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What Beats What In Poker

Aug 15, 2008
If you are interested in trying your hand at poker, or you are simply interested in knowing the game a little bit better so that you can enjoy watching it more, you'll find that you need to make sure that know the names of the hands and how they rank. Take a look at the top rankings below, starting from the lowest to the highest and best hands that you can have, and once you have an idea what you are looking at, you'll understand the game that much more thoroughly.

High Card
If there are no hands in the deck, the person with the highest card in their hand will take the pot.

One Pair
This hand refers to two cards that match, and it can win when your opponents are not holding anything.

Two Pair
A two pair hand will consist of a hand where there are two repeats of the same cards, like a two 4's combined with two Jacks.

Three of a Kind
Three of a kind will beat two pairs, and this refers to getting three of the same cards, like three Queens or three 5's.

Straight
A straight refers to getting five cards that occur in sequence, like 5,6,7,8,9. These cards do have to be in rank order, but you'll find that they do not need to be in the same suit.

Flush
A flush refers to a hand where the order doesn't matter but all all of the cards are of the same suit. Therefore, a 3, a 4, a 6, a 10 and a Queen would be a flush if they were all hearts.

Full House
A Full House refers to a hand that holds one pair plus three of a kind. Suit doesn't matter and this hand beats all the ones that have come before it.

Four of a Kind
A hand called a four of a kind will need to have four cards of the same ranking, thus giving you all the cards of that ranking in the deck. A four of kind hand might be four 8's, or four 10's.

Straight Flush
A straight flush includes five cards that in ranking order that are all of the same suit. An example of a straight flush might be a 2,3,4,5, and 6 of diamonds.

Royal Straight Flush
A royal straight flush, the rarest hand in poker, refers to getting a 10, a Jack, a Queen, a King and an ace, all of the same suit.

By learning what beats what in poker and the different hands of poker, you'll find that you have a good place to start when it comes to figuring out what is going on.
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