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Poker Hand Rankings Deeply Explained

A popular card game, poker is characterized by a mix of strategy, skill, and chance elements. A successful player must have a thorough understanding of poker hand rankings.

1. The Basics of Poker Hand rankings

A standard 52-card deck contains five cards for each player. Rankings indicate how likely it is that the hand will occur and its relative strength compared to other hands.

2. High Card

High cards are the lowest-ranking poker hands. The highest card in a hand wins if neither player has a pair or higher. Player A will win if he had a King-high and Player B has a Queen-high.

3. One Pair

An individual pair consists of two cards of the same rank and three cards that are not related. The player with the higher pair wins if there are two players with one pair. The highest non-paired card determines the winner if both players have the same pair.

4. Two Pair

Two pair hands consist of two sets of cards with the same rank and one card that is not related to the other sets. The player who has the highest pair wins. The winner is determined by the second pair if both players possess the same highest pair.

5. Three of a Kind

There are three cards of the same rank and two cards that are unrelated in a three of a kind hand. If there are three of a kind, the highest ranking three wins. When there is a tie, the highest remaining card (kicker) determines the winner.

6. Straight

Straights consist of five consecutive cards of any suit. A hand’s strength is determined by the highest card in the sequence. In a straight, Aces can serve as both high and low cards.

7. Flush

Flushes consist of five cards of the same suit, not in sequence. A flush is valued according to the highest card in it. The player with the highest card in a flush wins if both players have a flush.

8. Full House

Full houses consist of three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. A hand with the highest ranking set of three cards wins. The winner is determined by the pair of players with the same three cards.

9. Four of a Kind

Four of a kind hands consist of four cards of the same rank and one card of an unrelated rank. The hand with the highest set of four cards is the winner. When there is a tie, the kicker with the highest kicker wins.

10. Straight Flush

Straight flushes are a combination of straights and flushes. It consists of five consecutive cards with the same suit. Straight flushes are valued according to their highest card.

11. Royal Flush

In poker, the royal flush is the highest-ranking hand. Straight flushes from 10 to Ace are considered straight flushes. Royal flushes are unbeatable and guarantee victory.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest hand in poker?

Royal flushes are the highest hands in poker, consisting of Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks, and 10s of the same suit.

Can I have two pairs of the same rank?

No, poker hands can only contain one pair of each rank. It is impossible to have two pairs of the same rank.

How does a Full House work?

Full houses are formed by three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. A strong hand such as this can often lead to a win.

What if two players have the same hand?

A tie is broken by the highest kicker card. A kicker is the highest-ranking card not included in the hand.

Can a high card win a hand?

Yes, when no other player has a pair or higher, a high card can win the hand. As a result, the player with the highest card wins.

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