Poker Hand Rankings

A poker hand consists of five playing cards. Poker hands fall into one of several categories, such as flush, straight, or two pair. The player whose hand is in the higher category wins. If two players have hands in the same category, the tie is broken usually by who has higher cards. Below is a table of the hand categories, highest to lowest.

CategoryExampleTiebreaker
Straight Flush
JsTs9s8s7s
Jack-high straight flush
A Straight Flush consists of 5 cards in numerical sequence, all of the same suit. The higher straight flush wins. AKQJT is the highest straight flush, and is also called a royal flush. 5432A is the lowest straight flush.
4-of-a-kind
5s5h5c5dKs
Quad fives, king kicker
The higher 4-of-a-kind wins. If two players have the same 4-of-a-kind, then the highest kicker (the 5th card) wins. 4-of-a-kind is also known as quads.
Full House
QhQsQd9c9h
Queens full of nines
A full house consists of a 3-of-a-kind and a pair. The higher 3-of-a-kind wins. If two players have the same 3-of-a-kind (using community cards), then the highest pair wins. Full House is also known as a boat.
Flush
AcQcJc9c3c
Ace-high flush
A Flush consists of five cards of the same suit. The higher flush wins. The highest card from each hand is compared, then the second highest, and so on.
Straight
KdQhJcTd9s
King-high straight
A Straight consists of five cards in numerical sequence. The higher straight wins. AKQJT is the highest straight; 5432A is the lowest straight (5432A is also called a wheel).
3-of-a-kind
7h7d7cJhTs
Trip sevens, jack kicker
The higher 3-of-a-kind wins. If two hands have the same 3-of-a-kind (using community cards), then the 2 kickers (unpaired cards) are used to break the tie. 3-of-a-kind is also known as trips. If you have a pocket pair in Texas Hold'em, and you form trips with a third card on the board, you have a set.
Two Pair
AcAh6s6dKs
Aces over sixes, king kicker
The hand with the higher top pair wins. If the top pairs are equal, then the bottom pairs are used to break the tie. If those are also equal, then the kicker (unpaired card) is used to break the tie.
Pair
KdKsAh4s2s
Pair of kings, ace kicker
The hand with the higher pair wins. If the pairs are equal, then the kickers are used to break the tie, first by comparing the highest kicker, then the 2nd highest kicker, and finally the lowest kicker.
High Card
QhTh9c6d3s
Queen high
If a hand does not fit in any other category, it is judged by high cards. Two hands are compared by taking the highest cards and comparing them. If those are equal, then the 2nd highest card from both hands are compared, and so on.

The Deck

A deck consists of 52 cards. These cards are divided into 4 suits, with each suit having 13 ranks.


The Four Suits

The suits are all of equal value. That is to say, no suit is higher than any other suit.

9s
Spades
9h
Hearts
9d
Diamonds
9c
Clubs

The Thirteen Ranks

In poker, the Ace is the highest card and the Deuce (2) is the lowest. However, the Ace can be used as a low card to form the straight 5432A.

As
Ace
Ks
King
Qs
Queen
Js
Jack
Ts
Ten

9s
Nine
8s
Eight
7s
Seven
6s
Six
5s
Five

4s
Four
3s
Three
2s
Deuce

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