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Ok the first thing I want to say about poker hands ranking is "yes a flush beats a straight!" That seems to be the biggest "oh really?" moment that most players have when they want to find out which hands beat which. So below from the strongest hand in no limit holdem to the weakest hand I'm going to take you through the poker hands ranking.

1. Royal Flush

The highest possible hand in holdem is a Royal Flush. A Royal Flush includes the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten of the same suit.
2. Straight Flush

Five sequential cards of the same suit.
3. Four of a Kind

Four cards of the same rank.
4. Full House

Three cards of the same rank, with a pair of another rank.
5. Flush

Five cards of the same suit.
6. Straight

Five sequential cards of different suits.
7. Three of a Kind

Three cards of the same rank.
8. Two Pair

Two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank and a kicker of a third rank.
9. One Pair

Two cards of the same rank, and three unrelated cards.
10. No Pair, High Card

Poker hands with no pair or any of the other ranking values listed above. When comparing no pair hands, the highest card determines the win

In poker the hand Ace, King is known as big slick. In the Poker World It's a hand we all love to see as we lift our hole cards but it's a hand that many beginners can end up over playing.

For years I have seen players on poker forums post AK hands "did I play this wrong?" threads over and over. Don't get me wrong, it is one of the best starting hands but it is also only ace high if it remains unimproved.

Is AK really a coin flip?
If you were to get big slick (AK) all in pre flop against say QQ, JJ or TT then AK is about 44% favorite to with against any of these hands. Now if you get it all in against say 22,33 or 44 then is almost a coin flip at 47.2% and the reason it improves is because the lowest pairs will get counter fitted by the board a certain amount of the time. So against all pairs from QQ - 22 AK is essentially a small under dog to win if all the money goes in pre flop.

Hands that crush AK
There are two main hands that Ace, King (blig slick) fear and they are pocket Aces and Kings. These two hands really have us in trouble. Against a pair of Kings pokerstove has us as an 31% favorite to win and vs Aces, things looks very glum as we drop to an 8% favorite to pick up the pot. But the bright side is that due to card removal (we have an ace and a king in our hand, making it less likely for someone else to have Aces or Kings) we will face AA and KK less than we will face all other pairs and of course our bread and butter, dominated aces.

In conclusion Ace, King is a hand that wins lots of small and sometimes medium pots but in cash games is not normally a hand that you want to play for all of your money when all you have is top pair (unless you have a good read on a super fishy player that over plays weak top pairs). I play the hand aggressively pre flop and always open for a raise,

Don't feel as if you can't let go of the hand post flop, I see far too many newer players in the poker world getting too attached to the hand just because it is AK, remember that if you're getting lots of action in front of you, your pair or ace high is probably smoke, don't be stubborn.

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