Rules Of Poker In A Nutshell

For those that do not know the basics, here are the ways the hands and cards are ranked in poker.

Number of cards in the deck: 52.

Number of suits: 4 (Hearts, Spades, Diamonds, Clubs)

Number of cards in each suit: 13 (In order of rank; Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2)

Number of cards in a poker hand: 5 (even in games where you are dealt more than 5 cards, only 5 cards count as your poker hand.)

Rank of poker hands from highest to lowest:

1. Royal Flush; (ace, king, queen, jack, ten, all the same suit.)

2. Straight Flush; (5 cards in sequence of the same suit. see “straight” below for explanation of in sequence) (The lowest ranking straight flush is the wheel-flush, ace, 2, 3, 4, 5. 5 is considered the top card, not the ace.) (if two players have a straight flush, the one with the higher top card wins.)

3. Four of a kind; 4 Kings, Queens or other cards. (Of course the higher ranked 4 of a kind wins, such as 4 kings beats 4 queens)

4. Full House; This consists of 3 of a kind, (see below) and a pair all in one hand. (example; you have 3 fours and 2 kings. That would be fours over kings, while having 3 kings and 2 fours would be kings over fours.) (If 2 players each have a full house, the better three-of-a-kind part of the hand wins. example; you have 3 eights and two aces, your opponent has 3 nines and 2 twos. Your opponent wins. Their nines beat your eights.)

5. Flush; 5 cards of any rank, but all the same suit. (If 2 players each have a flush, the flush with the highest top card wins, if that is a tie, then whoever has the highest second card wins, if that is a tie, you compare the third, fourth, fifth card, etc.)

6. Straight; 5 cards in sequence. (example; 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 is a 7-high straight. If you opponent has 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, they have an 8-high straight and they win.)

7. Three of a Kind; (Trips) 3 cards of the same rank. (example; 3 sevens, 3 eights, 3 kings. if 2 players have 3-of-a-kind, the highest ranking cards wins the hand)

8. Two Pairs; A Pair is 2 cards of the same rank. 2 pair means you have 2 sets of 2 cards of the same rank. (If 2 players each have 2 pair, the player with the highest top pair wins. Kings and twos would beat queens and jacks.)

9. Pair; 2 cards of equal rank. (If 2 players each have a pair, the highest ranking pair wins. If 2 players each have the exact same pair, then out of the 3 remaining cards in your hand the highest card is your “kicker”. The highest kicker wins. If still tied, you go to the next highest kicker, etc.)

10. High Card; Where no one has a pair or above, you compare hands like this. The highest card in your hand vs the highest card in opponents hands. If that is a tie, then you compare the next highest card, then the next if still tied and so on. (King, Queen, 10, 6, 2, would beat King, Queen, 10, 5, 4. It would have been a tie until the fourth card compared and the first hand has a 6 to their opponent’s 5.)

I found this video online where Nick Brancato (aka “Nicky Numbers”) explains the rules quite well: Thanks Nicky