In poker, knowing the likelihood of getting specific hands is extremely important. It can vastly impact how you play, and make the difference between a player that is good, and a player that is great. After all, it can mean the difference between folding and raising, and likewise mean the difference between winning a hand, or landing up with a crippled bankroll.
The best poker players in the world, the professionals, will know how likely it is get the best hands in the game. It will guide them in every move, and help define their strategies. Hence, if you want to be a better player, you should be keenly aware of how likely it is that other players have a better statistical chance of winning than you.
In other words; knowing how valuable your cards are should guide you on how aggressively you should be betting, versus if you should be enduring strategic losses. That is, assuming you are not bluffing. But that is something else entirely…
In Texas Hold’em the best possible hands to get are referred to as a Premium Hands. This would be, for starters, double Aces, or double Kings. A very good starting point, depending on what the communal cards are, of course. The chances of being dealt Aces or Kings is around 2.1%, so be sure to put a Premium Hand of this sort to good use when it comes along. Don’t get too excited, though, as betting too big is almost certain to scare the other players off.
A Flush Draw refers to having a hand that is just one card short of having a full Flush. If this is the case after the flop, then know that the statistical chances of getting that Flush stand at around 34.97%. Probably more than you thought, and the exact reason why you should know these percentages.
If you draw a pair, the chances that the pair will become a triple with the communal cards are small, less than 10%. So be sure to not invest too much into a low value pair, with the assumption that it will become a triple.
For a little perspective, getting a pair of Jacks might seem like a great hand, but be warned. The chances that a higher value card will turn up in the communal cards are 52%. Meaning, of course, that another player may easily have a higher value pair.
It is always important to keep in mind that poker is a game of patience, as well as a game of striking while the iron is hot. Being aware of the value of your cards is very important for both these reasons.
Getting too excited and betting wildly the moment a King comes along is not advisable. Instead, biding time until a high value opportunity comes along is the key to success. Stay calm, and remember that playing like a cowboy, although fun, is not the best approach to being a professional.