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Poker Hand Ranking

I have had a few people post comments in my blog about the ranking of poker hands. I even got a hit from google on the term “what is better then what in poker“. I actually thought I had listed it in the rules section but I didn’t. I would think the Poker Hand Ranking order is kind of important for someone trying to learn the game. There really isn’t much point in telling people Texas Holdem Rules or 7 Card Stud Rules if I don’t include the order of which hands are ranked.

Now first we need to remember that in most poker games you are given 7 cards to use and have to come up with the best 5 card hand. You never use a 6th card to determine a tie breaker. So here we go:

Best Hand Possible in Poker

ROYAL FULSH (Royal Straight Flush) - This would be the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten all matching suits. (Ah, Kh, Qh, Jh, Th)

STRAIGHT FLUSH - Five cards in sequence and all the same suit. (9s, 8s, 7s, 6s, 5s)

FOUR OF A KIND - All four of one value. (5c, 5s, 5h, 5d, Xx)

FULL HOUSE - Three of one value and two of another. You would read it as the trips “full of” the pair; fours full of jacks. (4s, 4h, 4c, Jd, Js)

FLUSH - All five cards are the same suit. Winning flush goes by the highest card. Queen high flush; (4h, 9h, Qh, 2h, 8h)

STRAIGHT - Five cards in a sequence. Winning straight goes by the highest card in the sequence. Seven high straight (7c, 6h, 5s, 4s, 3d)

THREE OF A KIND - (Trips, Set) Three of one value. The winning hand is determined by the highest three of a kind value. Trip eights ( 8h, 8s, 8c, Xx, Xx)

TWO PAIR - Two combinations of two equal values. The winning hand is first determined by the highest of the pairs and then the second pair. If there is still a tie they use the 5th card (the kicker) as a tie breaker. You read the hand a the higher pair “over” the lower pair. Jacks over threes (Js, Jd, 3c, 3s, Xx)

ONE PAIR - Any combination of two cards the same value. The highest pair wins the hand. If there is a tie you use the remaining three high cards to determine the winner. Compare hands one high card at a time starting with the highest card in the hand, until one hand wins. You may not need all three cards. And there can be a tie. A pair of fours (4c, 4d, Xx, Xx, Xx)

HIGH CARD - Any hand that has none of the hands listed above. If two players have only high cards then they match cards in order starting with the highest card until one hand is larger then the other. You do not need to compare all five cards in the hand if the first card is higher then the other hands highest card.

h = hearts
s = Spades
c = Clubs
d = Diamonds
x = Any card

A Kicker - A single high card, usually the 5th card in a hand, that is used to break a tie


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Comments (1)


In your rankings, you indicated that a flush beats a straight. Obviously, that's wrong; a strait is "higher" than a flush. Oh wait--at the beginning if the article you said something about poker games using seven cards to make a hand. I don't know what kind of weird variants you play, but I play 3-Card Poker. Maybe that explains the discrepancy.

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