From high card to royal flush – what are all the different poker hands? | The Sun

THE game poker can be played online or in casinos and has many varieties. The most common form is probably Texas hold’em, which is a five-card game.

Do you know all of the possible hands that you can have?

Nearly all poker games are played with a standard 52-card deck.

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Texas hold’em, as well as many other variations of poker, have 10 possible hands.

Their rankings range from the weakest hand (high card) to the strongest hand (royal flush).

In Texas hold’em, each player receives two cards (hole cards). These are private and can be used only by the person to whom they are dealt.

Through the three stages (the flop, the turn and the river) five cards are revealed at the centre of the table (community cards).

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After the river, each player effectively has seven cards to utilise – the five community cards and their two hole cards.

Using a combination of these seven cards, each player tries to form the best possible hand.

The best hand wins the pot.

Here are all of the possible hands that you can play in five-card poker.

High card

This list is in ascending order, starting with the weakest possible hand – high card.

A high card is when a player cannot make up any of the other possible hands.

Hence, it can also be called a “no pair” or “nothing” hand. As the player cannot form a hand, they play their highest ranking card.

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Ace is generally considered high, unless it is forming part of a hand that dictates its value must be low.

Pair

To form a pair, the player must have two cards of the same rank, in different suits.

For instance, an ace of hearts and an ace of spades.

Two pair

The two pair is when a player can form two sets of paired cards.

Within the pairs, the cards must be the same rank. The pairs must be different ranks to each other.

For instance, an ace of hearts, an ace of spades, a king of hearts and a king of spades.

Three of a kind

For this hand, the player must have three cards of the same rank. For instance, an ace of hearts, an ace of spades and an ace of diamonds.  

Straight

For this hand, rank matters but suit does not. It occurs when a player has five consecutive cards but they are not all the same suit.

For instance, an ace of hearts, a two of spades, a three of diamonds, a four of clubs and a five of hearts.

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This is an example of how ace can be considered low when needed.

However, it cannot act as both low and high within the same hand.  

Flush

The flush is almost the reverse of a straight because suit matters but rank does not.

The player has five cards that are all the same suit but the cards are not necessarily consecutive.

For instance, ace of hearts, four of hearts, eight of hearts, nine of hearts and queen of hearts.

For a flush, it doesn’t matter if ace is high or low. 

Full house

A full house consists of three cards of the same rank and two cards of another rank.

Suit doesn’t matter.

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Another way to think of a full house is as a hand that consists of a three of a kind and a pair.

For instance, an ace of hearts, an ace of spades, an ace of diamonds, a king of hearts and a king of spades.

Four of a kind

Also known as “quads”, this is the only hand where the player holds all possible suits of a given rank.

For a four of a kind, the player must have four cards of the same suit.

For instance, the ace of hearts, the ace of spades, the ace of diamonds and the ace of clubs.

Four of a kind can be a tactical hand as it can prevent higher hands from successfully forming. 

Straight flush

The penultimate hand involves five cards in consecutive rank AND in the same suit.

For instance, an ace of hearts, a two of hearts, a three of hearts, a four of hearts and a five of hearts.

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It can only be beaten by a royal flush.

Royal flush

There is no beating this hand, it is extremely powerful but also incredibly rare.

A royal flush is five consecutive cards of the same suit, but the cards MUST be 10, jack, queen, king and ace (which is high).

While there is no beating a royal flush, it can be tied with by another player having a royal flush.

When two of the same hands are played 

If two players have the same type of hand, the winner is the hand that contains the higher-ranking cards.

For instance, a king quad would outrank four 8s.

If the hands are the same rank, (e.g. two straights consisting of a three, a four, a five, a six and a seven) it is considered a tie.

Suit is never used as a determining factor.

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Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chase their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org

For help with a gambling problem, call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or go to www.gamstop.co.uk to be excluded from all UK-regulated gambling websites. 

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