Game goal and Hand rankings

In Texas Holdem, players sit around a table and attempt to create the best 5-card poker hand using any combination of two private cards, called the "hole" cards, and five community cards. However, the goal of the game is not actually to be the player with the highest ranked poker hand from the start of the game. The true goal of Texas Holdem, in fact, is only to make all of the other players think that you have the highest poker hand. This can be achieved by bluffing with your body language and attitude in a live poker game and bluffing with your betting patterns when you play online.

When a player thinks that your hand is higher then they will fold and drop out of the game, leaving you to win, even if they actually had the upper hand! With proper technique, you can end the game with the highest hand, even if other players were initially dealt better hands than you. Remember that you don't have to be the player with the best 5-card hand from the start. You simply have to hold the best 5-card hand at the end of the game, after other players have folded and dropped out.

If you want to win at Texas Holdem then it's important to understand how the hands are ranked. From highest to lowest, poker hands are ranked as follows:

  1. Royal Flush -A straight that includes 10-Jack-Queen-King-Ace, all of the same suit.
  2. Straight Flush -A straight of 5 cards that share the same suit (for example, 3-4-5-6-7 of Hearts).
  3. Four-of-a-Kind -Four cards of the same rank and one additional card (for example, 5-5-5-5-A).
  4. Full House -Three-of-a-Kind plus a pair (for example, A-A-A-6-6).
  5. Flush -Five cards of the same suit, in no particular order (for example, 2-4-5-8-J of Diamonds).
  6. Straight -Five cards in sequential order, with no regard to suit. It is important to note that in a straight an Ace can serve as a high card or a low card (for example, A-2-3-4-5 OR 10-J-Q-K-A).
  7. Three-of-a-Kind -Three cards of the same rank and any two other cards (for example, 5-5-5-3-2).
  8. Two Pair -Two pairs and any other card (for example, A-A-6-6-3).
  9. One Pair -Two cards of the same rank and any three other cards (for example, 4-4-7-8-K).
  10. High Card -If you don't have any of the hands above then the highest card in your hand will determine your rank. In the showdown, if you are up against another player without one of the above hands who has a high card of 10 and you have a King in your hand then you will win.