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The object of poker is to finish the game with a poker hand of the highest value. When playing poker at a table in a casino, you generally just need to have a better hand than the dealer, not all the other players at your table. Many casinos also offer separate poker rooms where you play against other players.

Poker hands, from highest to lowest value

Royal flush 
A, K, Q, J, 10, all the same suit. 

Straight flush 
Five cards in a sequence, all in the same suit. 

Four of a kind 
All four cards of the same rank. 

Full house 
Three of a kind with a pair. 

Any five cards of the same suit, but not in a sequence. 

Five cards in a sequence, but not of the same suit. 

Three of a kind 
Three cards of the same rank. 

Two pair 
Two different pairs. 

Two cards of the same rank. 

High Card 
When you haven't made any of the hands above, the highest card plays. 
In the example below, the jack plays as the highest card. 


Each variation of poker is different, but, generally speaking, most casino versions pay even money if you win. If you bet $10, you win $10. If you tie the dealer, sometimes it’s a push, and you keep your bet, and sometimes you lose your money. Many variations of poker have optional side bets that pay odds depending on your hand. 


Calculating the house advantage for playing poker at a table in a casino is complex. Your likelihood of walking away a winner depends on factors like how many cards you are dealt, whether the game allows you to discard, how pushes are resolved, and more. Generally speaking, the house advantage of poker makes it less favourable for players than blackjack and more favourable than roulette.

In all cases, it’s best to understand the rules of the game you’re playing so you can make smart choices and understand your odds of winning.


Game House advantage, with optimal play
Baccarat 1.06%
Blackjack 0.5%
Craps 0.8%
Fortune pai gow poker 0.5 to 2.5%
Poker 2% to 3.5%
Lottery 50% (average)
Roulette 5.3%
Slot machines 8% (average)