Rank of Poker Hands - Poker Hand Rankings

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Poker Hand Rankings

This page lists and explains poker hand rankings from best hand to worst hand.

In a 52 card deck, the card rankings in poker are as follows: (from highest to lowest) A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

All suits are of equal rank.

Each poker hand consists of 5 cards and the highest to lowest rank are listed below. Some poker games are played with 7 cards. In these games the best 5 cards are used and the other 2 cards are disregarded.

Some of the scenarios below might sound impossible, (e.g. two players who both have three 10s). In these scenarios my notes on which hand ranks higher are for games played with wild cards.

Royal Flush

This is the best possible poker hand. A royal flush consists of ace, king, queen, jack, ten, all in the same suit. It is a straight and a flush simultaneously up to ace high. Since all suits are equal, all royal flushes are equal.

Straight Flush

Five cards in sequence all in the same suit. If there are two straight flushes, the one with the highest ranking card wins. If an ace is counted low, as in an ace to five straight flush, it does not count as high for purposes of winning against another straight flush. An ace to five straight flush is the lowest straight flush possible.

Four of a Kind

Four cards of the same rank. (Also called "quads".)

Four cards that are exactly the same, such as four tens . The fifth card is irrelevant. If two people have fours of a kind, the player with the higher ranking set of four cards has the winning hand. Thus, the player with four jacks has a better hand than the player with four tens.

If you're playing in a poker game with wild cards and 2 people have the same four of a kind then the higher ranking 5th card determines the winner.

Full House

A hand with three cards of the same rank and two cards of another rank. An example is, three Aces and two 2s (Aces full of 2's). If two players have full houses, the one with the higher ranking three cards is the winner. Ie, tens full of 3s beats fours full of Aces. If the threes of a kind were equal, the rank of the pairs would decide.

Flush

Five suited cards. If two players have flushes, the highest card determines which is the winning poker hand. If the highest cards are equal then the second highest card is used to determine the winner. If those are equal too, then the third highest card is used, all the way to the end. For example Q-10-9-5-2 all in spades beats Q-10-3-6-5 all in clubs because the nine beats the six.

Straight

Five non suited cards in sequence, for example 7-6-5-4-3 with different suits. When comparing two straights, the one with the highest ranking top card is better. An Ace can count high or low in a straight.

Three of a kind

Three cards of the same rank and two other cards that aren't ranked the same. The highest three of a kind when comparing two hands is ranked better. For example the hand 8-8-8-3-2 beats 5-5-5-A-Q. In a wild card game where two players have three of a kind of the same rank, then the higher of the two remaining cards in each hand are used. This hand is also known as a set or Trips. See Poker Definitions

Two pair

A pair is two cards of the same rank (ie. a hand with 2 tens). If a player holds two pair, he or she holds 2 of the pair but of different rank. If both players have two pairs, the hand with the highest pair has the winning poker hand and the smaller pair is irrelevant. so Q-Q-5-5-3 beats 10-10-7-7-A because the queens beat the tens. If the higher pairs are the same then the smaller pair is used to determine the higher ranking hand. If both pairs are the same then the odd cards are compared, thus 8-8-2-2-A beats 8-8-2-2-J.

Pair

A pair is two cards of the same rank (ie. a hand with 2 tens) and three cards that are different. The higher pair determines the best hand. If two players have the same pair then the highest card is used. If this card is the same, then the second highest card is compared and finally the third if it comes down to it.

Examples:

8-8-3-2-5 wins over 5-5-A-K-J
10-10-A-2-5 wins over 10-10-K-Q-10
J-J-K-10-5 wins over J-J-K-9-8

High Card - Highest Ranking Card

Five cards which don't create any of the hands above. If two players have none of the hands above, the highest card wins. If the highest cards are the same then the second highest are compared and so on.

Examples:

A-8-3-2-5 beats K-Q-J-10-3
A-K-3-2-5 beats A-Q-J-9-5

Ranking hands in low poker

There are many poker games in which players strive to have the lowest ranking poker hand. In these games players would strive to have their high card be the lowest in rank. A hand with any pair, (ie. 4-4-2-3-5 counts as a pair of 4's and not five high). There are some non-standard ways of ranking low hands in poker which should be discussed before beginning play. They are as follow:

Do flushes and straights count as high hands? For example, is A-2-3-4-5 the lowest ranking hand possible or is it a higher hand because it is a straight. If this is the case then the lowest ranking hand is A-2-3-4-6. Flushes fall into this description as well.

Do Aces count as the lowest card?

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