Poker Suits Order – What Are the Card Suit Rankings in Poker?

poker suits

4 minutes

Posted by: Ivan


Contrary to the common belief, in Texas Hold’em Poker, all suits are created equal, which means no suit is stronger than the other. Clubs are equal to spades, spades to hearts, and so on.

However, there are some poker variations and even specific situations in Texas Hold’em in which suits matter, so knowing the poker suits order can come in handy.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the poker suits ranking in these situations and see which are the highest suits.

The Highest Suit in Poker

There are four different suits in poker and in situations where their ranking matters, they are ranked in the following order.

  • Spades
  • Hearts
  • Diamonds
  • Clubs

Thus, the spades are the strongest, and the clubs are the weakest suit. As you can see they are arranged in reverse alphabetical order and this is the easiest way to remember this list if you ever forget it.

Note that this suits list is used in the US, and if you are playing poker in some other country, it would be best that you do some more research to confirm the correct strength of poker suits in your region.

So, in which situations do the strength of the suits matter in poker?

This question is a bit complicated to answer because it will depend on the rules of the games you are playing it. With this said, let’s first touch on the everyday poker situations in which the strength of the suits will not matter.

Situations Where the Strength of the Suit in Poker Doesn’t Matter

poker suit order

The main thing that you should always keep in mind is that the strength of the suits is never used to determine the winner of the pot in poker.

If you are playing a game like Seven Card Stud, there is a small chance that two players can make the Royal Flush combinations.

If this happens and both players make a Royal Flush, the pot will be split in half, and each player will receive one half.

In other words, if you have a Royal Flush in spades (the strongest suit) and your opponent makes a Royal Flush in clubs (the weakest suit) you will still chop the pot because the strength of the suits does not matter when determining poker hand rankings.

Situations in Which the Strength of the Suit in Poker Matters

highest suits

Depending on which games you play, it is useful to know in which situations the strength of the suits will play a role, so let’s look at these situations.

  • The Bring In (Stud poker)
  • Assigning the dealer button (most poker variants)
  • Splitting an odd pot (most poker variants)
  • Random selection of players (most poker variants)
  • Breaking ties in chip races

The Bring-in

In Seven-card Stud, the term “bring-in” is used to mark the first player to act. This player is required to open the first betting round with a minimal amount (something like putting a blind into the pot in Texas Hold’em).

The bring-in player is the player who holds the lowest ranked up-card on the third street. iIf there are two players with the lowest ranked card, the strength of the suits is then applied to determine which player will be the bring-in player.

Assigning the Dealer Button

Another example of when the strength of the suits matters in poker is during the process of assigning the dealer button.

To determine which player will have the dealer button first, each player is dealt one card from the deck, and the one with the highest ranking card gets the button.

card suit ranking

If two or more players hold cards with the highest rank, the strength of the suits is then applied to break the tie.

This rule is also applied in mixed game formats when determining which player will choose the first game to be played.

Splitting an Odd Pot

In situations when there is an odd amount of poker chips or money in the pot, the strength of the suit can be used to determine which player will get the odd chip.

Random Selection of Players

In some instances in poker, there is a need to randomly select a player. For example, this happens in tournaments when there is a need to balance tables.

To determine which player will be moved, the dealer will deal one card to each player at the table. The player with the highest (or the lowest) ranked card will be moved.

poker suits ranking

If there are two or more players with the same ranked card, suits will be used to determine which player will leave the table.

Breaking Ties in Chip Races

Finally, tournament organizers use suit strengths in poker tournaments to break ties in chip races.

When new chips with higher denominations introduced in the late stages of poker tournaments, the leftover low denomination chips are given to one of the players based on the strength of the suit of the card they have received.

Final Thoughts on Suit Strengths in Poker

Poker suits rankings do not matter in most poker games; all aces are of the same strength, and suits will never impact the winner of the pot (if players involved have the same combinations). So this is not something you should worry about when playing the game.

However, it is good to know that there are some situations in which the strength of the suits has an impact. For the most part, it is used to break ties.

Finally, because the strength of the suits does not impact how the game is played, different countries rank suits differently. If you are not located in the US, you should check the rules in your poker games, so that you don’t get surprised with different rankings.

Ivan Potocki

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