Poker may be associated with nerves, keeping a straight face and doing some fast number crunching in your head, but at the end of the day it is still a game that comes down to chance.
Savvy players can still work out the probability of a losing hand based on what they’ve got. If you’re playing five-card poker, here’s the breakdown of probabilities of landing a winning hand:
Betting than nothing but nothing special when you land two of a kind. A pair of Aces, Kings, Queens or Jacks will punch a little more weight but the probability of getting a pair of any kind is still 0.422569.
Two pairs are pretty good but not great. Don’t be lured to going all-in as you may have the rug pulled out from beneath you. The chance of getting two pairs in one hand is 0.047539.
Three of a Kind
Also known as a “Triple”, this gives you a good chance of being a winner if you’re playing with a smaller crowd. There are only six hands that can beat a three of a kind, so bet accordingly. The probability of pulling out this is 0.021128.
Whether it’s a high or low straight it’s a solid hand in poker. Your chances of winning go up or down depending on how many people are at the table. There is a probability of 0.00392465 of receiving a five-card sequence.
Getting five cards of the same suit, not in any sequential order, holds a probability of 0.0019654. There are only 13 cards in each suit in a single 52-card deck. It may beweaker than the full house in terms of probability and rank, but is one of the strongest hands you can be dealt in poker.
Holding a three of a kind and two pair alongside has landed you a probability of 0.001441. From here you can only lose if one of your opponents pulls out a minor miracle.
Four of a kind
If you think you need a minor miracle to beat the full house, you’re going to need more than a prayer to top four of a kind, which holds a slim probability of 0.000240. You’d be mad not to go all-in with four on the floor.
People have been playing poker for years, if not decades and never had this hand come up. It’s not only five cards suited but also those cards running in sequential order. The probability of a straight flush is a mere 0.0000138517.
The grand daddy of them all. The odds of netting a Royal Flush are an incredible 649,739 to 1, or a probability of 0.00000153908. The odds of winning the lottery are only a little longer.