The first thing to remember in the poker rules is the accepted combinations of cards (poker hands), which are compared at showdown by seniority to determine the winner. In this article you will find a description of all poker combinations with pictures and illustrative examples for Texas Hold’em, Omaha and other types of this card game. Let’s start with the highest combination and describe them in descending order.
Descending card combinations
We can represent poker combinations of cards in descending order as follows:
Royal Flush (Royal Flush)> Straight Flush (Straight Flush)> Four of a Kind> Full House> Flush> Straight> Set (Thrips; Three; Three of a Kind)> Two Pairs> One Pair> High Card
Sometimes the combinations of the players’ cards coincide – then the victory is determined by the seniority of the cards participating in the combination. Each combination is formed by five cards and can be collected from a combination of the player’s hand and community cards on the table, or only from community cards on the table.
Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten are of the same suit. There is a point of view that this combination is the most senior straight flush. However, most members of the poker community still consider Royal Flush as a separate combination – the strongest and rarest in poker. A royal flush can be collected by only one player in a hand, or only with the community cards on the table.
Any five cards in a row by seniority and of the same suit. This combination includes suited rows of five cards, increasing in value, except for the row from ten to ace. If two players have a Straight Flush, the hand with the highest straight wins. Straight flush can either start with Ace or end with it – in the latter case, it forms a new combination – Royal Flush.
Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same rank. Two players can collect the same square of four only from community cards. If two players have collected the same four of a kind, then the one with the higher kicker – the fifth card that does not participate in the creation of the combination – wins.
For example: on the table 8,8,8,8,7 both players have made four of a kind. One is holding K2, the other is holding Q6. The first player will win – his combination will be 8,8,8,8, K. Moreover, if both kickers of the players are less than the fifth card on the table, then the bank will be split.
If the players have collected different squares, then the one whose cards have the higher denomination will win.
Three cards of the same rank and any pair. If both players have collected a Full House, then the winner of the top three wins. If three cards are equal, the pair is compared, the one with the higher wins. If the Full Houses are the same or the combination is formed only by community cards on the table, the bank will be split.
When dubbing Full House, the first is always called the plurality of the triple, and the second is the pair. For example, Full House KKK99 would read as – Full House Kings of Nines.
Five cards of the same suit. With a flush, the cards do not go in a row – that is, they do not form a sequence at face value. If several players make a Flush, then the player with the highest card of the corresponding suit wins.
If the highest card of the Flush is common, then the next highest card is compared. If all the community cards forming a flush exceed the face value of the cards of the players of the same suit, and also if the combination is formed only by community cards, then the bank is split.
Five cards in a row by seniority with an ace. If ace is the highest card in the combination, then this is the strongest straight – A, K, Q, J, T. If ace is the lowest card, then it is the weakest straight – A, 2,3,4,5.
Five cards of different suits in a row according to seniority. If the players have collected a Street, the one in whose combination the last card is higher wins. In this case, the Ace can be considered both the highest card in the combination, and the lowest. The oldest street is A, K, Q, J, T. The youngest street, also known as the “wheel” – A, 2,3,4,5.
Three of a kind
Three cards of the same rank. The combination is formed from three cards of general value and two kickers. In English, the combination has only one name – Three of a Kind – three identical. However, in the Russian-speaking space, two types of triplets are distinguished:
A set is a three of a kind made up of a pocket pair (a pair in the player’s hand) and one community card.
A trips is a three of a kind made from one card in the player’s hand and a pair of community cards.
The type of formation of the three does not affect the strength of the combination when comparing, however, it has different probabilities of getting.
If two players have the same triplets, the owner of the highest kicker wins. If the community cards exceed the kickers of both players in value, then the bank is split.
Two cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. In our case, these are two Aces and two Kings. If both players have made a combination of Two Pair, the winner is the one with the pair higher. If the top pair is the same – for example, 88 is on the table, and the players have 22 and 55 in their hands – then the winner is the one with the second pair with the higher denomination. If both pairs are the same, then the owner of the senior kicker wins.
Two cards of the same rank. In the example in the picture, a pair is made up of two Aces. If both players have made a Pair, then they are compared by seniority. If the Pair is the same, then the winner is determined by the seniority of each kicker. If the same pocket pairs (in the player’s hand) or all other community cards on the table are higher than the kickers of both players, the bank is split.
How the combination is made
A poker hand is a set of 5 cards that form one of the combinations: high card, pair, two pair, set, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush or royal flush.
All hands in Texas Hold’em and Omaha consist of 5 cards. Both the player’s cards and the community cards on the table are used. The main rule is that only those cards are taken into account that give the maximum possible combination in the distribution.