Poker, Hand Rankings

Card players set or arrange their hands – which can vary from a two-card and five-card hands in Pai Gow Poker, to five-card hands in Caribbean Stud Poker, to three-card hands and Three Card Poker – according to pre-determined criteria, which may vary slightly from one poker variant to the next.

Any hand becomes stronger, and the odds of winning are increased, if the player has several cards of the same rank, all the cards of the same suit, or all the cards with successive values.

The Traditional Rankings

  • High Cards, also referred to as ‘no pair’, ‘nothing’ or ‘rubbish’ – Any hand which does not include any of the hands mentioned below, that is, no two cards have the same rank, the five cards do not run in sequence, and the five cards are not all of the same suit .
  • One Pair – Any two cards of the same rank, for example two Aces.
  • Two Pair – Any two cards of the same rank, together with another two cards of the same rank, for example a pair of Kings and a pair of eights.
  • Three of a Kind, or Trips – any three cards of the same rank, for example trip nines.
  • Straight – Any five consecutive cards of different suits. Aces can either count as a high card – better than the King – or as a low card – one. Example – five of clubs, six of hearts, seven of spades, eight of clubs and nine of diamonds.
  • Flush – Any five cards of the same suit which are not consecutive, for example two, three, seven, ten and Queen of clubs
  • Four of a Kind, also known as Quads – Any four cards of the same rank, for example four sixes. Should two players share the same Four of Kind, then the fifth card will determine the winner and the higher the card, the better!
  • Full House, or Full Boat – Any three cards of the same rank ,a trip or Three of a Kind; plus any two cards of the same rank – One Pair
  • Straight Flush – Any straight with all five cards of the same suit, for example 4,5,6,7,8 of Clubs
  • Royal Flush – A straight from Ten to Ace and all five cards are of the same suit, for example 10,J,Q,K,A of diamonds.