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How Many Poker Hands Can Be Dealted in a Game?

A high-school math teacher named Sam Miskin once conducted an experiment on how many poker hands can be dealt in a game. His students were presented with four cards of the same value, and asked to select a pair or singles. They guessed correctly, so they were told there were 2,598,960 possible poker hands. The rest of the students chose a single or pair. The experiment was a hit, and now students use the method to count poker hands.

The standard poker hand is the five-card draw. Players are dealt five cards and may discard up to three, or up to four cards, if the last card is an ace. When it comes time for the showdown, the highest-ranking hand wins the pot. This rule applies to all games, and can be found in almost any poker hand book. Unless stated otherwise, it is possible to win the pot with a pair of aces, but it is rare for that to happen.

Poker is a variation of baccarat, and has a huge range of possible hands. For example, a pair of aces is a straight flush. Two players can have this combination and they have the same probability of forming it. The probability of forming this combination is 0.000154%, which is not all that high. The odds of getting a royal flush are 649,739 to one, so a pair of aces isn’t that low.

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