’t worry because you can broaden the information with our frequently asked questions below. We hope that you find them helpful.