For the poker player, knowing the odds can make the difference between coming out on top and losing one’s shirt. Unfortunately, figuring out poker hand odds requires mathematical skills that elude many of us. Don’t be dismayed, however, for we have done the research and we are here to share the answers that will leave you in a better position to understand poker hand odds and how they should modify your playing strategy.
The first rule of poker hand odds is recognizing the fact that higher scoring hands have that designation for a reason. All poker hand scores are based on the likelihood of their being dealt from a single shuffled deck. Each deck of cards has the ability to produce 2,598,960 different combinations of cards or hands. The less likely a particular combination is to be dealt results in a higher score for that hand. For instance, four Aces being dealt to a single player from a single deck of cards would be a very rare occurrence. For this reason, that combination would result in a winning hand and be a very safe bet. By the same logic, being dealt five cards with no correlation at all can happen almost every hand. For this reason, a High Card hand can win a game but it is not very likely; therefore, it is not a good bet.
So, what poker hand odds are the most likely to be winning hands? The rarest hands the poker player will see. With forty possible variants, the Straight Flush will only be dealt to a player 0.00154% of the time. To further diminish the odds of seeing this hand, there are only four possible Royal Flushes in a single poker deck making this one of the highest scoring hands in poker.
The next best bet for a poker player is the Quads, often called Four of a Kind. This rare hand is self explanatory. Consisting of four cards of the same rank, the odds of receiving in this card combination from the dealer are 24 in 10,000 hands. This combination is nearly always a safe bet as far as poker hand odds go and higher face value make your bets even safer.
A Regular Flush is the next safest bet in poker. With 5,148 combination possibilities in a deck, the odds of being dealt a flush are 2 in 1,000. If you are holding a flush, it is not likely that your opponent is doing the same thing. Go ahead and make a bet. Just don’t get carried away. It can be beaten.
Next comes the Straight. With odds of 39 in 10,000, this little gem is a gamblers friend. A strong hand for winning and more common than many of the winning hands, the Straight is a decent choice for placing a safe bet.
Now, we are down to the gamblers bread and butter. These are the card combinations that can produce a winning hand often enough to keep a gambler in the game… Trips, Pairs and High cards.
The Trips, also known as Three of a Kind, will be dealt to a player just over 2 percent of the time or two out of every one hundred hands. Of the three final poker hands, the odds of winning with the Three of a Kind are the best. Don’t bet large amounts unless you are certain you can read the other players tell and even then, think twice about it.
Similarly, with Two Pairs and Single Pairs, exercise extreme caution in your bidding. Two pair will statistically be dealt 4.75% of the time while single Pairs will be a dealt 42 out of 100 hands.
Finally, the High Card hand is your last resort. When you have no pairs or otherwise connected cards, you are left with a mixed hodge podge of cards with one of the highest rank being your high card. You can win with this hand but it is very rare. Unless you are a master of bluff, stay away from this hand.