Poker Hand Rankings:
A deck of traditional playing
cards consist of 52 cards. The ranking of the individual
cards run from highest in value to lowest in value. Ace, king,
queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. There is no ranking
among suits or cards such as spades, hearts, clubs, or diamonds,
therefore the Ace of spades does not beat the Ace of hearts.
All suits have equal value.
A normal poker hand usually consists of five cards, however
this may vary depending on the variation of the poker game.
The very first ranking of hands begins with the highest card
or cards known as the “high card” such as an ace
being the highest value without having at least a pair. There
for an Ace beats a King and so on. When the highest cards
are equal; the second cards are compared. This is often known
as a “kicker”. For example AQJ109, is a higher
ranking hand than AQJ108.
A hand with two cards of equal rank and three other cards
which do not match is known as a pair. When comparing two
such hands, the hand with the higher pair is better - so for
example 6-6-4-3-2 beats 5-5-A-K-Q. If the pairs are equal,
compare the highest ranking odd cards from each hand as mentioned
above; if these are equal compare the second highest odd card,
and if these are equal too compare the lowest odd cards. So
J-J-A-6-5 beats J-J-A-6-4 because the 5 beats the 4.
2). Two Pairs
Two pairs, consists of two pairs(cards or equal rank) For
example, K-K-Q-Q-J . When comparing hands with two pairs,
the hand with the highest pair wins, irrespective of the rank
of the other cards - so J-J-2-2-4 beats 10-10-9-9-8 because
the jacks beat the tens. If the higher pairs are equal, the
lower pairs are compared. Remember that a pair of Aces is
the highest pair so a hand of two pair such as A-A-2-2-3 beats
K-K-Q-Q-A. This concept is particularly important in a game
like Texas Holdem where the community cards can make two pair
for the player.
3). Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same rank plus two other cards.
This combination is also known as hitting a Set or Trips.
Remember that the rank or value of the cards that make the
three of a kind determines the winner. For example 5-5-5-3-2
beats 4-4-4-A-K. If you have to compare two three of a kind
where the sets of three are of equal rank, then the higher
of the two remaining cards in each hand are compared, and
if those are equal, the lower odd card is compared.
Five cards of different suits in sequential order - for example
Q-J-10-9-8. When comparing two straits, the one with the higher
top card is the better strait. Ace can count high or low in
a straight, but not both at once. A-K-Q-J-10, often called
Broadway and 5-4-3-2-A, often called a wheel are both valid
straights, but 2-A-K-Q-J is not. 5-4-3-2-A is the lowest kind
of straight, the top card being the five.
A flush consists of five cards of the same suit, in no particular
sequential order. When comparing two flushes, the highest
card determines which is higher. If the highest cards are
equal then the second highest card is compared; if those are
equal as well, then the third highest card is compared, etc,
etc. For example K- J- 9- 3- 2 beats K- J- 7- 6- 5 because
the nine beats the seven. The ace high flush is the best type
of flush one can have, because no card has a higher value
than an ace. In a game like Texas Holdem where community cards
are shared amongst players, often the ace card that will be
used to complete a flush will be on the board. When this happens,
the player with the next highest card of the suit, lets say
spades will make the flush that will win. In the aforementioned
example the player with the King of spades plus three other
spades in their hand will have the best flush.
6). Full House
A Full House consists of three cards of one rank and two cards
of another rank. For example, three fives and two Kings (commonly
known as "fives full of Kings" or more specifically
"fives on Kings"). When comparing full houses, the
rank of the three cards determines which is higher. For example
A-A-A-2-2 beats K-K-K-A-A. If the threes of a kind were equal,
the rank of the pairs would decide. An example of this would
be Q-Q-Q-5-5 would beat Q-Q-Q-4-4 because fives have a higher
value than four’s.
7). Four of a kind
Four of a kind is self explanatory, four cards of the same
rank. For example, four queens. The fifth card can be anything.
This combination is sometimes known as "quads".
Between two fours of a kind, the one with the higher set of
four cards is higher - so 3-3-3-3-A is beaten by 4-4-4-4-2.
It can't happen in standard poker, but if in some other game
you need to compare two fours of a kind where the sets of
four cards are of the same rank such as in Texas Holdem then
the one with the higher fifth card is better. An example of
this would be K-K-K-K-A would beat K-K-K-K-Q.
8). Straight Flush
A Strait Flush consists of five cards of the same suit in
sequence - such as 10- 9- 8- 7- 6. Between two straight flushes,
the one containing the higher top card is higher. An ace can
be counted as low, so 5- 4- 3- 2- A is a straight flush, but
its top card is the five, not the ace, so it is the lowest
type of straight flush. Similar to a regular strait, cards
cannot turn the corner, such as 4- 3- 2- A- K is not a valid
strait.10. Royal Flush
The Royal Flush is the “Mack Daddy” of all poker
hands regardless of the type of poker game. It is unbeatable
and the highest ranking hand there is in poker. The royal
flush consists of A- K- Q- J- -10, all in the same suit. As
all suits are equal, all royal flushes are equal. Some people
may think that the Royal Flush of spades is the most beautiful
Royal Flush and thus sentimental to many people. As Royal
Flush’s almost never ever happen, if you do get lucky
enough to get one thank the stars and get ready to check raise
the poor guy sitting across from you.
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