To win in a game of poker the five cards which you have need to be better than the rest of people still playing at the end.

In most types of poker (e.g. 'Texas Hold'em', 'Seven-Card Stud', 'Five-Card Draw' etc...) the higher the card, the better it is (for example, the 'Aces' are the highest cards and the number '2' cards are the lowest). But just having the highest cards won't necessarily mean you win the game.

In poker, it's the combination of cards that you have (their number or their order or their suit) which is the difference between winning and losing. These combinations of cards are called 'hands') and there are 10 different types of hands in poker. These are hands have an order/rank, where some hands are better than others to have.

It can be difficult to remember what these hands and if it is a strong or weak hand to have. But if you are playing poker it is essential you not only know what these 10 hands are, but you know what they are called.

To help you both learn and remember what these 10 hands are, I have created two online exercises. In this first part, I'll first explain what the 10 hands in poker are (what cards they are made from), what they are called in English and what their stengthen (is it a good or bad hand to have). After this, you'll find an test/quiz which will not only make sure you know their names, but will help you to remember them.

After you have done this, I recommend that you do the second part of this exercise. This will test that you know the strength of a number of different poker hands (which is the strongest to the weakest). This is fundamental to know if you don't want to make mistakes when playing.

To learn more poker and card game vocabulary go to our card games exercise menu


Poker Hands: The best to the worst

Below is the order/rank of the ten different hands/combination of cards in Poker. We will start by describing what the best/highest hand you can have in poker is and what it is called. We will go through all the hands until the worst/lowest hand. The names of the different poker hands are in bold in each description.

At the end, there is a test/quiz where you have to match the names of the different hands to pictures of cards.


THE BEST HAND:
Five cards which are all of the same suit (all ♠, or all ♣, or all , or all ) and are an Ace, a King, a Queen, a Jack and a 10. This is called a Royal Flush. If you have a 'royal flush', you will win the poker game, nothing is better.


THE 2nd BEST HAND:
Five cards which are all of the same suit (all ♠, or all ♣, or all , or all ) and all five cards are in numerical order (e.g. 7,6,5,4,3). This is called a Straight Flush. The higher/stronger the type/number of the cards, the better is the hand. For example, a 'straight flush' of Q, J, 10, 9, 8 is better than J♠, 10♠, 9♠, 8♠, 7♠ because a Queen(Q) is a higher card than a Jack(J).


THE 3rd BEST HAND:
Five cards where four of the cards are all of the same type/kind (e.g. four Queens, four number 6s etc...). This is called a 4 of a Kind. The higher/stronger the type/number of the card, the better is the hand. For example, a '4 of a kind' of Jacks is better than a '4 of a kind' of 8s, because a Jack is a higher card than a 8.


THE 4th BEST HAND:
Five cards where there are three cards of one type/number (e.g. three Kings, three number 7s etc...) and two cards of another type/kind (e.g. two Aces, two number 5s etc...). This is called a Full House. The higher/stronger the type/number of the card, the better is the hand. For example, a 'full house' of three Jacks and two 9s is better than a 'full house' of three 10s and two 8s, because a Jack is a higher card than a 10.


THE 5th BEST HAND:
Five cards which are all of the same suit (all ♠, or all ♣, or all , or all ) but are not in numerical order (e.g. Q , 10, 9, 4, 2). This is called a Flush. The higher/stronger the type/number of the cards, the better is the hand. For example, a 'flush' of K♠, 9♠, 7♠, 6♠ and 3♠ is better than J, 10, 6, 5 and 3 because a King(K) is a higher card than a Jack(J).


THE 6th BEST HAND:
Five cards which are not of the same suit ( not all ♠, or not all ♣, or not all , or not all ), but are in numerical order (e.g. J, 10, 9, 8, 7 symbols). This is called a Straight. The higher/stronger the type/number of the cards, the better is the hand. For example, a 'straight' of Q♠, J, 10, 9, 8♣ is better than a 'straight' of 10, 9♠, 8, 7♣, 6 because a Queen(Q) is a higher card than a 10.


THE 7th BEST HAND:
Five cards where three of the cards are of one type/number (e.g. three Queens, three number 2s etc...). This is called a 3 of a Kind. The higher/stronger the type/number of the card, the better is the hand. For example, a '3 of a kind' of three Jacks is better than a '3 of a kind' of three 10s, because a Jack is a higher card than a 10.


THE 8th BEST HAND:
Five cards where two of the cards are of one type/number (e.g. two Aces) and another two of the cards are of another type/number (e.g. two number 6s). This is called a 2 Pair. The higher/stronger the type/number of the cards, the better is the hand. For example, a '2 pair' of two Jacks and two 8s is better than a '2 pair' of two 10s and two 9s, because a Jack is a higher card than a 10.


THE 9th BEST HAND:
Five cards where two of the cards are of one type/number (e.g. two number 7s). This is called a 1 Pair. The higher/stronger the type/number of the card, the better is the hand. For example, a '1 pair' of two Kings is better than a '1 pair' of two 9s, because a King is a higher card than a 9.


THE WORST HAND:
Five cards where the cards are all of different types/numbers and are in different suits and are not in numerical order (e.g. K♣, J, 8, 7♣, 2♠ symbols). This is called a No Pair or a High Card. This is the worst hand that a poker player can have. The higher/stronger the type/number of the card, the better is the hand. For example, a 'no pair' where the highest card is an Ace is better than a 'no pair' where the highest card is a Jack, because an Ace is a higher card than a Jack.



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Quiz:

In the following quiz you will find images of 12 different sets of cards. In the quiz, you have to match each set of cards to its name (which is in bold above). Choose the name of the poker hand from the selection list options.

There is one set of cards for each of the above poker hands except for two (which have two sets of cards below).

When you have finished, click on the "Check answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the poker hand and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1. This is a        

1 Pair:
(noun) This is also called 'a pair'. This is not a very good hand. In poker, if two players have a '1 pair' hand, the hand with the highest pair will win (e.g. a '1 pair' where the two cards are both 7s will beat a '1 pair' where the two cards are both 5s). In English, if you want to say what the 'pair' is, you say 'a pair of' followed by the name of the card in the plural. For example, 'I have 1 pair. A pair of Jacks' or 'I have a pair of Jacks'. In Spanish: "par".

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1 Pair:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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2. This is a        

Straight:
(noun) This is a good hand. In poker, if two players have a 'straight' hand, the hand with the highest card will win (e.g. a 'straight' where the cards are '6, 7, 8♠, 9, 10' will beat a 'straight' where the cards are '4♠, 5, 6, 7♣, 8'). In English, a 'straight' is described by saying what the highest card in the 'straight' is. For example, a 'straight' of '6, 7, 8♠, 9, 10' is called a 'ten-high straight' or a 'straight to the ten', because the highest card in the 'straight' is a 10. In Spanish: "escalera".

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Straight:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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3. This is a        

4 of a Kind:
(noun) This is an excellent hand. In poker, if two players have a '4 of a kind' hand, the hand with the highest '4 of a kind' will win (e.g. a '4 of a kind' where the four cards are all Queens will beat a '4 of a kind' where the four cards are all 10s). In poker in English, it is common to hear people just say '4 Queens' instead of saying '4 of a kind of Queens', e.g. 'I have four 8's'. In Spanish: "póquer".

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4 of a Kind:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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4. This is a        

2 Pair:
(noun) This is an ok hand. In poker, if two players have a '2 pair' hand, the hand with the highest pair will win (e.g. a '2 pair' where the highest pair is a pair of Queens will beat a '2 pair' where the highest pair is a pair of 10s). In English, if you want to say what the 'pairs' are, you say 'a pair of' followed by the name of the card in the plural. For example, 'I have 2 pair. A pair of 5s and a pair of Jacks'. In Spanish: "doble par".

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2 Pair:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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5. This is a        

Full House:
(noun) This is a very good hand. In poker, if two players have a 'full house' hand, the hand with the highest '3 of a kind' in the 'full house' wins (e.g. a 'full house' where the cards are 'three Queens' and 'two 7s' will beat a 'full house' where the cards are 'three 10s' and 'two 9s'). In English, a 'full house' is often described by saying what the '3 of a kind' and the 'pair' are. For example, a 'full house' of 'three Queens' and 'two 7s' is often called (especially by dealers) 'Queens full of sevens' or 'Queens over sevens'. In Spanish: "full".

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Full House:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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6. This is a        

No Pair:
(noun) This is also called a 'high card' and is the worst hand you can have in poker. In poker, if two players have a 'high card'/'no pair' hand, the hand with the highest card will win. In Spanish: "carta más alta".

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No Pair:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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7. This is a        

Royal Flush:
(noun) This is the best hand a player can have in a poker game. Nothing can beat this poker hand. This is also called an 'Ace-high straight flush'. In Spanish: "flor imperial/escalera real".

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Royal Flush:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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8. This is a        

3 of a Kind:
(noun) This is an ok hand. In poker, if two players have a '3 of a kind' hand, the hand with the highest '3 of a kind' will win (e.g. a '3 of a kind' where the three cards are all Queens will beat a '3 of a kind' where the three cards are all 10s). In poker in English, it is common to hear people just say '3 Queens' instead of saying '3 of a kind of Queens', e.g. 'the player has three 8's'. In Spanish: "tercia/trío".

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3 of a Kind:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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9. This is a        

Flush:
(noun) This is a good hand. In poker, if two players have a 'flush' hand, the hand with the highest card will win (e.g. a 'flush' where the cards are '2♠, 5♠, 7♠, 8♠, Q♠' will beat a 'flush' where the cards are '3, 5, 7, 10, J'). The suit of the card makes no difference. In English, a 'flush' is described by saying what the highest card in the 'flush' is. For example, a 'flush' of '2♠, 5♠, 7♠, 8♠, Q♠' is called a 'Queen-high flush' because the highest card in the 'flush' is a Queen. In Spanish: "color".

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Flush:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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10. This is a        

Straight Flush:
(noun) This is an excellent hand. In poker, if two players have a 'straight flush' hand, the hand with the highest card will win (e.g. a 'straight flush' where the cards are '8♠, 9♠, 10♠, J♠, Q♠' will beat a 'straight flush' where the cards are '7, 8, 9, 10, J'). The suit of the card makes no difference. In English, a 'straight flush' is described by saying what the highest card in the 'straight flush' is. For example, a 'straight flush' of '7, 8, 9, 10, J' is called a 'Jack-high straight flush' because the highest card in the 'straight flush' is a Jack. In Spanish: "escalera de color".

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Straight Flush:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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11. This is a        

2 Pair:
(noun) This is an ok hand. In poker, if two players have a '2 pair' hand, the hand with the highest pair will win (e.g. a '2 pair' where the highest pair is a pair of Queens will beat a '2 pair' where the highest pair is a pair of 10s). In English, if you want to say what the 'pairs' are, you say 'a pair of' followed by the name of the card in the plural. For example, 'I have 2 pair. A pair of 5s and a pair of Jacks'. In Spanish: "doble par".

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2 Pair:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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12. This is a        

Flush:
(noun) This is a good hand. In poker, if two players have a 'flush' hand, the hand with the highest card will win (e.g. a 'flush' where the cards are '2♠, 5♠, 7♠, 8♠, Q♠' will beat a 'flush' where the cards are '3, 5, 7, 10, J'). The suit of the card makes no difference. In English, a 'flush' is described by saying what the highest card in the 'flush' is. For example, a 'flush' of '2♠, 5♠, 7♠, 8♠, Q♠' is called a 'Queen-high flush' because the highest card in the 'flush' is a Queen. In Spanish: "color".

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Flush:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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Now do the second part of this exercise which will test that you know the strength of a number of different sets of cards (which is the strongest to the weakest).



Practice

Now that you understand these, practise by dealing yourself 5 cards and saying what poker hand you have.