Poker Hand Ranking

Before you can even consider start playing poker you need to understand the poker hand ranking. The hand ranking determines who will win a pot if a hand is played to the end (betting and calling).
In Texas Hold’em you have two private cards that are your own. These are called hole cards.¬† You use your hole cards and combine them with the common cards (community cards) to make a 5 card poker hand.
You can combine your hole cards with the community cards  in any way that is possible using zero, one or two of your hole cards. If you are not using your hole cards at all you can never have a better hand than your opponent, the best you can hope for is a split pot.
In poker the suit does not count, that is spade is equal in worth as diamonds (the pot is split if hands are of equal ranking).
If you are not familiar with this or want to practice becoming really quick at determining poker hand raking and who has the best hand I recommend that you use the Poker Training Exercises.

Poker hand ranking starting with the best:

Royal flush

A straight from a ten to an ace with all five cards of the same suit.

Straight flush

Any straight with all five cards of the same suit.

Four of a kind

Any four cards of the same rank.

Full house

Any three cards of the same rank together with any two cards of the same rank. If several players have a full house the player with the highest rank of the three cards with same rank wins. Our example shows “Aces full of Kings” and it is a bigger full house than “Kings full of Aces.”

Flush

Any five cards of the same suit (not consecutive). The highest card of the five determines the rank of the flush. Our example shows an Ace-high flush.

Straight

Any five consecutive cards of different suits. Aces can count as either a high or a low card. Our example shows a five-high straight, which is the lowest possible straight.

Three of a kind

Any three cards of the same rank. Our example shows three-of-a-kind Aces, with a King and a Queen as side cards – the best possible three of a kind.

Two pair

Any two cards of the same rank together with another two cards of the same rank. The highest pair of the two determines the rank of the two-pair.

One pair

Any two cards of the same rank.

High card

Any hand not in the above-mentioned hands. A hand with for example a 9 as highest card is called a 9-high. Our example shows the best possible high-card hand.


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