Poker hands order

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Poker hands order - introduction

One of the most important things to learn before playing poker online is the order in which poker hands are ranked. Poker involves making the best possible hand from a total of five cards. Those five cards can be any combination from:

- The two cards that you hold in your own hand, which only you can see;
- Five community cards, which are dealt face up in stages if and when the hand progresses that far.

Poker involves separate rounds of betting before each of the flop (the dealing of the first three community cards), turn (fourth card) and river (fifth and final community card). Players therefore need to assess the strength of their hand at each stage when deciding on their betting strategy (check, fold, call, bet, raise, re-raise). Of course, hand strength is only one factor in poker. Players can also try to bluff others by acting as though they hold much stronger cards than they actually have.

Whatever your style of play, it's important to know the poker hands order so that you can understand the strength of your own hand and the possible ranking of hands held by other players.

Poker hands order - printable guide

The following poker hands order guide shows the ranking of poker hands in descending order:

Poker hands order

When poker hands go the full distance and end in a showdown (with all remaing players showing their hands to determine the winner), the player whose hand features the highest qualifyhing card(s) wins the pot. For example:

- In a high card-only showdown, the hand with the highest value card wins
- The highest value pair beats lower value pairs
- The player with the highest value pair in a two pair hand beats any other players with two pairs
- The highest value three of kind beats any other three of a kind hands
- The highest card in a straight beats other straights that end in a lower top value
- The highest card in a flush beats other flushes with lower highest value cards
- The highest value three of kind component wins when more than player has a full house
- The highest value four of kind beats other four of kinds of lower value
- The highest value card in a straight flush determines the winner
- Royal flushes can only ever tie with each other, sharing the pot

In each case, the winner is based on the best hand taking into account their five best cards. In hands where the ranking component is a tie, the next best cards are used to determine the winner. If they also tie, the next best are considered - all the way up to and including the fifth best card if necessary. If the hands are still tied after considering each players' five best cards, the pot is shared between them as joint winners.

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