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Best of Fred Renzey

Gaming Guru

 

Which Hands Win These Texas Hold'em Pots?

22 April 2006

We've mentioned before that Texas Hold'em is a simple poker game. That's one reason why the Travel Channel selected Hold'em as the poker variant they would broadcast on cable TV. Anyone, even non-poker players, can get the gist of things after a few minutes.

For longtime poker players who have never seen Hold'em, however, the "community card" feature can be a little confusing. In some cases, old-time stud players aren't sure which hand legitimately wins certain Hold'em pots. So today we'll run through some pertinent examples. Let's see if you know the winner of these Hold'em hands.

BOARD #1

2-3-4-5-6

   Hand #1      Hand #2      Hand #3   
8 / 910 / JA / K

Nobody can beat the board. There's a 6-high straight sitting out there and kickers don't matter in this case since only your best five cards count. Hand #3's Ace makes a 5-high straight, but he'll just play the board and split the pot with the other two players.

BOARD #2

Qs-4s-2s-Jd-As

   Hand #1      Hand #2      Hand #3   
7s / 8sKh / 9s10h / 10s

Hand #1 flopped a spade flush. But when the Ace of spades came on the river, everybody made an Ace-high flush. All Ace-high flushes are not equal, however, and hand #3 wins the pot with an A/Q/10/4/2 flush. The fact that hand #1 has six spades means nothing. It's just one more tough beat at the river.

BOARD #3

2-6-5-4-6

   Hand #1      Hand #2      Hand #3   
2 / 5A / 47 / 5

Nobody has a 3 in the hole, so there's no straight. Hand #1 has three pairs, but only his best two pair count. Hand #2 has an Ace kicker to go with his 6s and 4s, but that's no good. Hand #3 wins the pot over hand #1 because of his 7 kicker to go with his 6s and 5s. The winning hand is 6-6-5-5-7.

BOARD #4

J-Q-K-J-K

   Hand #1      Hand #2      Hand #3   
10 / 10A / 9A / 2

There are two pair, Kings and Jacks on the board, so hand #1's pocket 10s do him no good. Hands #2 and #3 can both beat the board with their Ace kickers and it doesn't matter that the A/9 is better than the A/2. Hands #2 and #3 both make the same best hand with K/K/J/J/A. They split the pot.

BOARD #5

7c-10c-Qh-7s-7d

   Hand #1      Hand #2      Hand #3   
8 / 9A / KAc / Jc

Hand #1 flopped an open end straight draw, but busted out. His best hand is to just play the board (7-7-7-Q-10). Hand #2 flopped a "gut-shot" (inside) straight draw with two "overcards" (cards higher than the board), but also came up empty. Hand #3 also flopped the gutshot straight draw, but had an Ace-high flush draw to go with it and missed everything. Hands #2 and #3 both can beat the board with an Ace kicker, but hand #2 trumps the board twice with the A/K – so he wins the pot with 7-7-7-A-K. The best hand #3 can do is 7-7-7-A-Q.

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

> More Books By Fred Renzey

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey