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Poker Hand Rankings

If a card game is considered a poker game, it is probably because it uses the standard poker hand rankings. This is one of the few things that is common to all poker games. If a game doesn’t use these poker hand rankings, it isn’t really poker, as such. However, it is possible for a game to use these rankings without being poker, as can be attested to by the many card games sprouting up that utilize these rankings. In a poker showdown (after the last betting round), the player who has the highest poker hand ranking (as listed below) wins. If players have hands that are of the same ranking, the tie is broken by who has the highest cards.




Straight Flush

6-high straight flush

Five cards in sequence of the same suit. AKQJT is the highest straight flush and is also known as the Royal Flush, the hand with the highest poker hand ranking.

Four of a kind

Quad 10’s, Queen kicker

Four cards that are the same rank and one left over card (a “kicker”). If two players have the same four cards, the player with the highest kicker wins.

Full House

7’s full of 5’s

Three of a kind together with a pair. The player with the highest three of a kind wins.


King-high flush

Five cards with the same suit. If two players have a flush, the one with the highest card wins. If both players have the same high card, look to the second highest card, etc.


Ace-high straight

A sequence of five cards. Whoever has the straight with the highest card wins.

Three of a kind

Trip 4’s, 9 kicker

Three cards of the same kind and two other kicker cards that are different.

Two pair

8’s over 6’s, Ace kicker

Two pairs. The player with the highest pair wins.

One pair

Pair of 2’s, Ace kicker

A pair. The player with the highest pair wins. Kickers break the tie.

High card


A hand that does not have any poker hand ranking value at all is judged by its highest card. If, somehow two players are showing down with a high card and have the same high card, the second highest card breaks the tie, etc.

If you need to print off these poker hand rankings and study them. It will be well worth it to learn this basic part of the game before you embarrass yourself at the poker table.

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