What is a Winning Hand?
In poker, a winning hand is any hand which gets paid by the house, by the table or by the game operator. For table games, the winning hand is the best hand which remains in the game when the cards are revealed. In video poker, a winning hand is any hand that qualifies for a payout – usually a hand of jacks or better, depending on the rules of that particular game.
Winning Hand Explained
When heard in the context of a poker game, a winning hand is any hand which successfully picks up a prize. In table games between players, the winning hand of each game is the best one that remains in play until the showdown. When all betting rounds are complete and the hands are revealed, the one which ranks highest against the poker table wins the pot. The winning hand may not have been the best one at the table during the game, but it is the best hand which did not fold.
In games of video poker, a winning hand is one which qualifies for a payout against the amount wagered. In video poker, players bet a number of coins against their five-card hand. There is a single draw in which some, none or all of the cards can be exchanged and fresh ones drawn.
The hand made after the draw is checked against the poker table, and if any qualifying hand has been made, the player will get a payout determined by the odds of drawing that hand. In this form of the game, pairs lower than jacks usually do not count as winning hands – the game is often called ‘jacks or better’ for this reason. In other video poker games, no pair is a winning hand and only triples or better will achieve a win. However, payouts for higher ranks are often enhanced.