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Poker Hand Rankings
If it's home poker games you are in to then you can invent any rules you want, but if it's a casino then the poker rules and hand rankings are always the same. Poker games are normally played with a fifty-two card deck.
Cards are ranked with the Ace the highest card, followed by the King, Queen, Jack, Ten, Nine, Eight and so on down to the Two, known as a Deuce. In most games, an Ace can also play below a Deuce for straights.
All poker hands, including games like Seven Card Stud, consist only of the best five cards available. After all betting rounds are complete all players remaining in the hand show their cards (or discard them if they see a better hand has them beat).
In order the poker hand rankings are: 1. The best possible hand is a Straight Flush: five consecutive cards of the same suit. ("Suits" are spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds.) The highest possible straight flush is a Royal Flush. A Royal Flush includes of Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten of the same suit.
2. Four of a Kind. Four cards of the same rank, for example four kings, plus any fifth card. Higher ranks are better -- four tens would beat four sixes.
3. Full House. Three cards of the same rank, with a pair of another rank. The higher ranking three cards determines which full house beats another.
4. Flush. Five cards of the same suit. For example, the Ace, Queen, Nine, Seven and Three of clubs. When comparing flushes, they are ranked from the top card on down. If two flushes have exactly the same cards this is a tie and a pot would be split.
5. Straight. Five sequential cards of different suits. When two straights are shown down, the highest card determines the winner.
6. Three of a Kind. Three cards of the same rank with two unpaired cards. As always, a higher ranked three of a kind defeats a lower ranked three of a kind. In flop games it is possible for both players to have the same three of a kind, in which case the two unrelated "kicker" cards would determine the winner.
7. Two Pair. Two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank and a kicker of a third rank.
8. One Pair. Two cards of the same rank, and three unrelated cards. A higher pair defeats a lower pair. When players have the same pair, the unrelated "kicker" cards are valued in order.
9. No Pair, High Card. A hand with no pair or any of the other ranking values above. When comparing no pair hands, the highest card determines the winner, using each card in order if necessary.