The most popular poker played today is Texas holdem. In each round of Texas holdem, each player is dealt two cards face down (hole cards) and five community cards face up for each player to complete their hand. The community cards are dealt over three betting stages with the first three shown at one time, known as the flop. The fourth card is then shown, known as the turn card. The fifth community card is revealed last and is known as the river card. With all the information and research available to today's players, poker has become a science of probability.

**Hole Cards****:**A card deck consists of fifty-two cards, therefore the odds of being dealt a specific card first, such as the ace of spades, is 1/52 or 1.9%. With each deck containing four aces, the odds of receiving an ace as your first card are 7.7%. The odds of being dealt a specific suit are greater with there being thirteen cards of each suit. There is a 13/52 chance of being dealt a spade in your first card, or 25%. The second hole card will have different odds because the pool is smaller. For instance, if your first card is an ace then the second card odds of being dealt an ace become 3/51 or 5.9%. If your first card was a spade, the odds of receiving a spade as your second card are now 12/51 or 23.5%.**Pocket Pairs****:****Other Desirable Hole Cards****:****Competition:**Before calling or raising the bets, the player should calculate the probability of winning. This is particularly true if an opponent goes all-in or makes a significant bet before the flop. When you hold a high pair preflop and your opponent holds a lower pair, your probability of winning is a healthy 80%. If you hold a middle pair (9,9 etc.) and your opponent holds one high and one low card (K,4 etc.), your probability of winning is 70%. If you hold two high cards (K,J) and your opponent holds a low pair (3,3), the probability of you winning is 45%. There are many different examples that can occur and it would be difficult to succeed at this game without knowing the odds.

**Hand Strength:**The strongest hand in poker is a royal flush: 10, J, Q, K, A same suit. The weakest hand is a high card of 7. The hand ranking by value from highest to lowest with a description of each:

Hand | Description |
---|---|

Royal Flush | 10 thru Ace, all the same suit |

Straight Flush | Successive suited cards |

Four of a Kind | Same card of each suit |

Full House | Three of a kind and a pair, in the same hand |

Flush | Five cards of the same suit, not successive |

Straight | Five successive cards, not suited |

Three of a Kind | Three of one value card |

Two Pair | Two pairings of the same card in a hand |

One Pair | One pairing of the same card |

High Card | Nothing matching in hand |

**Hand Improvement****:****Postflop Odds****:**