The Basics of Winning in Poker

In the game of poker, the object is to win with two distinct pairs of cards and a 5th card. The highest pair wins, as does the second pair. A tie is broken if neither pair has a pair, nor is there a pair with a better hand. But if there are no pairs, the high card breaks the tie. The same is true of better than pair and straight hands. Here are the basic strategies for winning with these hands.


The Rules of Poker are a guide for players and cardrooms alike. They explain the rules of poker in simple, everyday terms. It’s important to remember that the rules for poker are meant for the benefit of the players, not the other way around. The author of Rules of Poker, Robert Ciaffone, strongly supports the need for uniform poker rules, and applauds the efforts of the Tournament Director’s Association (TDA). Although the two sets of rules are similar in wording, some differences are present.


Float in poker is a relatively new concept, but it has gained popularity in online games. A float is a call made from position into the pot after a flop. Floats are particularly useful in heads-up situations, when a player is playing against a single opponent. While floats aren’t necessarily the best way to win a game, they can be a powerful weapon for aggressive players.


In five-bet poker, a player makes a third re-raise in the betting round. Typically, this occurs preflop. Typically, a player will raise a hand from $1/$2 blinds with a 3-bet and four-bet, but he may also 5-bet or “call up” the highest bet. This action usually gives the player the highest hand.

Gutshot straight

Gutshot straight in poker is a semi-bluff hand that can improve a straight by the river, but only when the hand contains specific cards. For example, if you have a five-six hand, you need a seven to improve to a gutshot straight, but your opponent wouldn’t expect you to hit a nut straight on the river with just two cards. Therefore, it’s always best to call gutshots on early streets, and fold them on later streets. However, it’s possible to play gutshots when your position is weak, and you may want to consider holding a nut straight, if you have two low cards in your hand.


The final phase of a game of poker is known as the showdown, in which players show all of their cards to determine the winner. The winner is the player with the best five-card hand, which consists of the players’ cards plus two or three cards from the table and all five of the community cards. If no player has a better hand than that of the winner, the pot is split between the remaining players. Depending on the rules and scenario at the table, the showdown phase may differ from player to player.

Probabilities of winning

When you’re playing poker, you’ll come across the term “outs” – any card that will help you form a winning hand. The simplest way to calculate the probabilities is to multiply the probabilities of the complementary events first. For example, if you have three cards of the same rank and a queen on the river, your chances of making a winning hand are 33/47. If your flop and turn cards are equal, you have a 45.9% chance of making a pair. Similarly, if you’re dealt two cards of the same rank, you have a 67.5% chance of winning the game.