In poker, players construct sets of five playing cards, called *hands*, according to the rules of the game being played.^{[1]} Each hand has a rank, which is compared against the ranks of other hands participating in the showdown to determine who wins the pot.^{[2]} In high games, like Texas hold 'em and seven-card stud, the highest-ranking hands win. In low games, like razz, the lowest-ranking hands win. In high-low split games, both the highest-ranking *and* lowest-ranking hands win, though different rules are used to rank the high and low hands.^{[3]}^{[4]}

Each hand falls into a hand-ranking category determined by the patterns formed by its cards. Hands in a higher-ranking category always rank higher than hands in a lower-ranking category. Hands in the same category are ranked relative to each other by comparing the ranks of their respective cards.^{[5]} Suits are not ranked in poker, so hands in the same category that differ by suit alone are of equal rank.^{[6]} Cards in poker are ranked, from highest to lowest: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2.^{[7]} However, aces have the lowest rank under high rules when forming part of a five-high straight or straight flush, or when playing ace-to-five low or ace-to-six low rules.^{[8]}^{[9]}

There are nine hand-ranking categories when using a standard 52-card deck, except under ace-to-five low rules where straights, flushes and straight flushes are not recognized. An additional category, five of a kind, is introduced when using one or more wild cards. The fewer hands a category contains, the higher its rank.^{[10]} There are 311,875,200 ways to deal five cards from the deck but only 2,598,960 distinct hands, because the order in which cards are dealt or arranged in a hand does not matter.^{[11]} Moreover, since hands differing only by suit are of equal rank, there are only 7,462 distinct hand *ranks* when using nine hand categories.^{[12]}^{[13]}

* | Only possible when using one or more wild cards |

** | Category does not exist under ace-to-five low rules |

Rank | Name | Example |
---|---|---|

0 | Five of a kind* | |

1 | Straight flush** | |

2 | Four of a kind | |

3 | Full house | |

4 | Flush** | |

5 | Straight** | |

6 | Three of a kind | |

7 | Two pair | |

8 | One pair | |

9 | High card |

**Five of a kind** is a poker hand containing five cards of the same rank, such as ("five of a kind, threes"). It ranks above a straight flush but is only possible when using one or more wild cards, as there are only four cards of each rank in a standard 52-card deck. ^{[8]} A five of a kind becomes possible when a joker is added to the deck as a bug, a form of wild card that may either act as a fifth ace or be used to complete any straight, flush or straight flush. Under these rules, the only possible five of a kind is five aces, . ^{[7]} Other wild card rules allow jokers or other designated wild cards to represent any card in the deck, enabling the formation of five of a kind of any rank.^{[citation needed]}

Each five of a kind is ranked by the rank of its quintuplet. For example, ranks higher than . ^{[8]}^{[14]}

A **straight flush** is a poker hand containing five cards of sequential rank, all of the same suit, such as (a "queen-high straight flush"). ^{[4]} It ranks below five of a kind and above four of a kind.^{[7]} As part of a straight flush, an ace can rank either above a king or below a two, depending on the rules of the game. Under high rules, an ace can rank either high (e.g. is an ace-high straight flush) or low (e.g. is a five-high straight flush), but cannot rank both high and low in the same hand (e.g. is an ace-high flush, not a straight flush). ^{[8]}^{[14]} Under deuce-to-seven low rules, aces can only rank high, so a hand such as is actually an ace-high flush. Under ace-to-six low rules, aces can only rank low, so a hand such as is actually a king-high flush. ^{[15]} Under ace-to-five low rules, straight flushes are not recognized, and a hand that would be categorized as a straight flush is instead a high card hand.^{[9]}

There are 40 possible straight flush hands and 10 distinct ranks of straight flush under high rules when using a standard 52-card deck.^{[12]} Each straight flush is ranked by the rank of its highest-ranking card. For example, ranks higher than , which ranks higher than . Straight flush hands that differ by suit alone, such as and , are of equal rank. ^{[8]}^{[14]}

An ace-high straight flush, such as , is commonly known as a **royal flush** or **royal straight flush** and is the best possible hand in high games when not using wild cards.^{[7]}^{[16]}^{[17]} A five-high straight flush, such as , is called a **steel wheel** and is significant in ace-to-five high-low split games for being both the best low hand *and* usually the best high hand of the showdown.^{[4]}

**Four of a kind**, also known as **quads**, is a poker hand containing four cards of the same rank and one card of another rank (the kicker), such as ("four of a kind, nines"). It ranks below a straight flush and above a full house. ^{[7]}

There are 624 possible four of a kind hands and 156 distinct ranks of four of a kind when using a standard 52-card deck.^{[12]} Each four of a kind is ranked first by the rank of its quadruplet, and then by the rank of its kicker. For example, ranks higher than , which ranks higher than . Four of a kind hands that differ by suit alone, such as and , are of equal rank. ^{[8]}^{[14]}

A **full house**, also known as a **full boat** (and originally called a **full hand**), is a poker hand containing three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, such as (a "full house, threes over sixes" or "threes full of sixes" or "threes full"). ^{[18]}^{[19]} It ranks below four of a kind and above a flush.^{[7]}

There are 3,744 possible full house hands and 156 distinct ranks of full house when using a standard 52-card deck.^{[12]} Each full house is ranked first by the rank of its triplet, and then by the rank of its pair. For example, ranks higher than , which ranks higher than . Full house hands that differ by suit alone, such as and , are of equal rank. ^{[8]}^{[14]}

A **flush** is a poker hand containing five cards all of the same suit, not all of sequential rank, such as (a "king-high flush" or "king-ten-high flush"). ^{[20]} It ranks below a full house and above a straight.^{[7]} Under ace-to-five low rules, flushes are not recognized, and a hand that would be categorized as a flush is instead a high card hand.^{[9]}

There are 5,108 possible flush hands and 1,277 distinct ranks of flush under high rules when using a standard 52-card deck.^{[12]} Each flush is ranked first by the rank of its highest-ranking card, then by the rank of its second highest-ranking card, then by the rank of its third highest-ranking card, then by the rank of its fourth highest-ranking card, and finally by the rank of its lowest-ranking card. For example, ranks higher than , which ranks higher than , which ranks higher than , which ranks higher than , which ranks higher than . Flush hands that differ by suit alone, such as and , are of equal rank. ^{[8]}^{[14]}

A **straight** is a poker hand containing five cards of sequential rank, not all of the same suit, such as (a "seven-high straight"). It ranks below a flush and above three of a kind. ^{[7]} As part of a straight, an ace can rank either above a king or below a two, depending on the rules of the game. Under high rules, an ace can rank either high (e.g. is an ace-high straight) or low (e.g. is a five-high straight), but the ace cannot rank both high and low in the same hand (e.g. is an ace-high high-card hand, not a straight). ^{[8]}^{[14]} Under deuce-to-seven low rules, aces can only rank high, so a hand such as is actually an ace-high high-card hand. Under ace-to-six low rules, aces can only rank low, so a hand such as is actually a king-high high-card hand. ^{[15]} Under ace-to-five low rules, straights are not recognized, and a hand that would be categorized as a straight is instead a high-card hand.^{[9]}

There are 10,200 possible straight hands and 10 distinct ranks of straight under high rules when using a standard 52-card deck.^{[12]} Each straight is ranked by the rank of its highest-ranking card. For example, ranks higher than , which ranks higher than . Straight hands that differ by suit alone, such as and , are of equal rank. ^{[8]}^{[14]}

An ace-high straight, such as , is otherwise known as a **broadway straight**,^{[21]} while a five-high straight, such as , is otherwise known as a **baby straight**,^{[22]} **bicycle** or **wheel** and is the best possible hand in ace-to-five low games, where it is instead categorized as a high card hand.^{[23]}^{[24]}

**Three of a kind**, also known as **trips** or a **set**, is a poker hand containing three cards of the same rank and two cards of two other ranks (the kickers), such as ("three of a kind, twos" or "trip twos" or a "set of twos"). It ranks below a straight and above two pair. ^{[7]}

There are 54,912 possible three of a kind hands and 858 distinct ranks of three of a kind when using a standard 52-card deck.^{[12]} Each three of a kind is ranked first by the rank of its triplet, then by the rank of its highest-ranking kicker, and finally by the rank of its lowest-ranking kicker. For example, ranks higher than , which ranks higher than , which ranks higher than . Three of a kind hands that differ by suit alone, such as and , are of equal rank. ^{[8]}^{[14]}

In community card games, such as Texas hold 'em, three of a kind is called a *set* only when it comprises a pocket pair and a third card on the board.^{[25]}

**Two pair** is a poker hand containing two cards of the same rank, two cards of another rank and one card of a third rank (the kicker), such as ("two pair, jacks and fours" or "two pair, jacks over fours" or "jacks up"). ^{[18]}^{[26]} It ranks below three of a kind and above one pair.^{[7]}

There are 123,552 possible two pair hands and 858 distinct ranks of two pair when using a standard 52-card deck.^{[12]} Each two pair is ranked first by the rank of its highest-ranking pair, then by the rank of its lowest-ranking pair, and finally by the rank of its kicker. For example, ranks higher than , which ranks higher than , which ranks higher than . Two pair hands that differ by suit alone, such as and , are of equal rank. ^{[8]}^{[14]}

**One pair**, or simply a **pair**, is a poker hand containing two cards of the same rank and three cards of three other ranks (the kickers), such as ("one pair, fours" or a "pair of fours"). It ranks below two pair and above high card. ^{[7]}

There are 1,098,240 possible one pair hands and 2,860 distinct ranks of one pair when using a standard 52-card deck.^{[12]} Each one pair is ranked first by the rank of its pair, then by the rank of its highest-ranking kicker, then by the rank of its second highest-ranking kicker, and finally by the rank of its lowest-ranking kicker. For example, ranks higher than , which ranks higher than , which ranks higher than , which ranks higher than . One pair hands that differ by suit alone, such as and , are of equal rank. ^{[8]}^{[14]}

**High card**, also known as **no pair** or simply *nothing*, is a poker hand containing five cards not all of sequential rank or of the same suit, and none of which are of the same rank, such as ("high card, king" or "king-jack-high" or "king-high"). ^{[18]}^{[27]} Under ace-to-five low rules, where straights, flushes and straight flushes are not recognized, hands that would fall into these categories are also high card hands.^{[9]} It ranks below one pair.^{[7]}

There are 1,302,540 possible high cards hands and 1,277 distinct ranks of high card hand under high rules when using a standard 52-card deck.^{[12]} Each high card hand is ranked first by the rank of its highest-ranking card, then by the rank of its second highest-ranking card, then by the rank of its third highest-ranking card, then by the rank of its fourth highest-ranking card, and finally by the rank of its lowest-ranking card. For example, ranks higher than , which ranks higher than , which ranks higher than , which ranks higher than , which ranks higher than . High card hands that differ by suit alone, such as and , are of equal rank. ^{[8]}^{[14]}

Under deuce-to-seven low rules, a seven-five-high hand, such as , is the best possible hand. ^{[28]} Under ace-to-six low rules, where aces have the lowest rank, a six-four-high hand, such as , is the best possible hand. ^{[29]} Under ace-to-five low rules, where aces have the lowest rank *and* straights, flushes and straights are not recognized, a five-high hand, such as or , commonly known as a *bicycle* or *wheel*, is the best possible hand.^{[9]}^{[23]}

- Glossary of poker terms
- List of playing-card nicknames
- Non-standard poker hand
- Poker probability – in-depth analysis of poker hand probabilities

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