How to play poker – Hand rankings

Learning how to play poker can be a lot of fun, but it can also be confusing. Half of learning how to play poker, though, is learning all of the hand rankings. If you can learn these, than the rest of the rules will simply fall into place. Here is a list and brief description of all the possible hands you can have, in the order of greatest to least.

1. If you are playing with jokers or wild cards, than 5 of a kind is the best hand you can get. For example, four sixes and a Joker would be 5 of a kind.

2. If there is no Joker being used, than the highest hand you can get is a Straight Flush. The highest straight flush you can get is Ace, K, Q, J, 10, all of the same suit, and is sometimes called a royal flush. A straight flush is five cards in a row, all of the same suit.

3. Four of a kind is the next highest. For example, four aces is the best four of a kind hand you can get.

4. A full house. To get this hand, you must have three cards of one rank paired with two cards of another rank. For example, KKK33 is a king high full house, and it beats a 77744 full house, because three kings beats three sevens.

5. A flush is five cars of the same suit. For example, a seven, four, two, king, and ace of spades would be called an ace-high flush, because the ace is the highest card in the flush. This would beat a King-high flush, etc.

6. A straight is five cards in a row. For example, a three, four, five, six, and seven, of any mixed suits, is a seven-high straight. This would beat a straight that was like two, three, four, five, and six, because a seven beats a six.

7. Three of a kind is obtained by having three cards of the same rank, like three aces or three kings. The higher rank wins, so three tens would beat three sevens.

8. Two pair is obtained by having two cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. For example, two sevens and two kings would be two pair. The highest pair decides who wins. If the highest pair is a tie, than the second pair decides. If this is also a tie, than the extra kicker decides who wins. If it is a complete tie, than the pot gets split.

9. A pair. This is two cards of the same rank. For example, two tens would be a pair of tens.

10. High card wins if there are no pairs, straights, or flushes.