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# Video:What Beats What in Poker?

with Jon Stewart

Want to learn what beats what in poker? Here, see helpful information about what cards and suits beat others.See Transcript

## Transcript:What Beats What in Poker?

Straights, flushes, full houses, three-of-a-kinds, and more. Before you sit down to make a bet at the poker table, it's a good idea to know whether or not you've got a decent hand. So let's take a look at the basics, and learn what beats what in poker.

### The Basics of What Beats What in Poker

Poker rules vary widely from game to game. But whether you're playing stud, draw, guts, or any other variation, the rules for the best hands generally stay the same.There are exceptions of course, like in lowball poker where the goal is to have the worst hand possible, which I tend to do pretty well at. But, even here, the rules still apply, just in reverse.

### What Beats What in Poker?

The first thing to know is that regardless of the number of cards in play, only five cards make up a poker hand. In decreasing value, these are the generally accepted hand-rankings: straight flush, where all five cards are in sequential order and of the same suit; four-of-a-kind, where four cards are of the same value; full house, which is three-of-a-kind and one pair all in the same hand; flush, where all five cards are the same suit, regardless of order; straight, where all five cards are in sequential order regardless of suit; three-of-a-kind, where three cards are of the same value; two pair, where two sets of two cards are of the same value; one pair, where two cards are of the same value; and high cards, where the single highest card ranks the value of the hand.

It's important to note that there are rarely ties in poker. If two types of hands match up against one another, the pot always goes to the hand with the highest card.For example, a pair of kings beats a pair of tens, a flush with a queen high beats a flush with a ten high, and a pair of sixes with an ace as the next high card beats a pair of sixes with a king as the next high card. If the next high card happens to be the same, then the hand is judged by the next high card and so on, all the way down to the final card. If the two hands are absolutely identical except for suit, which almost never happens, then pot is split. Winner should never be determined by suit value.

This is why a royal flush is the highest hand in poker, not just a plumbing term in the British Monarchy. A royal flush is by definition an ace-high straight with all cards of the same suit. Enjoy the sight now - in 5-card stud, the odds of being dealt a royal flush is one in 649,740.

Finally, it's a good idea to figure out what a good hand is for the variation of poker you're playing, which you can best learn simply by watching. Three of a kind might not get you very far in a game with a lot of wild cards, but for a 5-card stud hand, it's not too shabby. I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.
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