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Rank of Hands

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Introduction:

There are many variations of poker. Most poker games has the same ranking of hands. The ranking of hands is used to decide which hand is the best and wins.


Ranks:

In the table below you find names, descriptions and examples of poker hands ranked from high to low. Underneath the table you find more information on the poker hands.

Purple glow is used to indicate which cards have to be used to make that poker hand.




Abbreviations used in explanations below:


A=Ace
K=King
Q=Queen
J=Jack


Five of a Kind
– This can only be obtained if your poker game contains wild cards (cards that can be used as any other card determined by its holder). It is the highest possible hand. If more than one player have five of a kind, the higher card wins. Five aces beat any other five of a kind, and is therefore the absolute best hand one can have if wild cards are used.

Straight Flush – If wild cards aren’t used in your poker game straight flush is the best possible poker hand. Straight flush is five consecutive cards in the same suit. Example: 6-7-8-9-10, all of them clubs. Aces can be used to form a high straight flush (A-K-Q-J-10) or a low straight flush (A-2-3-4-5). Aces cannot be used to build a “loop” straight flush (K-A-2-3-4). That is not a straight flush, but ace high flush (If they are all in same suit). An ace high straight flush (A-K-Q-J-10 of same suit) is called a Royal Flush and is the absolute highest poker hand if wild cards aren’t used.

Four of a Kind – If your hand contains of four cards with the same rank (Example four threes) you have four of a kind. This hand is seldom beaten in poker. If two or more players have four of a kind, the hand with the higher rank of his four equal cards wins. If your poker game uses so many wild cards that two players can achieve four of a kind with the same rank, then the player with the highest card outside the four of a kind wins. (Example: 8-8-wild-wild-K beats 8-8-wild-wild-4).

Full House – If your hand contains of three of a kind and a pair (Example: 8-8-8-4-4) you have a full house. If two or more players have a full house the higher three of a kind wins. Example: Q-Q-Q-3-3 beats J-J-J-A-A. In this case the two aces isn’t enough, because the three queens beat the three jacks, and that is what counts in a full house. There can only be two equal full houses if wild cards are used. If neither the three of a kind nor the pair can’t rank the hands, it is a split pot. This means that players with equal hands will split the pot equally between them.

Flush
– If your hand contains of five cards with the same suit such as A-J-9-5-3 all of diamonds you have a flush. If two or more players have a flush the one with the higher card wins. If this card is equal of two or more players, the second highest card will determine who wins and so on. Example: A-J-9-3-2 of spades beats A-J-8-6-5 of diamonds. Here we see that both players had flush with ace and jack high. Player one beats player two with his 9. As there are no rank of suits in poker the players will split the pot if all cards are of same rank (Example: A-J-9-6-5 of spades and A-J-9-6-5 of diamonds).

Straight
– if your hand contains of 5 consecutive cards such as 5-6-7-8-9 you have a straight. Aces can be used to form a high straight (A-K-Q-J-10) or a low straight (A-2-3-4-5). Aces cannot be used to build a “loop” straight (K-A-2-3-4). That is not a straight, but an ace high hand. Two straights with the same rank (10-9-8-7-6 VS 10-9-8-7-6) will form a split pot regardless of suits (if one of the players doesn’t have all cards in same suit giving him a straight flush).

Three of a Kind
– If you have three cards of the same rank you have three of a kind (Q-Q-Q-5-3). (Remember that if the two other cards match each other forming a pair you have a full house example: Q-Q-Q-5-5). The highest three of a kind wins. If they equal (if wild cards are used), the players will compare side cards. Example: Q-Q-Wild-5-3 beats Q-Q-Q-4-3. All cards equal will form a split pot.

Two Pair – If you have two pairs in your hand along with a fifth card such as J-J-6-6-8 you have two pairs. If two or more players have two pairs, the highest pair wins. If the highest pair is the same of both players the higher second pair wins. If this pair also is the same with both players the fifth card will decide the winner. Example: A-A-8-8-K beats A-A-8-8-7. If the fifth card is the same with both players it will be a split pot. (You don’t need to play in a wild card game for this to happen; in fact it is not possible to get two pair if one of your cards is a wild card).

Pair – If you have two cards of same rank you have a pair (example: 9-9-K-8-3). If two players have the same pair, the higher side card will decide the winner. If this is the same, move on to the second highest side card and so on. If all cards are of equal rank it will be a split pot.

High Card
- If no player in the game has any of the hands mentioned above (example: K-J-9-3-2) the player with the highest card wins. If the highest card is the same in two or more poker hands the players look at the second highest card, then the third highest card, etc. If all cards have the same rank there will be a split pot.


Rank of low poker hands

In some poker games there is a rank of the lowest poker hand. There are three methods of ranking low poker hands, called ace-to-five low, deuce-to-seven low, and ace-to-six low. The ace-to-five low hand method is most common.


Split pot
Split pots occur when two or more players have the exact same hand. This is not an everyday incident.


Suits
In poker there are no ranking of suits, even though you can find it in some home game rules.


Wild Cards
In some poker games wild cards are used. Wild cards can be used as any other card in order to form the best poker hand. Example: 9-8-Wild-6-5 will make a 9 high straight. Jokers and deuces are most common to use as wild cards, but other cards can be used if the poker game specify this.