How to Improve Your Poker Hand

In life—as in poker—one should always strive to improve the hand one was dealt. And in poker—as in life—you can do so by staying sharp, knowing your odds, and trying to get Lady Luck on your side.


  • Step 1: Achieve winning hand Weigh your chances of achieving each of the 9 possible winning hands and be on the lookout for the cards you'll need to do so. The winning hands are ranked according to the probability of achieving them, so use the rankings as a general guide—then assess your particular situation.
  • Step 2: Type of poker Take into account the type of poker you're playing, and make your decisions accordingly. For example, in "stud" games each player is dealt some cards face-up and others face-down—so you may be able to see if a card you need to improve your hand is already in somebody else's possession.
  • Step 3: Hope for best Hope for the best. You can be the sharpest player at the table and still draw lousy cards—so it always help to have Lady Luck smiling your way.
  • FACT: The tradition of considering luck a lady dates back to Fortuna—a popular Roman goddess of fate and fortune.

You Will Need

  • A standard deck of playing cards
  • A little mental acuity

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