Poker Hand

Almost every form of poker is played with a standard 52 card deck with jokers removed.  If you are new to the casino game of poker and card games in general, then it is a good idea to review some basics of playing poker.  First, cards start in rank from 2 and go all the way up to the ace.  In some poker games, an ace can play either high or low, but for the sake of simplicity, we will treat the ace as high only. In most poker games, there are 10 possible hand types that you can make.  We will review these starting with the lowest and working up to the highest.

High Card

The worst type of hand that you can have is referred to as high card only.  When you have a random five card hand that is not paired, a straight, or a flush, you have a high card only hand.  The highest high card only hand is ace high.  The worst high card only hand is 7 high.


The next hand is a pair.  A pair consists of two cards of the same rank in your hand.  The lowest pair is a pair of deuces and the pair is aces.

3 of a Kind Poker

It is the next highest hand you can make.  This is also referred to as trips.  With the exception of Omaha Poker and Hold’Em, two players cannot tie on three.  In the cases of Omaha and Hold’Em Poker, if two players tie on their trips, the player with the best kicker wins the hand.


A straight is a five card hand in sequence but not suited.  2-3-4-5-6 is a straight.  8-9-10-J-Q is also a straight.  For straights, the ace can play high or low.  It can complete the wheel or Broadway.

Full House

An example would be A-A-A-K-K.  This hand is typically referred to as a full boat in the cases of Omaha and Hold’Em if there is tied, then the pair determines the winner.  If both full houses are identical in Omaha or Hold’Em, the pot is split.

4 of a Kind

4 of a kind is a hand with all 4 of a particular rank, such as 4 kings.  This hand is also referred to as quads.  If the rare situation arises with two players holding 4 of a kind, then the player with the higher ranking 4 of a kind wins.  Two players can never have the same 4 of a kind with the exception of texas Hold’Em.  In the case that there are quads on the board in texas Hold’Em, then the player with the highest kicker wins.  Otherwise, it is a split pot.

Straight Flush

A straight flush is a hand of five cards that are both sequenced and suited.  An example would be 5-6-7-8-9 of spades.

Royal Flush

The royal flush is the top ranking poker hand.  The royal flush is the 10-J-Q-K-A of the same suit.  If two players hold then, take a picture, and then split the pot. There are times where the rank of a suit will matter in a poker game.  These are typically games such as stud where the lowest card is forced to open betting.  When a situation like this occurs and the cards tie, the tie is broken by determining the lowest suit.  Suit ranks are alphabetical.  The rankings are clubs, followed by diamonds, followed by heats, and then spades.

There are occasions your will run across poker games that use wild cards.  Wild cards are cards that can be used to make any card and suit that you need to complete a hand.  Jokers are the most common form of wild card, but there are also games where a player will call out a wild card using a particular rank.  The most common ranked wild card is the deuce.  If you have a deuce in your hand, you can make it any card you wish.

When you play poker with wild cards, you take a lot of skill out of the game and luck becomes a greater factor. Also, there is one additional hand ranking with wild cards.  The highest hand in a wild card game is five of a kind.  If two players have five of a kind, the higher five of a kind wins the hand.  Depending on the number of wild cards, more than one player can have the same five of a kind.  In this case, the pot is split.

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