Poker is one of the most popular card games around the world, with over 100 million players taking part in online games.
The game of poker is all about building the most valuable hand possible with the cards available. Your hand can be formed of up to five cards – the two you are dealt, as well as three of the five community cards in the middle of the table.
If you’ve ever been interested in playing online poker in the UK, then the best place to start is by learning about how the cards are ranked, and which combinations are the most valuable.
So, here’s what you need to know about winning poker hands and their rankings, starting from lowest to highest.
Success at the poker table doesn't have to include a flashy hand. It's all about holding a stronger hand than your components, and that's how a high card could see you take the win.
If neither you nor the other players possess any of the below card combination, you could win the pot simply by having the most valuable card. New to Poker? Ace has the highest value, making 2 the weakest card.
For this to come into play, each player must have no matching cards, either with the two they were drawn by the dealer, or in the community cards in the middle of the table. If more than one player has the same highest card, then it moves on to the next most valuable in the hand, and so on, until there is a clear winner.
Odds: 50.1177% / 1 in 2
Now this one is simple; to form a pair, you'll need to (unsurprisingly) have two matching number or face cards in your hand. If two or more players at the table have a pair, then the winner is the one with the highest value cards. A pair of Jacks would beat a pair of 9s, for example. If two players have the same pair, the person who holds the highest value card in the rest of their hand will claim the win.
Odds: 42.2569% / 1 in 2.4
To beat a pair, you can have two pairs. This is achieved with two sets of pairs in your hands, e.g., two Queens and two 7s. The same rules apply as with the pair; should two players have this hand, then the most valuable of the two will be the winner.
Odds: 4.7539% / 1 in 21
Three is definitely not a crowd in this case. Three of a kind is achieved when your hand has three matching cards, which happens on average once in every 47 rounds. It’s important that the other two cards in your hand don’t match, otherwise, you’ll have a full house – but we’ll get to that later.
Odds: 2.1128% / 1 in 47
We’re getting into the more advanced card draws now. A straight is the first winning combination which requires the use of all five of the cards available to form a hand. To complete a straight, you must have five cards in ascending order, all with different suits.
Odds: 0.3925% / 1 in 255
Here’s where it gets really exciting. In a flush, you must have five cards with matching suits on the poker table - so five Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs or Spades. The cards don’t have to be in any particular order with this combination. You have about half the chance of holding a flush in your hand than you are with a straight, so keep an eye out for this one.
Odds: 0.1965% / 1 in 509
As hinted above, the full house is a step up from three of a kind. This is because you must also have a pair in this case, which again makes use of all five available cards. One example of this would be three Kings in combination with two 10s, and is incredibly hard to beat.
Odds: 0.1441% / 1 in 694
Only two combinations can beat four of a kind, and for good reason too. We’re sure you’ve got the hang of this by now, but this poker combination means you will have four identical cards in your hand. This could be four 7s or four Queens, for example. This a rare hand, with only a 0.024% chance of coming up when playing any of the five-card poker formats, so keep your poker face in check here.
Odds: 0.024% / 1 in 4,165
It’s your lucky day if you have a straight flush. This is a combination of the straight and the flush, as you probably will have guessed, and means you have five cards with the same suit, all in ascending order. If two players at the table have a straight flush, then the hand with the most valuable card will be the winner.
Odds: 0.00139% / 1 in 72,193
If you’ve ever watched a casino movie, then you’re likely to have seen the famous royal flush. In the real world, a royal flush is a rarity. In fact, only once in every 649,740 hands are you likely to see one. To complete a royal flush, you need the 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit. Consider yourself the master of poker if you pull this one out of the deck.
Odds: 0.000154% / 1 in 649,740
Now that you know what you’re looking for when the cards are dealt, find out a few more things that can get you started in your online poker journey.
It’s very easy to play online poker. To get started, select the game you wish to play. This can be one of our tournaments, or a live casino game, as detailed below. Then, select your bet size and buy-in, and you’re good to go.
The way you play poker depends on the game that you’re in. If you’re in a Texas Hold’em tournament, then your aim is to win each round by building hands that are stronger than the other players’, taking their chips and knocking them out of the game. You can find more information about how to play all of our poker games on the individual game information pages.
The best online poker sites give players a choice, and that’s exactly what you’ve got here with us. At Virgin Games, you can enter online poker tournaments in our Wild Seat Poker games, which are played in the form of Texas Hold’em. You can enter these tournaments from only £1, with the chance to win a maximum prize of 10,000x your buy-in.
If you don’t want to go up against the most experienced players just yet, then check out Cash Games+ Poker. These are perfect for those looking to improve their skill levels, with buy-ins available from as little as £2, and you can play poker for real money on every single hand.
We also have a range of exciting poker games in our Live Casino. Take a look at Video Poker Live, where you can play with up to 100 hands on every single game and have the chance to win big payouts if you complete certain combinations. We also have Caribbean Stud Poker Live, which gives you the opportunity to trigger a progressive jackpot. If you're new around here, then you can find out the differences between live and online casino games in another of our posts.
There is no way for poker to be rigged with any reputable and licensed online casino. When you start playing online poker for real money at Virgin Games, you can be sure that you have just as much of a chance of winning as anyone else, whether that’s in a tournament or on one of our live casino games. We have top-class dealers who will provide you with an exciting and fair experience when you play with us.