Know Your Winning Poker Hands

In this article we are going to look at different winning poker hands, we are going to look at different hand scenarios, including board textures and opponent styles of play, it is important before making a betting decision we go through a check list of questions in our head before we make a decision, in this article we are going to cover everything you should be asking yourself before continuing in a hand, by now you should be comfortable with poker hand rankings.

However, if you would like to refresh your memory, feel free to WATCH our animation video on Poker Hand Rankings below:



One of the most important things you can do at the poker table is to identify your opponents playing styles, we can categorise playing styles into 4 different styles:

An example of winning poker hands - a pair of aces.

The Rock – A person that only plays very strong hands, these players are very easy to read as depending on their position at the table, we can normally guess fairly accurately what hand they are likely to have. These players are fairly straight forward to play against as their style will be tight/passive, meaning they only bet when they have a strong hand and fold to most flop bets when they haven’t connected with the board, if you get raised by this player then be very careful as this normally signifies they are very strong, this type of player doesn’t tend to bluff that often and if they manage to get to showdown, they normally have the winning poker hands.

The Calling Station – This style of play is considered to be the weakest, normally you will find this style of poker play from beginners who don’t fully understand the game and don’t like folding hands. Their style is loose/passive, meaning they like to call you down with just about any paired cards, and draws, be careful not to over bet draws against this style of play as if you miss you will normally have to give up your hand and you could lose allot of money to this style of player, however when you have a strong hand against this style of player, it usually means you can exploit it very easily and get paid off on your better hands.

The Maniac (LAG) – This player has a loose/aggressive style and can be very profitable to play against as they will be trying to raise allot of pots with medium strength hands, and trying to dominate the table. It can also be intimidating to play against this type of player, however if you proceed with caution and be selective with your hands against this style, it can be easily exploited as you will win much bigger pots more often against this style of play. The only real thing to note about this style of player is that they often get paid off when they have a winning poker hand due to playing so aggressively with weaker holdings.

The TAG – This tight aggressive style of player is considered to be the optimum Texas Hold'em playing strategy, playing strong hands very aggressively whilst also having the discipline to fold medium strength hands when they realise they are beat. This type of player is the most difficult to play against as they are normally very experienced and have a good understanding of the game, plus they have probably spent time and effort to figure out what types of playing styles they have at their table.

So once we have identified the type of player we face in the hand, we can then start to look at decisions we face within the hand, in Week 1 of the Cashinpoker 3 Month Poker Mastery Membership Training, we learn that texas hold’em poker is primarily a game of big pairs and most winning poker hands normally consist of 1 pair, this being said we also need to take into consideration board textures and betting patterns along with the different style of players we have identified above.

It’s important in Texas hold’em poker to be able to analyse players betting patterns v’s board textures, if you are unfamiliar with board textures, I will give explanations and examples below:

Dry Boards – A dry board would consist of a flop that isn’t very co-ordinated, i.e. one high card, no possible flush draw and no possible straight draws, there are just not going to be many of your opponent’s hands that connect with these types of flops:

Example of a dry flop:

  Example of a dry flop.

Another example of a dry board is when it’s a paired board, for example:

  Example of a dry board - instance of a paired board.

Wet Boards – These types of boards are complete opposite to dry boards, they are very draw heavy boards that are also very co-ordinated. These types of boards will very often hit your opponent’s range of hands quite often.

Example of a wet flop:

  Example of a wet flop.

Another example of a co-ordinated wet board:

  Example of a co-ordinated wet board.

Being able to read the board texture is very important when it comes to betting on the flop, we need to think carefully about what our opponent’s cards are likely to be, for example C-betting on a wet board is only advisable if you have hit the flop hard, however C-betting a dry board if you are the original raiser is highly recommended, as it will be hard for your opponent to continue with this board texture if he hasn’t got a strong hand. By having a good read on your opponent’s playing style, it will make it much easier to decide how to proceed on the flop. Winning poker hands is all about understanding your opponents ranges of hands v’s the board texture, obviously you need to take into consideration the equity in your hand and the position you are in on the betting round, especially when playing a draw. Please refer to the homepage of Cashinpoker.com for the poker hand calculator and Week 5 of the Cashinpoker 3 Month Poker Mastery Membership Training Material for the poker hand charts. Once you have mastered the art of identifying playing styles and got to grips with boards textures and hand equity, you are well on your way to becoming a winning player. As mentioned above, Week 5 of the training provides all the information needed to identify starting hands from different starting positions.
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By David C (Rob Akery Student)