Hand Rankings

When the time comes to decide who gets the pot (showdown), there is a set of hand rankings that is almost universally accepted to determine who wins. These are listed below from strongest to weakest.

  • Royal Flush – The best possible straight flush. Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace all of the same suit.
  • Straight Flush – Cards of five consecutive ranks, all of the same suit
  • 4 of a kind – Four cards of any one rank, and any other card
  • Full house – Three cards of one rank, and two cards of a second rank.
  • Flush – Five cards of the same suit that doesn’t make a straight
  • Straight – Cards of five consecutive ranks when not all five are of the same suit
  • Three of a Kind – Three cards of the same rank and two unrelated cards
  • Two pair – Two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank, and a fifth
  • One Pair – Two cards of the same rank and three other unrelated cards
  • High Card – Known as a ‘Busted Hand’. Five unrelated cards – no pair, no flush, no straight. Nothing.

In the event of a tie, the player with the highest hand is determined by the value of the cards. For example: If two players had the highest ranked hand of a straight, one with an 8 high and the other being 9 high, the 9 high straight would be awarded the pot. Similarly, if two players hold the highest hand of a pair of kings, the highest card outside of the pair, the kicker, will determine the winner of the hand.

When multiple players have exactly the same ranked hand, the pot will be split between them. If the amount of the pot cannot be split evenly amongst the winners, the remainder is given to the player(s) nearest the Dealer button.


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