Poker 101: Learning How Online Poker Hands Rank

Poker is a game with a combination of luck and skill. The primary objective of every poker player is to win the pot and to win the pot the player has to make the best hand on the table. The following rules also apply to online poker sites. More details on poker still available to US players can be found at https://www.beatthefish.com/us-poker-sites/.

The number of cards in a poker hand

A hand is a collection of five cards, although individual players may hold 2 (as in Hold’em), 7 (as in Stud), or another number for other variations. In Teas Hold’em players have 2 “hole cards” which are unique for every player and the remaining three cards are from the set of five shared cards on the table.

High hands and low hands

Every possible hand on the table has a rank, this rank is compared against the rank of every player present in the game at the time of the showdown. In Texas Hold’em and seven-card stud, the player who has the highest ranking hand among all the players wins the game. On the other hand, in low games, for example, razz, the lowest ranking hand wins the pot.

Categorizing poker hands

The ranks of the hands are formed by the patterns on the cards and each rank fall into a specific category. A high ranking hand will always be preferred over the lowest ranking hand. If two players have hands falling in the same category, then the ranks of the individual cards will be studied to determine the winner.

Suits and Aces

Universally, all four suits have the same ranking. The cards in the deck are ranked from highest to lowest: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. However, the Ace can also be used as the card bearing the digit 1 in certain hands.

Every Poker Hand Ranking

Straight Flush

It is a rank which consists of five sequential cards, all of the same suit. There are 40 possible hands in the straight flush category and the ranking is determined by the ranking of the card. If more than one player has the same cards in a straight flush with the difference only in the suit then both the hands have equal ranks.

A straight flush with A-K-Q-J-10 is known as a royal flush and is the best hand possible in the game when not using a wild card. It ranks above the four of a kind. Royal flushes in big spots often become legendary poker stories.

Four of a Kind

This hand is also known as Quads and consist of four cards of the same rank, and one card of another rank. If more than one player has four of a kind then the rank is determined by the rank of the four similar cards.

Full House

It is also known as Full Boat and consist of three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. In the case of more than one full house, the ranking of the same three cards is considered to determine the winner. If there is more than one similar full house at the showdown and the difference is only in the suit then both of them are considered equal.

Flush

A flush is a hand which consists of all cards belonging to the same suit though they are not sequential. In the case of more than one flush, the rank of the card is determined by looking at the ranking of each individual high ranking card. If all five cards are of the same rank and the difference is in suit alone, then both the suits will be considered equal.

Straight

A poker hand which consists of five sequential cards, though not of the same rank is called a straight. The ranking of the straight will be determined by the rank of the highest ranking card. A Broadway straight is an ace-high straight which consists of cards from A to 10 of different suits while a baby straight is a five-high straight which consists of cards from 5 to A, of different suits.

Three of a Kind

The hand which has three cards of the same rank is called three of the kind. A three of a kind is ranked first by its triplet then by its highest ranking kicker then by the second highest ranking kicker.

Two Pair

A poker hand which has two cards of one kind and another pair of the same kind is known as two of a kind. The rank is determined by the rank of the highest card, then the rank of the next pair and then with the rank of the kicker. Two hands containing same ranking pairs, but differing by suit alone are considered equal.

One Pair

It is the hand which has only one pair of same ranking cards. In the case of one than one same hand, the rank can be determined by first looking at the ranking of the pair than by the ranking of each individual card. If all cards are same and the difference is only in the suits then both are considered equal.

High Card

A high card is a hand which has simply nothing similar. All the cards are non-sequential and belong to different suits. In this case, the ranking is determined by the rank of each card.