Other Hand Rankings In Poker
Several poker games use different card rankings than above to win. Some of these games are “low” games where the goal is reversed and players try to form the lowest ranking hand. Not all “low” games are played the same, so you must clarify how the hands are ranked before playing. In some games Flushes and Straights are not counted, and sometimes Aces are counted as a “low” card.
The hand rankings are usually as follows (flushes or straights are not counted).
No Pair – The best possible hands are a straight or a flush (since straights and flushes do not count). For other hands the reverse of the normal poker rules apply. The highest cards in each hand are compared and the lower value wins. If these cards are equal, the next highest cards are compared with the lowest value winning. If these cards are equal, the process is repeated until one hand is declared the winner by virtue of having the lowest value.
10-8-7-6-2 beats 10-8-7-6-3 (the 2 is a lower value than the 3).
Q-J-3-2-A beats Q-J-5-4-A (the 3 is a lower value than the 5).
7-4-3-2-A beats 7-5-3-2-A (the 4 is a lower value than the 5).
9-8-5-3-A beats 9-8-6-3-A (the 5 is a lower value than the 6).
One Pair – The hand with the lowest value pair wins. When the pairs are equal, the highest card in each hand are compared and the lower value card wins, if they are the same the next highest card is compared. This continues until a winner is determined, or the hands are shown to be the same.
“Low Hand” games use the same tie breaker rules as the high hand versions of poker, but the rules are reversed so the lower ranking cards win.
Some “Low Hand” games Straights and Flushes do count and Aces are counted as high only. The game Deuce to Seven Triple Draw is such a game. In this game the best possible hand is 2-3-4-5-7, the lowest value straight, as is implied by the name of the game.
Eight (8) or Better Rankings – Low Hands
Some “Split-Pot” games allow for the possibility of two winners for a hand. The winners are the player with the high hand and the best “qualifying” low hand. To qualify as a low hand the “low” portion of the hand must have all five cards with a ranking of 8 or lower. A non-qualifying hand doesn’t win the low portion of the pot, even when the hand is the lowest ranked at the table.
Three Card Guts Poker
In this game the hands are ranked depending on the difficulty of making them. The highest ranked hand is the Royal Flush because it is the most difficult hand to make, while the High Card hand is the lowest ranked hand.
With the reduction of the number of cards from seven or five to three the ability to make winning hands becomes more difficult. To counter this difficulty some three card poker games rank the hands differently than five or seven card games.
As an example the hands in the three card game “Guts” are ranked as follows:
- Straight Flush
- Three-of-a- Kind
- One Pair
- High Card