Poker remains one of the most popular cards games the world over, whether you’re playing in your friend’s garage or in a five-star Las Vegas gaming lounge. What draws so many people to this game is its unique combination of luck and skill.
While you’ll need no shortage of blind luck to get the right cards in your hand, you’ll also need to bluff your way to success and weigh up your chances of winning each and every hand. But what are your odds of actually being dealt a winning hand? Let’s break down the numbers and find out.
This is the best hand in poker, one that will always propel you to success, no matter what cards your opponents have. The hand consists of a Jack, Queen, King, ten, and Ace all from the same suit. According to this scientific royal flush breakdown, your odds of getting a royal flush in five-card poker are one in 649,740, or a 0.000154% of hitting it.
The next best hand in the game, is a four, five, six, seven, and eight, all from the same suit (not including royal flush). For this, your odds of being dealt such as hand sit at 72,192 to one, with a cumulative probability of 0.0015%.
Four of a Kind
As the name suggests, four of a kind is when you get all four of the exact same card. For example, a hand with four aces (and any other fifth card) would be a four of a kind. Your odds of hitting this hand are 4,164 to one, with a 0.02401% probability.
A classic poker hand that is referenced in countless TV and film scenes, the full house consists of three of a kind and a pair. For example, three fours and two sevens would be a full house. All told, your chances of getting this hand in poker are 693 to one, with a 0.14% probability.
A flush (excluding royal or straight) is a hand that has five cards from the same suit, not necessarily in any sequence. For example, a seven, two, nine, Jack, and Ace of Spades would be a standard flush. Your odds of getting this hand are around 508 to one, with a 0.19% probability.
A straight is simply any hand that contains five cards running in a chronological sequence, regardless of the suit they are all in. For example, a three of diamonds, four of spades, five of hearts, six of clubs, and seven of diamonds would be a straight. Your odds of hitting this hand are 253 to one, with a 0.76% probability.
Three of a Kind
Finally, we have a three of a kind, which is simply three identical cards, plus any other two cards. For example, three kings in your hand would give you three of a kind. Your odds of getting this hand are 46 to one, with a 2.87% probability.
Understanding the odds of getting a winning hand is essential for your poker strategy. Keep these odds in mind the next time you’re at the table.