The following listing of poker hands assumes a five-card poker hand with standard ranking. The poker hands are listed from highest to lowest value hand. Make sure you know what the hands are and their respective hierarchy before sitting down in an actual poker game. If two or more winning players have the exact same rank poker hand then the pot should be split evenly between the players.
Five of a Kind
A Five of a Kind is the highest possible poker hand. This hand consists of five cards of the same rank regardless of suit. If more than one player a has Five of a Kind, the higher card value wins, five Aces beats five Kings, which beat Five queens, and so on. A Five of a Kind is only possible when wilds cards are being used.
A Royal Flush is an Ace high Straight Flush, A-K-Q-J-10. It gets it’s own special name because the Royal Flush is the best natural poker hand. Natural just means the hand is possible without any wild card. See below for the definition of a Straight Flush.
The Straight Flush is a combination between a Straight and a Flush; clever name isn’t it. A Straight is five cards in sequential order, such as 4-5-6-7-8. In most poker variations an Ace can be either high (A-K-Q-J-10) or low (5-4-3-2-1). A Straight may not wraparound, such as Q-K-A-2-3. This hand would not be a Straight. A Flush is five cards of the same suit. Therefore, a Straight Flush is 5 cards in sequential order that are all the same suit. If you hand had a 6 of clubs, 7 of clubs, 8 of clubs, 9 of clubs and 10 of clubs you would have a Straight Flush, and probably be pretty happy.
Four of a Kind
Four of a Kind is simply four cards of the same rank regardless of suit. If there are two or more hands that qualify, the hand with the higher rank Four of a Kind wins. If you find yourself in a situation where two players have a Four of a Kind with the same rank, then the hand with the highest card outside the Four of the Kind wins. So 4-4-4-4-A would beat 4-4-4-4-9.
A Full House is a Three of a Kind and a Pair, such as Q-Q-Q-3-3. Ties are broken first by the Three of a Kind, then by the Pair. So Q-Q-Q-3-3 beats 9-9-9-A-A and 9-9-9-A-A beats 9-9-9-Q-Q.
A Flush is a hand where all of the cards are the same suit. When two or more players have a Flush, follow the rules below for High Card.
A Straight consists of five cards of any suit in sequential order, such as 5-6-7-8-9. As mentioned in the Straight Flush, an Ace can be either high (A-K-Q-J-10) or low (5-4-3-2-1) but cannot wraparound (Q-K-A-2-3 is not a straight). When two players have Straight the hand with the higher rank high card wins. So 6-7-8-9-10 beats 3-4-5-6-7. If two Straights have the same high card value they split the pot.
Three of a Kind
A Three of a Kind is three cards that have the same rank. If your other two cards are a Pair then you’ve got a Full House not a Three of a Kind (and you should bet more!) If two or more players have a Three of a Kind then the highest rank cards win. If both are the same rank, follow the rules below for High Card.
The Two Pair hand is two distinct Pairs of cards that have the same rank and a 5th card of a different rank. K-K-Q-Q-5 would be a Two Pair. The highest Pair wins ties. If both hands have the same high Pair, the second Pair wins. If both hands have the same set of Pairs, follow the rules below for High Card.
A Pair is two cards of the same rank with three other distinct cards. Use the High Card rules for tiebreakers.
High Card is any combination that does not qualify as one of the poker hands above. If no one has a pair or better, then the highest card wins. If multiple people tie for the highest card, then look at the second highest, then the third highest etc. High Card is also used to break ties when other top poker hands have the same rank.