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How I Learned Poker Hand Rankings and Destroyed the High Stack Tables

Written by Jason Frakk. Last updated on
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Learning poker hand rankings gives you an edge when playing.

If you understand how poker hand rankings gives an advantage when competing at a high stakes game should not be a problem.

Some of the basics include:

  • Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, Five Card Draw, and Omaha follow the old school high poker rankings.
  • Stud Hi/Lo and Omaha Hi/Lo and Razz follow the Ace to Five low hand rankings.
  • 2-7 Single Draw and 2-7 Triple Draw follow Kansas City or Deuce to Seven lowball rankings.

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Royal Flush

royal flush

Basically, when you get five cards of the same suit in sequence, this forms the straight flush.

When there is a tie, the player with the highest rank from the sequence takes home the pot.

The royal flush is the best possible straight flush you can achieve. This contains the king, queen, ace including the jack and ten of a suit.

It is the most important and unbeatable hand you can get.

poker hand rankings: Four of a Kind

four of a kindThis contains a kicker or side plus four cards with similar rank.

If there is a tie, the player with a highest four of a kind takes the pot.

For community card games, if people have similar four of a kind then the player with the highest kicker or fifth side card takes the winnings.

poker hand rankings: Full House

full houseThe full house contains three cards with the same rank plus two cards of a matching but different rank.

If there is a tie, the player holding the highest three matching cards wins.

In the case of community card games, if there are players holding three matching cards then the player holding two matching cards with the highest value takes the pot.

poker hand rankings: Flush

flushYou need to have five cards under the same suit to create a flush.

If there is a tie then the player with the highest ranked card takes the pot. In other cases, the second-highest then the third, fourth and the fifth will be used to finish the game.

If the players hold similar ranks then they split the pot. The suit cannot be used to decide who wins in case of a tie.

Straight

straight pokerYou get a straight hand if you have five cards in sequence.

If there is a tie, the player holding the highest ranking card from the rest of the sequence takes the pot.

Remember that the ace may be at the bottom or at the top of the sequence. It is also the only card allowed to act in this instance.

The highest straight is A,K,Q,J,T called the Ace high. The lowest straight is 5,4,3,2,A called the Five high.

Three of a Kind

three of a kindYou can achieve three of a kind by getting three cards under the same rank plus two unrelated cards.

If there is a tie, the player holding the highest ranking three will take the pot.

For community card games, if there are people holding similar hands then the player with the highest or second-highest side card becomes the winner.

Two Pair

two pairCreate two pairs using two cards with the corresponding rank.

Include one side card plus two other cards with different but corresponding rank. If there is a tie then the player holding the highest pair takes the pot.

For games with players holding similar highest pair then the highest second pair decides the winner. If players hold same pairs then their highest side card give them the advantage.

One Pair

one pairYou form one pair if you have three unrelated side cards plus two cards of the corresponding rank.

If there is a tie then the player holding the highest pair takes the pot. And If there are people with the same pair, their highest side card decides if they win or not.

If they are similar then the second or the third-highest side card will decide who takes the pot.

poker hand rankings: High Card

high cardYou form the high card with any hand not mentioned or categorized in the previous ranks.

If there is a tie, the player holding the highest card takes the pot.

If players have the same cards then the second or third or even up to fourth highest smallest card decides who the winner is.

Ace to Five Lowball Hand Ranks

This is a type of ranking method for low hands found in traditional games like Razz, Omaha Stud Hi/Lo, and Hi/Lo.

Remember that suits are not as important under this category.

A straight or flush cannot break Ace to Five low poker hand. You can consider aces as “low card.”

It is also important to remember that the values in five-card low stand begin with the top card.

Then it goes down to every card. For Wheel or Five Low, this features an Ace, Deuce, Three, Four, and Five.

Also read: Governor Of Poker 2: How Is It Different From The First?

If there is a tie then players with the five-high hands divide the pot.

You can form a six low so long as you get five unpaired cards. The highest card should be six. If there is a tie then the player holding the lower second-highest-ranking card becomes the winner.

This means 6,5,4,2,A loses to 6,4,3,2,A. If possible, the third, fourth or the fifth-highest card decides the winner in the tie.

You can create a seven low with any five unpaired cards.

The highest card should be a seven.

If there is a tie, the player holding the lower second-highest ranking card becomes the winner. If there is still a tie then the third, fourth or fifth highest cards will decide who takes home the pot.

The eight low contains five unpaired cards. The highest card should be an eight. If there is a tie, the lower second-highest ranking card decides the winner.

The same principle is applied if there is still a tie.

Knowing your different poker hand ranks should help you assess which ones give you the best advantage.

It is also easier to decide whether you should continue playing or not if you know what hand you can or cannot create.

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