The 6 most powerful poker hands

In today’s article, we will discuss the most powerful poker hands in Texas Hold’em. But, before we get into the subject, we should point out that the real power and potential of our hand is not only in the cards, but in our mind. 

While it is true that Texas Holdem is in itself a form of poker with established rules set by an order of hands and betting cycles, we are facing a game that requires great mental agility, mathematical knowledge, emotional management, foresight and anticipation, to which we should add the component of chance, as in any other game. In other words, Texas Holdem requires skill.  

But when determining which poker hands are the strongest, it is convenient not only to look at the hierarchy of combinations to create powerful poker hands with which to beat the opponents in the showdown, but also to establish the strength of our hand with the player cards we have to combine with the community cards in Texas Hold’em games.

Therefore, when determining the strength of poker hands, the order is elementary from both prisms: from the player cards (player hand or starting hand), and from the final hand, which contains the two player cards and takes into account the flop, the turn and the river.

When determining which poker hands are the strongest, it is convenient not only to look at the hierarchy of combinations to create powerful poker hands with which to beat the opponents in the showdown, but also to establish the strength of our hand with the player cards that we have to combine with the community cards in Texas Hold’em games.

Therefore, when determining the strength of poker hands, the order is elementary from both prisms: from the player cards (player hand or starting hand), and from the final hand, which contains the two player cards and takes into account the flop, the turn and the river.

Which poker hands are the strongest?

The best poker hands with which a player can start the game preflop are the following:

  • A A. A pair of aces is a dream start. It is the best possible hand. In the jargon it is known as American Airlines. It lends itself to a textbook preflop raise.
  • K K. The pair of kings, also known as King Kong, is the second strongest hand. It also allows for a preflop raise with this starting hand.
  • Q Q. The hierarchy in poker hands is what it is, and the ace and king is followed by the queen. They are called “the Ladies”.
  • A K. Within what is known as “drawing hands”, the pair of ace and king is the strongest. The drawing hands are those hands that are considered strong, but that are half-baked and that, by themselves, are nothing. They need the flop to hope to make a good hand. This particular hand is known as a “big slick”.
  • J J. “Hooks”, because of the shape of the jacks’ letters, are somewhat treacherous. They can win up to 20% of the time, but if the flop gives us K or Q, watch out.
  • A Q. It is the second strongest hand in the drawing hands, behind A K. The “Big Chick”, as it is known, has a 20% chance of winning. If they are of the same suit, the percentage is multiplied.

These are the initial hands, but if we go to the hands that in poker have been combined with the community hands, then things change. These are the 6 strongest poker hands that you can tie.

  • Straight flush. This is the strongest poker hand. It is formed with five consecutive cards of the same suit. For example: 3♣ 4♣ 5♣ 6♣ 7♣.
  • Poker. It is the poker hand formed by four equal cards and a kicker. In case of a tie, it would be the kicker that would determine the strength of the hand. For example: Q♣ Q♥ Q♦ Q 4♣.
  • Full house. In poker, a full house is formed with a three of a kind and a pair. For example, a K♥ K♣ K 7♦ 7♣ would be a full house of kings sevens.
  • Flush. This is the combination of five cards of the same suit in alternating order. For example: 3♦ 8♦ 9♦ Q♦ K♦.
  • Straight. It is formed with five consecutive cards, but of different suit. Of the three possible straights, it is the weakest. It is surpassed by the straight flush (five consecutive cards of the same suit) and the royal flush (five consecutive cards of the same suit, with the five highest cards in the deck). For example: 4♥ 5♣ 6♦ 7♥ 8♦.

Differences between royal flush vs straight flush

Although the straight flush is the most powerful poker hand, it can be beaten by the version of this same hand that includes the five highest cards in the deck. That is, with a straight flush that consisted of ace, king, queen, jack and 10.

For example, A♦ K♦ Q♦ J♦ 10♦ would beat 10♦ 9♦ 8♦ 7♦ 6♦. Although the odds of a player forming a royal flush are 649,739 to 1, the occasion may present itself. Epic was the occasion during the 2016 PCA when Rabah, Tedeschi and McAllister played one of the best poker games in living memory, which ended with a spectacular Phillip McAllister royal flush.

Returning to the subject at hand, the main difference, then, between a royal flush and a straight flush is that a royal flush is formed with the highest cards of the suit. A straight flush can be formed with low cards starting with 2 and continuing in successive order, and the hand would be equally valid.

The straight flush is, in 99% of poker game types, the strongest hand. In Texas Hold’em, the probability of forming a straight flush is 30,939 to 1, better than in other types of poker, since in Hold’em games five community cards are dealt. Plus, the two of the initial hand, each player has a total of 7 cards to form the hand, which improves the data.

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