Poker Hands

The game play of poker involves creating a set of five cards known as “Hands” depending upon the type of poker opted for.  The ranking of such hands differs from game to game and depends upon the rules guiding that particular variant of poker.  Every individual hand has a unique value and it is compared with rest of the other player’s hands during the showdown to declare the winner.  High games such as Texas Hold’em and Seven Card Stud ranks the highest ranking cards as winner while low games like Razz involves creating low ranking hand to win.

In High-Low split games both high value as well as low value hands are declared as winners.  Poker hands can be divided into two categories

  • High Ranking
  • Low Ranking

High Ranking Poker Hands

High ranking hands in a classic poker involve different sets of combinations, numerical values and identical suits.  The highest ranking poker hands include the following

Straight Flush

This poker hand involves five cards of an identical suit in a numerical sequence for example 5♣ 6♣ 7♣ 8♣ 9♣.  In the case of tie between the two players, the one with highest rank at the top of the numerical order is declared as the winner.

Royal Flush

The best possible combination in the form of straight flush with full royalty at display is known as Royal Flush.  This hand includes an A, K, Q, J and 10 of the same suit, for example A♥K♥Q♥J♥10♥.  This hand is the most powerful combination in the game of poker and no other hand can beat it.

Four of a Kind

This type of hand involves four cards of the same rank accompanied by one another card known as “Side Card” or “Kicker”.  In the event of a tie between the players, the hand with four of the highest value cards is declared as the winner.  If such situation arises in community card games then the player with highest “Kicker” is declared as the winner.

Full House

This hand comprises of three cards of the same rank accompanied by two cards of different/matching ranks for example K♥K♣K♠10♥10♣.  In case of a tie, the highest three matching cards are declared the winner.  In situation of a tie during a community card games, the highest value of the two side cards is considered as the winning combination.

Flush

This combination involves five card of same suit irrespective of their ranking, for example Q♣8♣ 6♣4♣ 3♣.   In the event of a tie, the hand with a highest ranking card is declared as the winner.  Depending upon the situation in the game, second highest, third highest, fourth highest and fifth highest card of poker hand can be also considered.

Straight

This hand constitutes five cards in a sequence irrespective of the suit, for example 3♥4♣5♣6♦7♠.  In the case of a tie, the highest ranking card at the top of the sequence determines the win.  It should be noted that an ace can be used as the highest as well the lowest ranking card in different variants of poker.

Low Ranking Poker Hands

Even though some combinations of poker hands are considered as the lower ranks but it does not mean that they cannot make you a winner.  Low ranking poker hands also involve different sets of combinations, numerical values and identical suits.  The low ranking poker hands include the following

Three of a Kind

This type of poker hand includes three cards of the same rank irrespective of the suit color, for example J♠J♦J♣6♥8♥.  In the case of a tie, the highest ranking three of a kind is declared as the winner.  In community game, the second highest side card settles the tie.

Two Pair

This combination involves two pairs of matching rank cards and a single side card, for example 10♥10♦6♥6♣Q♠.

One Pair

This poker hand includes two cards of matching rank, irrespective of their suit color, for example A♥A♣7♠8♦6♥.  In the case of a tie, the highest ranking pair wins the game.  If both players have same pair, then highest side card is considered.