Poker Hands

Before you take us up on our free poker money offer on your way to becoming a World Series of Poker champion, you must first master the basics. The most important in the game is to understand the poker hand strength and rankings. You will not get very far if you do not understand what hand beats which other hands.

A poker hand is typically made up of the best five cards you have at your disposal. For example on the river in a hand of Texas Hold'em you actually have seven cards to choose from, and you are allowed to pick whichever poker combination of the five make up the best hand. This is even true if the two hole cards you have been dealt are the worst, you can instead to 'play the board' meaning your best hand is made up of the five shared cards.

What follows is poker rankings from the strongest to the weakest. In the event of a tie, the highest poker cards win.

Official poker rankings: ties and kickers

Poker is all about making the best five-card poker hand from the seven cards available (five community cards plus your own two hole cards). That means in the event of a tie with four of a kind, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, or high card, a side card, or 'kicker', comes into play to decide who wins the pot.

For example:

Player A's best five cards

Player B's best five cards

Player A wins the hand with Q kicker.

With a three of a kind, one pair or high card tie, a second, third or even fourth kicker could come into play to decide the pot. If the kickers can’t decide one overall winner, those players involved are just going to have to share the pot.

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