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Updated: September 7, 2023

What is the Highest Suit in Poker?

Poker, a game enjoyed by people from all walks of life, has a fascinating history behind it. While we won’t delve into the game’s entire history, let’s explore an intriguing aspect: the suits in cards. When you open a deck of 52 cards, you’ll find four suits—spades, diamonds, hearts, and clubs – each containing 13 cards. Have you ever wondered why these suits exist and why exactly four exist? Which card suit is highest in poker?

This article explores which suit is the highest in poker and why understanding card ranking is crucial.

When Does the Highest Suit Matter?

In poker, understanding the necessity of card rankings is notable, but what about the suits? Suits themselves don’t hold any intrinsic value. But, there are certain situations that help you to determine which suit is highest, making a difference in the outcomes. 

Furthermore, the ranking of suits doesn’t impact the complete value of a hand. No suit is superior to others regarding gameplay or scoring either its hearts, spades, diamonds, or clubs.

In the traditional poker game, suits are purely decorative and don’t impact the overall hand rankings. The focus is primarily on individual card rankings and the combinations they form.

While knowing which suit is highest in poker can be helpful in specific circumstances, such as breaking ties between identical hands, it generally doesn’t play a significant role in the game. Understanding the hierarchy of poker hands and the rankings of individual cards is far more crucial for success at the poker table.

It’s important to note that suits are never used to determine the winner of a poker pot. In the rare event of a royal heart flush and a spade royal flush going against each other, the pot would be split between the two hands, in a game of Seven Card Stud.

Suit rankings do come into play in a couple of situations, though. In games like Stud, the player with the lowest upcard starts the action with a minimum bet, known as the bring-in. In case of a tie, the player with the lower-ranking suit becomes the bring-in player. 

Similarly, when assigning the dealer button at the beginning of a game or determining the first choice of game in a mixed-game format, the highest card receives the button, with tiebreakers based on suit rankings. Suits can also be used to determine which player gets the odd chip when splitting an odd pot.

Importance of understanding card rankings in poker

In the exciting world of poker, having a solid grasp of card rankings is essential for success. It’s like possessing a secret weapon that empowers you to make informed decisions and strategize effectively. Knowing the hierarchy of card rankings is paramount for any aspiring poker player. It enables you to evaluate the strength of your hand and make wise choices during gameplay.

Understanding which is the highest card in poker is a crucial starting point that helps you determine the hierarchy of poker hands. For example, a Royal Flush, consisting of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suit, is the highest possible hand in poker. Knowing the card rankings is necessary to appreciate the significance of such a firm hand.

Knowing the order of poker hands is essential for several reasons:

  1. Quick Identification of Good Hands: Memorising the poker hands ranked in order allows you to identify good hands swiftly. Also, make better decisions at the poker table.
  2. Accurate Assessment of Opponent’s Play: Understanding the poker hand rankings enables you to evaluate your opponent’s play and make informed decisions about your hand. It helps you adjust your betting strategy based on the likelihood of success.
  3. Minimising Losses from Weaker Hands: Understanding the poker hands in order helps you decide which cards to play and when to fold. It allows you to assess the strength of your hand and minimise losses, especially when facing opponents with stronger hands.
  4. Better Understanding of the Game: Knowing the poker hands in order provides a deeper understanding of the game. It helps you make informed decisions, keep track of the action, and gain an edge over less experienced players.
  5. Easier Bluffing: Effective bluffing is a crucial element of poker success. Understanding the poker hands in order helps you assess the likelihood of success for different hands. This makes it easier to bluff your opponents and predict their actions.

What is the poker-hand rankings chart?

Let’s delve into the intricacies of poker hand rankings, equipped with a handy cheat sheet to assist you.

Poker Hand Rankings: From Strongest to Weakest

  1. Royal Flush: The royal flush reigns as the crème de la crème of poker hands. It comprises five consecutive cards of the same suit, ranging in value from 10 to the Ace.
  2. Straight Flush: A straight flush consists of five cards of successive values within the same suit, excluding the royal flush. Only a royal or straight flush with higher-ranking cards can beat this hand.
  3. Four of a Kind: Four of a kind entails having four cards of the same rank across all four suits. The fifth card needed to complete the five-card hand is determined by the highest card among the remaining options in your hand or on the table.
  4. Full House: A full house involves three cards of the same value in three different suits paired with another set of two cards of the same rank in two different suits. If multiple players have a full house, the one with the highest value for the three matching cards claims the victory.
  5. Flush: A flush consists of five cards of the same suit in no specific order. The hand with the highest-valued card emerges as the winner in a tie.
  6. Straight: A straight comprises five cards of consecutive numerical value, which may include more than one suit. While an ace can rank as both low (below a 2) or high (above a king), it cannot hold both positions in the same hand.
  7. Three of a Kind: This hand consists of three cards of the same rank across three different suits. The remaining two highest-ranking cards complete the hand.
  8. Two Pair: Two pair involves having two separate sets of two cards with matching ranks. The highest-ranked remaining card finalises the hand.
  9. Pair: A pair is formed by two cards of the same rank in different suits. The remaining three cards in the hand are the three highest-ranked options available.
  10. High Card: The high card is the lowest-ranked hand possible. In this case, the highest card in the hand determines its strength, such as the king of spades.


1. Are all card suits equal in poker?

All card suits (hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades) are considered equal in standard poker games. Suits do not have any inherent ranking or value, and the suits themselves have no impact on the game’s outcome.

2. Can the highest card suit change in different poker variants?

The highest card suit does not change in different poker variants. The ranking of suits remains consistent across all variants. However, other variants may introduce rules and gameplay mechanics that can affect the overall strategy and hand rankings.

3. How can I use card suit rankings to my advantage in poker?

In most poker games, card suit rankings do not provide a direct advantage. However, suits can be used strategically for deception or as tiebreakers in certain situations. For example, if two players have the same hand rank, the one with the higher-ranking suit (according to standard alphabetical order: spades > hearts > diamonds > clubs) may win. But this scenario is rare and only significantly impacts strategy.

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