Now in the How to play poker for beginners free poker coaching course we’re ready for ‘What Beats What’. When you learn to play poker this something you should memorize so that it is as natural as breathing.
The following is the hierarchical order of poker hands:
- 1st….a Royal Flush
- 2nd….a Straight Flush,
- 3rd….Four of a Kind
- 4th….a Full House
- 5th….a Flush
- 6th….a Straight
- 7th….Three of a Kind
- 8th….Two Pairs
- 9th….One Pair
- 10th….High Card.
Now, let’s fully comprehend each of the preceding rankings.
A ‘Royal Flush’, 1st in the hierarchy of hands, is a Ten/Jack/Queen/King/Ace in the same suit (all 5 cards must be either all diamonds, hearts, clubs, or spades).
A ‘Straight Flush‘, 2nd in the hierarchy of hands, is any 5 suited cards in a row; for example, a 5/6/7/8/9 of diamonds is a ‘straight flush’….so is an 8/9/T/J/Q of diamonds. And, while both are straight flushes, the straight flush with the highest card is the better hand. Thus, the Queen high straight flush would beat the Nine high straight flush.
Four of a Kind, 3rd in the hierarchy of hands, is four of the same card….like four Jacks (J/J/J/J), or four Tens (T/T/T/T), or four Deuces (2/2/2/2). Yet, keep in mind, that Jacks are higher than Tens or Deuces….so the 4 Jacks would win.
Next, a Full House, 4th in the hierarchy of hands, is three of a kind combined with a pair….like 3 Queens with 2 Sixes (Q/Q/Q/6/6). Or, 3 Sixes with 2 Queens (6/6/6/Q/Q). Yet, in that the 3 Queens are higher than the 3 Sixes, the Queen high Full House beats the Six high Full House.
Fifth in the hierarchy of hands is a Flush….5 cards in the same suit; like Q/9/8/4/2 of spades. Or, K/9/8/4/3 of spades. Yet, one beats the other….and, the win is determined by the highest card in the Flush. Therefore, given the above, the King high Flush wins.
Sixth in the hierarchy of hands is a Straight….5 cards in a row; like 3/4/5/6/7 (non-suited; if it was suited, it would be a Straight Flush). If there are 2 straights at the end of a hand, the player who holds the higher straight wins the hand; 9/8/7/6/5 beats 7/6/5/4/3.
Three of a Kind, 7th in the hierarchy of hands, is 3 of the same kind….like 9/9/9. Which, as I’m sure is now obvious to you, would beat 6/6/6. Similarly, Q/Q/Q would beat 8/8/8.
Two Pairs, 8th in the hierarchy of hands, is any double pairs that you might hold….like 9/9 and 6/6; or A/A and 3/3. And, again, now obvious to you, the hand with the pair of Aces over the pair of Threes would beat the hand with the pair of Nines over the pair of Sixes. It’s always the higher of the 2 pair that determines the winner.
Ninth in the hierarchy of hands is 1 pair.…and, a pair of Aces beats a pair of Kings, a pair of Tens beats a pair of Eights, and a pair of Sevens beats a pair of Fours.
Last, and 10th, in the hierarchy of hands is the High Card. And, it’ll be most infrequent that the winner of the hand is ending up with ‘The Pot’ because he/she held the High Card; meaning that no else who played got at least 1 pair.
Best of Luck at the Tables,
(c) copyright; January, 2009; no reproduction, all rights reserved by D. M. Vadnais
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Previous in the How to play poker for beginners series was part 4, poker words and nicknames.
Next - Part 6 in the free online poker How to play poker for beginners series is Moving on to Building a Bankroll the NoPayPOKER intermediate level poker lesson series.
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