Poker is played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards. The cards are ranked from high to low in the following order: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Aces are ALWAYS high. Aces are worth more than Kings and so on. The cards are also separated into four suits. The suits are:
The suits are all of equal value, meaning that no suit is more valuable than another.
Poker is a card game in which players bet into a communal pot during the course of a hand, and in which the player holding the best hand at the end of the betting wins the pot. During a given betting round, each remaining player in turn may take one of four actions:
1. check, a bet of zero that does not forfeit interest in the pot
2. bet or raise, a nonzero bet greater than preceding bets that all successive players must match or exceed or else forfeit all interest in the pot
3. call, a nonzero bet equal to a preceding bet that maintains a player’s interest in the pot
4. fold, a surrender of interest in the pot in response to another player’s bet, accompanied by the loss of one’s cards and previous bets
Betting usually proceeds in a circle until each player has either called all bets or folded. Different poker games have various numbers of betting rounds interspersed with the receipt or replacement of cards.
HAND RANKINGS (POKER HANDS)
The object of the poker game is to end up with the highest-valued hand. From best to worst, hands are ranked in the following order:
Royal Flush – This hand is 5 cards in order and of the same suit and is Ace high, so contains (10-J-Q-K-A)
Odds of Royal Flush = 649,739 : 1 (Based on standard set of 52 cards with no wild card)
Straight Flush – This is the best hand possible, unless you are using wild cards. This is 5 cards in order and entirely the same suit. A straight flush which has an Ace high is called a Royal Flush.
Odds of Straight Flush = 64,973 : 1 (Based on standard set of 52 cards with no wild card)
Four of a Kind – This hand has 4 cards of the same type (example 4 Aces) and one different card. If there is more than one player with 4 of a kind then the highest 4 of a kind wins.
Odds of Four of a Kind = 4164 : 1 (Based on standard set of 52 cards with no wild card)
Full House – This hand consists of a 3 of a kind and a pair in the same hand. Ties are broken by the 3 of a kind first and then the pair.
Odds of a Full House = 693 : 1 (Based on standard set of 52 cards with no wild card)
Flush – A flush is a hand where all of the cards are the same suit (example 2,4,7,Q,K of spades). If there is more than one player with a flush, the high card rule is followed.
Odds of a Flush = 508 : 1 (Based on standard set of 52 cards with no wild card)
Straight – A straight is 5 cards in order such as 6-7-8-9-10. An ace may be counted as either high (after a king) or low (before a 2). A straight may now wrap though (Q-K-A-2-3).
Odds of a Straight = 254 : 1 (Based on standard set of 52 cards with no wild card)
Three of a Kind – 3 matching cards of any type along with 2 cards that are not a pair.
Odds of Three of a Kind = 46.3 : 1 (Based on standard set of 52 cards with no wild card)
Two Pairs – If the hand has 2 different pairs of cards and a 5 different card. If more than 1 player has two pairs then the highest pair wins, if the highest pair is the same, then the lowest pair wins.
Odds of Two Pairs = 20 : 1 (Based on standard set of 52 cards with no wild card)
Pair – If the hand has 2 cards of the same type (ex 2 Jacks) and the other 3 cards are unique.
Odds of a Pair = 1.37 : 1 (Based on standard set of 52 cards with no wild card)
High Card – If the hand doesn’t have a pair of matching cards or better then the highest card is used. High card is also used to break a tie when players have the same type of hand (ex. one pair).
Notes on Poker Hands with the Same Rank
NOTE 1: If two players have Two Pair, the poker hand with the highest Pair wins. If they have the same high Pair, whoever has the second highest Pair in their hand wins. If they have the same Two Pairs, then whoever has the highest fifth card wins the hand.
NOTE 2: If two players have the same value Pair, the highest card(s) outside of their Pair wins the hand.