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Winning Poker Hands

In order to succeed in poker, one must know the ranking of winning poker hands. Without this knowledge, you could pass up on an opportunity to win by either holding on to a bad hand that you believe to be good, or getting rid of a potential winner.

The ranking of poker hands is the same in each poker variation with the exception of Pai Gow poker, since a joker is used inside the deck. However, you may not know the order yet, so you'll find this section of particularly good use.

Here are the winning poker hands arranged from the best to the worst. Be sure that you have a poker strategy in mind, as going for the highest poker hand is not always the best suited choice. You just might end up with nothing.

Royal Straight Flush
The Royal Flush is the highest hand possible - the all time winning poker hand. All five cards are both in sequence and common suit with the high card being an Ace.
Example: A(hearts) - K(hearts) - Q(hearts) - J(hearts) - 10(hearts)

Straight Flush
The second highest poker hand is he straight flush, which is made up of five cards both in sequence and common suit.
Example: 6(spades) - 5(spades) - 4(spades) - 3(spades) - 2(spades)

Four of a Kind
This combination calls for four cards of the same value such as four Queens. The highest ranking four-of-a-kind would be four Aces.
Example: Q(hearts) - Q(diamonds) - Q(clubs) - Q(spades) - 7(hearts)

Full House
This hand is a combination of a three of a kind (three cards of the same value) and a pair. This card combination is often referred to as the boat.
Example: Q(spades) - Q(diamonds) - Q(hearts) - 7(spades) - 7(hearts)

Five cards of common suit.
Example: J(diamonds) - 9(diamonds) - 5(diamonds) - K(diamonds) - 7(diamonds)

All five cards are in sequence.
Example: 10(diamonds) - 9(hearts) - 8(spades) - 7(clubs) - 6(hearts)

Three of a Kind
To make a three-of-a-kind hand, you need three cards of the same value. Naturally, three Aces would be the highest-ranking hand for this combination.
Example: K(hearts) - K(spades) - K(clubs) - 3(spades) - 10(hearts)

Two Pairs
Pretty self-explanatory, this hand is made up of two sets of two cars that have the same value.
Example: 6(hearts) - 6(clubs) - Q(hearts) - Q(spades) - 4(hearts)

One Pair
The second lowest poker hand is one pair, which has two cards that have the same face value.
Example: J(clubs) - J(diamonds) - 3(hearts) - Q(spades) - 7(spades)

High Card
When the hand you are left with does not match any of the winning poker hands outlined above, its relative value is determined by the highest value card. When two players have no pairs, straight or flush, the winner of the tie is determined by the highest value card in the hand. If the highest cards tie, the tie is broken by the second highest card. Suits are not used to break ties. Example: 6(hearts) - J(spades) - 3(diamonds) - 9(spades) - 5(clubs)