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Rank of hands in Poker


The winning hand is always determined by the best five card hand. Aces count as the highest card, except in a straight A-2-3-4-5 when the Ace counts as 1 (except in 2-7 Draw), and in High/Low games, where Aces count both as the highest and lowest card.

Of course, in each variation, the pot can also be won by a player when all of his opponents fold their hands at any point before the showdown, leaving one player alone to claim the pot even though he may not actually have held the best hand!


High Poker

The best poker hand you can hold is the royal flush, followed by a straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, and high card hand. The order in which cards are dealt or how they are displayed is irrelevant to the final value of the hand. For example, 7-7-K-A-5 is equivalent to A-K-7-7-5.
Poker hands are ranked the way they are because of one cold, hard fact: The more difficult it is, statistically speaking, to be dealt a particular poker hand in five cards, the higher it ranks on the scale of poker hands. Note that all poker hands eventually consist of five cards, regardless of the variation played.


High-Card Hands

A hand containing five unmatched cards, that is, lacking any of the combinations shown below, is valued by its highest ranking card. 3-9-K-7-10, is a "king-high" hand. When the highest ranking cards are identical, the next highest untied card wins. A-K-J-10-4 beats A-K-J-3-2.



One Pair

Two cards of equal rank and three unmatched cards. Example: 5-5-8-J-K. If two players are competing with one-pair hands, then the higher ranked of the pairs-aces highest, deuces lowest-wins the pot. And if two players have the same pair, then the highest side card would be used to determine the higher-ranking hand. 5-5-A-7-6 beats 5-5-K-Q-J, since the ace is a higher kicker than the king.



Two Pair

Two pairs and an unmatched card. Example: 6-6-J-J-2. The highest pair of competing two-pair hands will win, or if the top pair is tied, then the second pair. If both pairs are equivalent, then the fifth card decides the winner. K-K-3-3-6 beats J-J-8-8-Q and K-K-2-2-A, but loses to K-K-3-3-9.




Three of a Kind

Three cards of equal rank and two unmatched cards. Also called trips or a set. Example: Q-Q-Q-7-J. If two players hold a set, the higher ranked set will win, and if both players hold an equivalent set, then the highest odd card determines the winner. 7-7-7-4-2 beats 5-5-5-A-K, but loses to 7-7-7-9-5.




Five cards of mixed suits in sequence, but it may not wrap around the ace. For example, Q-J-10-9-8 of mixed suits is a straight, but Q-K-A-2-3 is not?it?s simply an ace-high hand. If two players hold straights, the higher straight card at the top end of the sequence will win. J-10-9-8-7 beats 5-4-3-2-A but would tie another player holding J-10-9-8-7.




Five cards of the same suit. Example: K-10-9-5-3, all in diamonds. If two players hold flushes, the player with the highest untied card wins. Suits have no relevance. Thus, Q-J-7-5-4 of diamonds beats Q-J-4-3-2 of spades.



Full House

Three of a kind and a pair. Example: 5-5-5-9-9. If two players hold full houses, the player with the higher three of a kind wins. J-J-J-8-8 beats 7-7-7-A-A.



Four of a Kind

Four cards of equal rank and an odd card. Also called quads. Example: K-K-K-K-3. If two players hold quads, the higher ranking quad will win the hand. K-K-K-K-3 beats 7-7-7-7-A and K-K-K-K-2.



Straight Flush

Five cards in sequence, all in the same suit. Example: 7-6-5-4-3, all in spades. If two straight flushes are competing, the one with the highest card wins.



Royal Flush

The A-K-Q-J-10 of the same suit, the best hand possible. No royal flush is higher than another.






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