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Winning Poker Hands

You’ve come to this page either looking to find out how to win poker hands, or to find the ranking of poker hands - that is, which poker hands are the highest ranking. If you’re looking for the later, please see our Poker Hand Rankings section. If you’re looking for the former, read on to learn all about winning poker hands.

There are a lot of books and websites out there with plenty of poker strategies for winning poker hands. We’ve read many of them. On this website, we concentrate on clearly laying out the most important things in a poker game. Sure, you have to know what the odds are of winning with a specific hand – the odds that your opponents might have a particular hand that can beat yours in relation to what cards are on the board and in your hand – but you also need to concentrate on the human aspect of the game.

Poker isn’t just about going with the odds. You won’t find yourself winning poker hands using this strict mathematical method. Every game is different, depending on the people who are in the game. The best poker players know that the key to winning poker hands is to learn to read people, and to disguise your own strategy. You’ll want to check out our poker odds charts in our Poker Odds section for the mathematical aspect of the game, but it isn’t always good to go with the odds if you can learn to read your opponents well.

The Competition

It is important to take a step back and look at just who you are playing with in a given game. Observe the moves they make carefully. Note if it is easy to predict how good of a hand they have by their betting pattern. Who are you playing with and what do you know about them? If you play regularly with the same people, you should know their habits by now, and if you don’t, then perhaps it’s time to learn.

It is likely that you will see a wide variety of players in a casino poker game or in a tournament. Some people will be there to win money, while others are there to win a lot of money. Of course, you’ll also have your players who are there just for fun, while other people might be there just to pass the time. Note the players who are observing everyone else closely and concentrating on the game. They will be watching other players closely when they are not in the hand.

Experienced or Newbie?

There are many other ways that one can tell if someone is a new or experienced player. You can start by watching for these signs:

Take note of whether the other players are disregarding their betting position when you get to see their hands. Are they taking into account the number of bets they are facing? Once you get an idea of who the serious players are, you’ll be able to watch them a little more closely and learn their strategy. Has the player bought a large amount of chips? If the player buys in for the minimum amount they are probably a novice. Do they ask about posting? Do they post out of position? If the player posts in an unfavorable position, they are probably new or simply don’t understand the value of one bet. Does their hand shake when they bet? Are they looking around the room with wide eyes, gawking at things as if they haven’t seen a poker table before? Newbie. How do they handle their chips? Clumsy and awkward or succinct and decisive? Maybe they do finger rolls with the chips and shuffle them in stacks of 20. Probably a regular player. Does the player make string bets? What about a tip for the dealer? If they don’t tip the dealer, it’s likely that their poker experience comes from the television or home games. Also, if you’re playing the lowest limit in the house, there’s a good chance players that gather there are newbies. The highest tables tend to attract the seasoned players.

Always remember to concentrate on the other players in the game; the serious players will be watching your strategy closely, so it is very important to remain unpredictable. If you can learn to read the other players in the game, you’ll be winning poker hands a lot more than the fellow who simply goes by the cards in his own hand or the odds that someone else might have a better hand than him.


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