Free Poker School

Poker hand rankings

In poker hand rankings the ace normally plays high, but can sometimes can play low, as explained below. At the showdown, those players still remaining compare their hands according to the following rankings:

Royal flush

The highest poker hand. It consists of AKQJT all in the same suit. As all suits are equal, all royal flushes are equal.

Royal flush

Five cards of the same suit in sequence, such as 76543 of hearts. The ace can play low to make 5432A, the lowest straight flush.

Four of a kind

Four cards of the same rank accompanied by a "kicker", like 44442. Ranked by the quads, so that 44442 beats 3333K.

Full house

Three cards of one rank accompanied by two of another, such as 777JJ. Ranked by the trips, so that 44422 beats 333AA.

Flush

Five cards of the same suit, such as AJ942 of hearts. Ranked by the top card, and then by the next card, so that AJ942 beats AJ876. Suits are not used to break ties.

Straight

Five cards in sequence, such as 76543. The ace plays either high or low, making AKQJT and 5432A. "Around the corner" straights like 32AKQ are not allowed.

Three of a kind

Three cards of the same rank and two kickers of different ranks, such as KKK84. Ranked by the trips, so that KKK84 beats QQQAK, but QQQAK beats QQQA7.

Two pair

Two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank and a kicker of a third rank, such as KK449. Ranked by the top pair, then the bottom pair and finally the kicker, so that KK449 beats any of QQJJA, KK22Q, and KK445.

One pair

Two cards of one rank accompanied by three kickers of different ranks, such as AAK53. Ranked by the pair, followed by each kicker in turn, so that AAK53 beats AAK52.

High card

any hand that does not qualify as one of the better hands above, such as KJ542 of mixed suits. Ranked by the top card, then the second card and so on, as for flushes. Suits are not used to break ties.

Suits are not used to break ties, nor are cards beyond the fifth; only the best five cards in each hand are used in the comparison. In the case of a tie, the pot is split equally among the winning hands.