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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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