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Poker Hand Rankings

One of the most crucial articles in the whole of the course: A full list of poker hands, from high card to royal flush. Worth printing out and keeping close by at all times.

You can win a hand of poker two ways: either by forcing all your opponents to fold their cards or by having the best hand at showdown. You therefore need to know the ranking of poker hands, ie, what beats what.

In Texas Hold'em, players make the best hand using their two hole cards and the five community cards. A poker hand must consist of five cards, and it does not matter how many of your hole cards you use. Sometimes you will use both, sometimes only one and on some occasions none of your hole cards will be used. If the community cards, for example, were  then all remaining players will have a royal flush. It is impossible to beat this hand with any hole cards.

All the suits in poker are of equal value. It makes no difference whether someone has the ace of clubs or the ace of diamonds. If remaining players have exactly the same hand at showdown, only in different suits, the pot is split.

HAND RANKING

The value of poker hands is determined by how rare or common it is to be dealt them, with the most common hands valued lower than the rarer hands. The complete list of poker hands is as follows, in increasing order of scarcity:

  1. High card
  2. One pair
  3. Two pair
  4. Three of a kind (sometimes called "trips" or "a set")
  5. Straight
  6. Flush
  7. Full house
  8. Four of a kind (sometimes called "quads")
  9. Straight flush

High Card

If you have no pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, etc., then the highest card in your hand is considered to be decisive. The hand above, in which the best card is an ace and there is no other combination of poker hand, is known as "ace high".

Ace high beats king high. King high beats queen high, and so on.

If the high cards in two players' hands is the same, the second-highest card becomes decisive. If these cards are also the same, the third-highest card plays and so on. These cards are known as the kicker.
 

High card ace, king kicker:

Player 1 has
Player 2 has
The board is

Both players have an ace, but Player 1 wins, because he has a king as his second highest card (kicker). His opponent only has a queen.
 

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