How to play
Official hands in poker
Know your poker hand order
A hand in poker consists of five cards, which fall into several categories. Below is the complete list of poker hands, from highest to lowest.
Please note that rankings for Short Deck are slightly different.
- Royal flush
- Straight flush
- Four of a kind
- Full house
- Three of a kind
- Two pairs
- High card
A royal flush is an ace high straight flush. For example, A-K-Q-J-10 all of diamonds.
A straight flush is a five-card straight, all in the same suit. For example, 7-6-5-4-3 all of spades.
Four of a kind, or quads, are four cards of equal value. For example, four jacks.
A full house contains a set (3) of cards of one value and a pair of another value. For example, Q-Q-Q-2-2.
A flush is any 5 cards, all of the same suit. For example, K-Q-9-6-3 all of diamonds.
Five cards of sequential value. Every possible straight will contain either a 5 or a 10. For example, 7-6-5-4-3 with different suits.
Three cards of the same value. For example, three aces.
This is two cards of one value and another two cards of another value. For example, two jacks and two 8s.
One pair is two cards of the same rank. For example, two queens.
The winning poker hand is the one with the highest card(s). If two or more players hold the highest card, a kicker comes into play.
Poker hand rankings: ties and kickers
Poker is all about making the best five-card poker hand from the seven cards available (five community cards plus your own two hole cards). That means in the event of a tie with four of a kind, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, or high card, a side card, or 'kicker', comes into play to decide who wins the pot.
Player A's best five cards
Player B's best five cards
Player A wins the hand with Q kicker.
With a three of a kind, one pair or high card tie, a second, third or even fourth kicker could come into play to decide the pot. If the kickers can’t decide one overall winner, those players involved are just going to have to share the pot.
Ready to join the party?
There is a lot for you to discover on how to play poker but if you already feel ready to jump into the action, then click here to download partypoker and get started!
If you already have an account with us, click here to open partypoker and hit the tables!
Poker hands cheat sheet
Not mastering your hands yet and needing a bit more time to memorise them? Download the poker hands cheat sheet now to take it with you and increase your chances at the poker table.
(You'll need Adobe Reader to view the guide, available here).