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Hand Ranking | Chip Stack over Ace of Spades

Hand Ranking

In a nutshell, a hand consists of five cards. Poker hands fall into one of several categories, such as flush, straight, or two pair. The player with the highest-ranked hand is the winner.

Royal flush

A royal flush is an ace high straight flush. For example, A-K-Q-J-10 all of diamonds.

Straight flush

A straight flush is a five-card straight, all in the same suit. For example, 7-6-5-4-3 all of clubs.

Four of a kind

Four of a kind, or quads, are four cards of equal value. For example, four jacks.

Full house

A full house contains a set (3) of cards of one value and a pair of another value. For example, Q-Q-Q-2-2.

Flush

A flush is any 5 cards, all of the same suit. For example, K-Q-9-6-3 all of diamonds.

Straight

Five cards of sequential value. Every possible straight will contain either a 5 or a 10. For example, 7-6-5-4-3 with different suits.

Three of a kind

Three cards of the same value. For example, three aces.

Two pairs

This is two cards of one value and another two cards of another value. For example, two jacks and two 8s.

Pair

One pair is two cards of the same rank. For example, two queens.

High card

The hand with the highest card(s) wins. If two or more players hold the highest card, a kicker comes into play (see below).

Ties & Kickers

Poker is all about making the best five-card hand from the seven available (five community cards and your own two hole cards). That means in the event of a tie with four of a kind, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, or high card, a side card, or 'kicker', comes into play to decide who wins the pot.

Ties and Kicker | Poker hand Pair of Nine

Player A's best five cards

Ties and Kicker | Poker hand King High

Player B's best five cards

Player A wins the hand with 4 kicker.

With a three of a kind, one pair or high card tie, a second, third or even fourth kicker could come into play to decide the pot. If the kickers can’t decide one overall winner, those players involved are just going to have to share the pot.