Poker hands are always five cards. For example, even though each player in a seven-card stud game has seven cards, only the best five of those cards play. Poker has no six- or seven-card hands. Thus, the seven-card stud hand As Ad Qs Qd 6h 5d 3c beats Ks Kd 9h 9s 7s 7d 2s, even though the second hand contains three pairs while the first has two pairs. Similarly, if a Hold 'em board was 9s 9h 7d Js 7c, the pot would be split between two players holding 6s 6d and 5c 5h, even though the player with the two sixes was ahead until the river card. At the end, both players hold the two pair hand 9s 9h 7d 7c, with a jack kicker. Neither player can produce a higher kicker from his hand; neither player's pocket pair can result in a higher five-card hand than what is on the board.

These are the winning high hands in high only and high-low split games, from highest to lowest. Any hand in one category in the list beats any hand in any category below it. For example, any straight flush beats any four of a kind; any flush beats any straight.

royal flush: Five cards in sequence with all five cards of the same suit. The highest straight flush, having an ace as its high card, has a special name, royal flush.

Royal Flush

Any lesser straight flush does not have a unique name.

Straight Flush

In a showdown among players holding straight flushes, the hand with the highest top card wins. 10d 9d 8d 7d 6d beats 9s 8s 7s 6s 5s.

four of a kind: Four cards of the same rank. Also known as quads.

four of a kind

In a showdown among players holding four of a kind, the hand with the highest rank wins. Kd Kc Kh Ks 5d beats Jc Jh Jd Js Ad. If multiple hands each contain the same four of a kind (which could occur in a community card game), the hand with the highest side card wins. Kd Kc Kh Ks Ah beats Kd Kc Kh Ks Qd.

full house: Three cards of one rank plus two cards of another rank.

full house

In a showdown among players holding full houses, the hand with the highest three of a kind wins. 7h 7s 7d 3h 3s beats 6s 6c 6h Ad Ah. If multiple hands each contain the same full house (which could occur in a community card game), the hand with the highest pair wins. Kd Kh Ks As Ac beats Kd Kh Ks Qh Qd.

flush: Five cards of the same suit.

flush

In a showdown among players holding flushes, the hand topped with the highest one or more cards wins. When the top card is tied, the next card is compared; when the top two cards are tied, the third card is compared; and so on. Ah 8h 7h 6h 5h beats Ks Qs Js 9s 8s, and Jd 10d 9d 8d 4d beats Jc 10c 9c 7c 6c.

straight: Five consecutive cards. An ace can be high or low.

ace-high straight

five-high straight

In a showdown among players holding straights, the hand with the highest top card wins. Ts 9d 8d 7c 6c beats 8s 7h 6h 5c 4c.

three of a kind: Three cards of the same rank. Also known as trips or, especially in flop games, a set.

three of a kind - three aces or trip aces

In a showdown among players holding three of a kind, the hand with the highest rank wins. Jh Jc Js 3d 2c beats 10s 10c 10h Ah Kc. If multiple hands each contain the same three of a kind (which could occur in a community card game), the hand with the highest side cards wins. Jh Jc Js Ah Kc beats Jh Jc Jd Ah Qd.

two pair: Two cards of one rank plus two cards of another rank.

two pair - aces up

In a showdown among players holding two pair, the hand with the highest pair wins. As Ac 2h 2s 3d beats Kd Kc Qh Qs Jd. In a showdown among players holding the same top pair, the hand with the highest second pair wins. 10s 10c 8s 8c 4d beats 10h 10d 7s 7h Ad. In a showdown among players holding the same two pairs, the hand with the highest side card (also known as kicker) wins. Jh Jd 9h 9d 4h beats Js Jc 9c 9s 3s.

one pair: Two cards of the same rank.

one pair - of thirds

In a showdown among players holding one pair, the hand with the highest pair wins. Ah Ad 5d 4h 3c beats Kh Kd Ac Qd Js. In a showdown among players holding the same pair, the hand with the highest one or more side cards wins. Js Jh 9d 8s 4d beats Jc Jd 9h 8c 3s.

no pair: None of the above.

no pair - ace high

If no hand has a pair or better at the showdown, the hand topped by the highest one or more cards wins. When the top card is tied, the next card is compared; when the top two cards are tied, the third card is compared; and so on. Ac 9s 5d 4c 2h beats Kd Qs Jd 10c 8h, and Jh 10c 9h 7c 4d beats Jc 10h 9s 7s 2d.