Overall General Rules

- Cards are individually ranked A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A (low, for straights or low games).
- Suits have no value. The suits of a card are used to determine of a hand qualifies for a flush or not. If two players have two hands that are the same, except for the suits, the hand is considered a tie, and the pot is split.
- A hand is always a five card hand. In games that used more than five card, a player will pick the five cards that make the best five card hand.
- Hands are ranked first by category, and then by the card rank. That is to say, even the lowest qualifying hand of a rank is better than the highest hand of a lower rank. So a hand that has two pair, 2's and 3's will be better than a pair of aces.

Poker Hand Rankings

Royal Flush > Straight Flush > Four of a kind > Full House > Flush > Straight > Three of a kind > Two Pair > One Pair > High Card

Royal Flush

A Royal Flush is made up of all the 'broadways cards' and they must all be of the same suit. This is also an Ace High Straight Flush. But that isn't quite as sexy as a Royal. Generally this pays a big bonus at your local card room!


Straight Flush

Straight flush 1 Straight flush 2 Straight flush 3 Straight flush 4 Straight flush 5

A straight flush is a hand that contains five cards in numerical sequence, all of the same suit. If two people have straight flushes, the hand with the card of a highest rank (i.e. highest card) is considered the winner, so Ks Qs Js 10s 9s would defeat Jh 10h 9h 8h 7h. The low ace rule applys for the five high straight flush (also known as the wheel). An ace high straight flush, such as Ad Kd Qd Jd 10d is called a royal flush, and is the highest ranked hand in standard poker, without wild cards.


Four of a kind

Also known as quads, four of a kind is a hand like 7h 7s 7c 7d 2s, that has four cards of the same rank, and one other card. Quads is better than a full house, and worse than a straight flush. Higher ranked quads will defeat lower ranked quads, so Quad tens are better than quad 2's. In games with wildcards, or games with community cards (like Texas Hold'em), where more than one person can have the same quad hand, ties are broken by remaining fifth card.



Full house

Also know as a full boat or sometimes just boat, a full house such as 3d 3h 3s 4c 4d (threes full of fours), is a hand that has three cards all of the same rank, plus an additional two different cards of the same rank. A full house is better than a flush, but worse than four of a kind. In judging which full house is the best full house, the full house with the highest ranking set of three cards wins. If two or more hands have the same set of three cards (possible in wild card games or community card games like Hold'em), the hand with the highest pair wins. In the example above, the hand would be described "sevens over queens," "sevens full of queens," or "sevens full."


Flush

A flush is a hand that contains five cards, all of the same suit, but not in sequential rank, such as Ks 10s 8s 6s 2s. A flush is better than a straight, and worse than a full house. If two or more hands have a flush, hands are compared by their high cards to determine the winner. If more than one hand has the same high card, the second highest card is used - then the third, then the fourth and finally the fifth. Keeping in mind that suits have no value, if two flushes use five cards of the same rank, but different suits, the hands are considered tied. When declaring a flush, they are described by their highest card, such as "Ace-high flush."


Straight


A straight is a hand which has five cards of sequential rank, but of more than one suit, such as 6h 5s 4h 3s 2d. A straight is better than three of a kind, and worse than a flush. In determining which straight is better, the highest ranked card of each straight are compared, and the highest is the winner. If two straights are of the same rank, the pot is split between the two. In community card games, straights are the most commonly tied hands. When declaring a straight, they are described by their highest card. The example above would be a seven high straight. An ace can be used for both high, in an ace high straight (As Ks Qh Jd 10s) and for a low in a five high straight ( 5s 4h 3d 2d Ac). A five high straight is also known as a wheel or bicycle and is the lowest ranked straight. In most games, the ace does not "wrap around", so a "three high" straight (3h 2d As Ks Qd) is not a legal straight, but instead is an ace-high, no-pair hand.


Three of a kind


Also known as trips or a set, three of a kind is a poker hand that contains three cards of the same rank, plus two additional unpaired cards, for example Ah Ac As Ks Jc. Three of a kind is better than two pair, but worse than a straight. In comparing hands, the highest ranked three of a kind defeats lower ranked three of a kinds. If two hands have the same three of a kind (possible in wildcard games or in community card games like Hold'em), the kickers are compared to break the tie.


Two Pair


A hand that contains two cards of the same rank, plus two other cards of another matching rank, plus one unpaired card is called two pair, for example Ah Ac Kh Ks 2d. Two pair is better than one pair and worse than three of a kind. In comparing two or more hands that contain two pair, the higher ranking pair is first compared, and the highest is the winner. If two hands contain the same higher pair, than the second pair is compared. Finally, if two hands have the same two pair, than the kick, or rank of the fifth card, of each hand determines the winner. When declaring a two pair hand, the hand is described higher pair over lower pair. So in the example above, the hand could be described "aces over kings," "aces and kings," or "aces up."


One pair

One pair is a poker hand that contains two cards of the same rank, plus three unpaired cards. It is better than any high-card, no-pair hand, but it is worse than two pair. Pairs of the higher rank defeat pairs of the lower rank. If two hands have the same rank of pair, the ranks of the unpaired cards determine the winner.

 

High Card

Also known as a no-pair hand, a high card hand has five cards all of different ranks that are not in sequence and are not of the same suit, for example Ac Qd 9h 7c 5s. High card hands rank below all other poker hands. When comparing two or more high card hands, the highest card of each hand is compared first, and the higher card is the winning hand. If the highest card is the same, then the next highest ranked cards are judged, then the third highest ranked card and so on. The lowest possible high card hand is 7 5 4 3 2.

 


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