"A man's character is stripped bare at the poker table; if the other players read him better than he does, he has only himself to blame. Unless he is both able and prepared to see himself as others do, flaws and all, he will be a loser in cards, as in life." More Pearls Of Wisdom >
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Hand Rankings

These are the hand rankings used in most forms of poker, including Texas Hold'em, Seven Card Stud, Five Card Draw and Omaha.

  • High card: The weakest hand in poker. You have one card, up to an Ace in value, and four side or 'rag' (useless) cards.
    What if there's a tie?: Highest card wins, and if necessary, the second-highest, third-highest and so on.
  • One pair: Two cards of the same rank, and three rag cards.
    What if there's a tie?: Highest pair wins. If players have the same pair, the highest side card wins.
  • Two pair: Two cards of the same rank combined with another two cards of a different matching rank, and one rag card.
    What if there's a tie?: Highest pair wins. If players have the same highest pair, highest second pair wins. If both players have two identical pairs, highest side card wins.
  • Three of a kind: Three cards of the same rank, and two rags.
    What if there's a tie?: Highest ranking three of a kind wins.
  • Straight: Five cards in sequence. Ace can be high or low (eg, A,2,3,4,5 or 10,J,Q,K,A)
    Highest ranking card at the top of the sequence wins.
  • Flush: Five cards of the same suit, eg, hearts
    What if there's a tie?:The player with the highest ranked card (highest flush) wins. If there is still a tie, the second-highest, third-highest etc cards can be used to break the tie. In the unlikely event that both players have five cards with the same ranks, the pot is split.
  • Full House: Three cards of the same rank (eg, 5,5,5), and two matching cards of a different rank (eg, 2,2)
    What if there's a tie?: Highest three matching cards wins the pot.
  • Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank, and one side card (known as the 'kicker’)
    What if there's a tie?: Highest four of a kind wins.
  • Straight Flush: Five cards, of the same suit, in consecutive order
    What if there's a tie? Highest rank at the top of the sequence wins.
  • Royal Flush: The best possible hand in poker. An ace, king, queen, jack and ten of the same suit. A royal flush is an unbeatable hand.
    What if there's a tie?: Call Elvis and tell him that pigs are flying. Over Mars. In bikinis. Seriously, won't happen. The odds of one player getting a royal flush are about 650,000-1 (see table below).

Hand rankings – Odds table

Hand No. of Ways Odds
Royal Flush 4 1 in 649,740
Straight Flush 36 1 in 72,193.33
4 of a Kind 624 1 in 4,165
Full House 3,744 1 in 694.16
Flush 5,108 1 in 508.80
Straight 10,200 1 in 254.80
3 of a Kind 54,912 1 in 47.32
Two Pairs 123,552 1 in 21.03
One Pair 1,098,240 1 in 2.36
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