Tie Breaking
Tie breaking rules come into play when two or more hands are of equal rank. These are:
For a Straight Flush the flush with highest ranking card wins. The hand J of Spades, 10 of Spades, 9 of Spades, 8 of Spades, and the 7 of Spades is better than a hand 10 of Hearts, 9 of Hearts, 8 of Hearts, 7 of Hearts, and the 6 of Hearts.
In Four of a Kind the highest ranking hand of four cards wins. The hand 8 of Diamonds, 8 of Hearts, 8 of Clubs, 8 of Spades, and 10 of Spades is better than the hand 7 of Diamonds, 7 of Hearts, 7 of Clubs, 7 of Spades, and A of Spades. If two or more hands have the same ranked set of four cards (using the community cards) then the kickers are compared to determine the winner. If the hands are equal then the pot is split.
For a Full House the hand with the higher set of three identically ranking cards wins. The hand 9 of Hearts, 9 of Clubs, 9 of Spades, 3 of Hearts, and 3 of Spades is better than the hand 6 of Hearts, 6 of Clubs, 6 of Spades, A of Hearts, and A of Spades. In the event that more than one hand has the same ranked set of three cards the hand with the higher ranked pair wins, and if both pair are of the same rank then the pot is split.
With a Flush the player with the highest ranking cards wins. The hand Q of Clubs, 10 of Clubs, 9 of Clubs, 4 of Clubs, and 2 of Clubs is better than the hand 10 of Diamonds, 9 of Diamonds, 6 of Diamonds, 4 of Diamonds, and 2 of Diamonds. The highest ranking cards are compared first, if they are the same, the next highest cards are compared and so on until one hand has a higher value card than the other and it is the winner. When all the cards in both hands are of the same rank (identical in different suits) the pot is split.
For a Straight the hand containing the highest ranking card wins. The hand K of Clubs, Q of Diamonds, J of Clubs, 10 of Diamonds, 9 of Spades is better than the hand 9 of Hearts, 8 of Clubs, 7 of Clubs, 6 of Hearts, 5 of Diamonds. If both hands are of identical rank, the pot is split.
With Three of a Kind the hand with the highest ranking three of a kind wins. The hand 5 of Hearts, 5 of Spades, 5 of Clubs, K of Clubs, and 3 of Spades is better than the hand 4 of Hearts, 4 of Diamonds, 4 of Clubs, A of Hearts, 8 of Spades. In the event that more than one hand has the same ranked set of three cards the hand with the higher kicker wins, and if both kickers are of the same rank then you have a tie and the pot is split.
With Two Pair the hand containing the highest ranking pair of cards wins. The hand 8 of Clubs, 8 of Hearts, 2 of Hearts, 2 of Clubs, K of Hearts wins over the hand 7 of Clubs, 7 of Hearts, 3 of Clubs, 3 of Diamonds, K of Hearts. If the higher ranking pairs are the same the lower ranking pairs from each hand are compared. The hand 10 of Clubs, 10 of Spades, 5 of Hearts, 5 of Diamonds, K of Hearts is better the hand 10 of Hearts, 10 of Diamonds, 2 of Hearts, 2 of Diamonds, 6 of Hearts. If both pairs are identical then the kicker in each hand is compared, if the kickers are identical, then the hands are tied and the pot is split.
With One Pair the hand containing the higher pair wins. The hand 8 of Clubs, 8 of Spades, K of Hearts, 9 of Diamonds, 6 of Hearts is better the hand 7 of Clubs, 7 of Spades, K of Hearts, 6 of Diamonds, 3 of Hearts. If the pairs are identical the next highest cards in each hand are compared, if they are the same value the next highest cards are compared and so on until one hand has a higher ranking value card and a winner is established. If both hands are the same the pot is split.
A High Card tie, when the highest ranking card in each hand is the same, is settled by comparing the next highest cards one at a time until one hand is found to have a higher ranking card. If both hands are found to be equivalent the pot is split.
Note that the suit of the cards is not usually used in tie breaking. Suits are only used to break ties when highcarding for button before a tournament starts, here the reverse alphabetical order of the suits is used (highest to lowest) you get Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and then Clubs.
