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Poker Hand Ranks || Tie Breaker Rules || Guts Hand Rankings
Hi-Lo Hand Values || Tie Breaker Examples

Poker Hand Values

    The cards used in poker have two qualities. Suit (obviously spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds) and Rank (two through Ace).

With this in mind, here is how you create poker hands:

  • Royal flush - All cards of same suit. Ranks from ten through Ace.
  • Straight Flush - All cards of same suit. Rank in sequence.
  • Four of a Kind - Four cards with the same rank.
  • Full House - Three cards of one rank, and two cards of a second rank.
  • Flush - All cards of same suit.
  • Straight - All card with ranks in sequence. (ex. 4-5-6-7-8)
  • Three of a Kind - Three cards with the same rank.
  • Two Pair - A pair is two cards of the same rank. Two pair is two sets of cards of the same rank. (ex. 8-8-3-3-9)
  • One Pair - A pair is two cards of the same rank.
  • High Card - When no other poker hand can be formed, the highest ranking card in your hand is the "high card"

    Tie Breakers

        Hands can end in a tie, and result in a split-pot. But, there are tie breaking rules to consider first.

    I want to remark that hole cards and board cards carry the same weight. By that I mean in instances like this:

    Board: A, A, K, K, T
    Player A: T, 4
    Player B: 9, 8

    The hand is a tie, and the pot is split. The Ten on the Board is Equal in Value to the Ten in Player A's Hand. It does not outrank it.

    Both players are playing the board in this circumstance, and although it may appear that Player A has the better of it, Hole Cards do Not Carry More Weight Than Board Cards.

    The rules for breaking ties are:

  • Pairs - When two players both have a pair, the highest pair wins. When both players have the same pair, we look at the highest card in each hand. This card is referred to as the 'kicker'. For instance, 3-3-J-9-8 beats 3-3-9-8-7.
    If the pairs and the kickers are the same, the decision goes to the next highest card in the hand. 9-9-K-7-2 beats 9-9-K-5-3. This process continues until both hands are exactly the same or there is a winner.

    I have a question? Who will win if player 1 has ACE 9 vs player 2 with ACE JACK? And the community cards are 2 2 7 8 Q? Isn't it a split pot? Because of the pair 2's in the community cards?

    In texas holdem you take the best five cards to make a hand. In this case you'd be taking:
    2 2 A Q 9 for player one and 2 2 A Q J for player two.

    Both hands are "a pair of twos" so you go to the tie-breaker, which is the "kicker" or high card after the pair.

    In both hands that is an Ace, so the hand is still tied at this point. So, we go to the next card in the hand.

    In both hands it is a Q, so at this point the hand is still tied. So, we go to the next card in the hand.

    Here we break the tie. Player two has a J. Player one has a 9. A Jack outranks a 9. Player two wins the pot.

    The pair of 2's on the board IS played by both players, but once all of the tie-breakers are considered, the J does come into play.

  • Two Pair - the higher of the top pairs wins. A-A-9-9-2 beats K-K-J-J-10. If the top pair are equal, the second pair breaks the tie. If both the top pair and the second pair are equal, the kicker breaks the tie.

    Texas 7 card, 2 x players:
    Player A: 3, 7
    Player B: 4, K

    Flop, River, Turn: A,A,Q,Q,3

    Who wins?

    My argument was Player B winning on the K kicker. But I was shot down as they players believed that Player A's 3 somehow comes into it.

    In texas holdem you Take the Best Five Cards to Make a Hand.

    That means hands like "three pairs" are impossible (as they require six cards). To break a "two pair" tie you look at the value of the pairs. Since both players are playing the pairs on the board, they are still tied after looking at both the pairs.

    "If both the top pair and the second pair are equal, the kicker breaks the tie."

    So, we look at the kickers. Player A has a 7 for his highest kicker, Player B has a King for his. Kings rank higher than 7's, Player B takes the pot.

    The allure of finding an additional "match" in a poker hand can sometimes lead beginning players astray. But, the most basic rule of the showdown is this:

    You Take the Best Five Cards to Make a Hand.

    I am playing poker and two people had the following hands:
    Player 1 = 4 hearts, 4 clubs
    Player 2 = A hearts, 3 clubs

    The Board shows:
    K, K, J, J, 10

    I think Player 1 wins w/ two 4's
    Player 2 says he won w/ K K J J and his A is high

    Who is right?

    The way the rules work is that you can only use FIVE CARDS to make a hand.

    Your friend wins. His K, K, J, J, A beats any combination of 5 card hands you can throw at him:
    - K, K, 4, 4, Ten
    - J, J, 4, 4, Ten
    - K, K, J, J, 4
    - K, K, J, J, Ten (which is the best hand you can make with your cards)
    - J, J, 4, 4, King

    It doesn't matter what way you slice it, he has you outkicked. What seems like a "pair" of fours in your hand isn't a pair by the end of the hand. You can only use Five Cards in a poker hand, and there are already two higher pairs on the board.

  • Three-of-a-Kind - the higher ranking card wins. J-J-J-9-8 beats 5-5-5-9-8.

  • Straights - the straight with the highest ranking card wins. A-K-Q-J-10 beats 9-8-7-6-5. If the straights both contain cards of the same rank, the pot is split.

  • Flush - the flush with the highest ranking card wins. A-9-8-7-5 beats K-Q-J-5-4. If the highest cards in each flush are the same, the next highest cards are compared. This process continues until either the hands are shown to be exactly the same, or there is a winner.

    Hi there, I was hoping you could settle a big dispute that myself and other pokerplayers had last night.

    Player 1 has - K spades and 3 spades

    Player 2 has - J spades and 7 spades

    The board has - A spades, 10 spades and 2 spades on it


    The highest card in this flush is the Ace. Both players have an Ace since it is a shared board card.

    The next highest card is the King, held by Player 1. That breaks the tie, and Player 1 wins the pot.

  • Full House - the hand with the higher ranking set of three cards wins. J-J-J-2-2 beats 9-9-9-A-A.

    In playin texas holdem or Omaha how is a hand played were a full boat is on the table?

    Players can "play the board" if that is the best five card hand they can muster.

    If the board happens to be the best hand at the showdown, the pot would be split between the players that remain in the hand.

    If someone else can make a better hand, they would win. For example, the board shows this Full House:
    T T T 5 5 (Tens Full of Fives)

  • Player A holds AKo in the hole. Playing the board would be his best hand, so he has Tens Full of Fives
  • Player B holds AQs in the hole. His best hand would also be the board, so he had Tens Full of Fives.

    If those were the only two players in the hand they would split the pot.

    Let's add another guy to the hand:

  • Player C has 88. His best hand is T-T-T-8-8, or Tens Full of Eights. His hand is better, so he'd win the pot.

  • Four of a Kind - the higher ranking set of four cards wins. 9-9-9-9-2 beats 8-8-8-8-A.

  • Straight Flush - ties are broken in the same manner as a straight.

  • Royal Flush - Two or more Royal Flushes split the pot.

    Games with Wild Cards

        In games where wild cards are used, it is possible to have a five of a kind, which is ranked above a royal flush.

        Also in games using wild cards, players should decide ahead of time whether they wish wild card hands to be beaten by "natural" hands in the event of a tie.


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