In this poker tutorial, we will have a look at ranking your hands and how poker works in a casino. This is absolutely necessary and it will improve your odds of winning.

Ranking your hands:

In order to play poker competently, you will need to understand how your hand will rank. If you ask such a question at a table, it would make sense that people would think you are a novice. Your table reputation is one thing but in the long term, it will cost you money. If you do not know how to rank your hands, you will stay in hands you should not and lose most of your money.

The following table is intended for this poker tutorial because it explains the ranking of different hands and what they are called.

How to rank your poker hands

Hand

Explanation

Royal flush Ace, king, jack and 10 of the same suit. The highest possible straight flush. All royal flushes are equal.
Straight flush Five cards of the same suite in sequence. A straight flush which is started by the highest card, wins.
Four of a kind Four cards of the same rank and another card. The four of a kind with the highest ranking, wins.
Full house Three cards of one rank and two cards of another hand. Basically a three of a kind and a pair. The highest ranking three of a kind will win.
Flush Any five cards of the same suit. The flush with the highest card will win unless they are the same as your opponent’s, then the second highest card will determine the winner. Otherwise the process will continue.
Straight Any five cards in sequence. The straight which has the highest card will win.
Three of a kind Three cards with the same rank and the rest of another. The three of a kind with the highest value, wins.
Two pair Two cards of one rank and two cards of another. The pair with the highest value will win, unless the pairs are tied, then the second pair will determine the winner. If all pairs are tied, the highest unmatched card will determine the winner.
One pair Two cards of the same rank with the rest being unmatched cards. The highest ranking pair wins. If the pairs are the same rank, the highest unmatched card will determine the winner.
High Card All five cards are different in rank and suite. The highest card will win but if they are tied, the next card will determine the winner and so forth.

A casino’s poker room

Playing in a casino is very different from the occasional poker game with your friends. It is a different environment and a protocol that you have to take into account. In this are of our poker tutorial, we will have a look at the differences in environment and protocol you need to know.

  • The players themselves do not deal during any game. The dealer will handle it for you.
  • There is a limited variety of games. The most common variations would be Texas hold’em and Seven-card stud. Bigger rooms would sometimes offer a few other variations such as lowball and Omaha. Old-time favorites are very rare in any casino.
  • Only one kind of poker and stake will be available at a table. So different tables, will have different variations.
  • A casino poker table will seat more players than a neighborhood game table.
  • The casino will get a cut of the action. Basically you pay the casino for the privilege of hosting and regulating the game.
  • Many games will not have players bet an ante before each hand. The reason is that there are different methods of seeding the pot for different games and different stakes. These will be discussed in another post.