I'm trying to learn poker basics, and there is something I don't quite understand. If anybody could explain it to me, I would be grateful:

Do cards have to be in order? Let's take a Straight flush: "a poker hand containing five cards of sequential rank, all of the same suit". Is it enough if the hand contains the needed cards or must they be in order in hand?

Straight flush examples:

Straight flush example 1 Straight flush example 2

Are they both straight flushes?

Another example, one pair:

enter image description here enter image description here

Are those both one pair hands?

  • 4
    order of the cards does not matter.. it's the same hand, no matter which order the cards are in.
    – user1934
    May 2, 2017 at 14:58
  • 1
    Thanks, I know my question sounds stupid, but I wanted to make sure. If you put your comment in answer, I will accept it. May 2, 2017 at 14:59

4 Answers 4


The order of the cards does not matter. It's the same hand, no matter which order the cards are in.


As stated, it does not matter. So if you are in a live game, at the end of a hand, just show your cards and let them 'speak for themselves'. The dealer will sort things out. I will do this if I am tired, confused or merely distracted. It's not the most strategic thing to do in a game, but it's a lot better than making a mistake!


Playing poker online is very much interesting. While playing poker, the cards are in which order doesn't matter. You have the cards in your hand... you can change the order

  • this was an attempt at spam, the potential link was edited out. Please flag it as spam, as that was the op's intention of posting. unregistered user, only post.
    – user4114
    May 9, 2017 at 22:31

As per Michael, with standard poker it doesn't matter insofar as your ranking, however in some live games what you declare is taken as what your actual hand is so be mindful of this and organise your cards in a fashion whereby you know what you have, and moving deeper into the levelling theory, what your opponents may have in a given situation.

In games like badugi, which you may not have explored, the order somewhat matters, as its the lowest card in a suit that plays.


  • Agree with the advice to arrange your cards in whatever way ensures you know what you have (provided it doesn't somehow give your opponents information), However, I'm not sure the Badugi example is valid - a hand containing a given 4 cards has the exact same strength regardless of which order the cards are in.
    – 3N1GM4
    May 4, 2017 at 14:02
  • Just on the Badugi point, to explain further that is unless you have those in the same suit, the lower one will always play, which is somewhat order related - for example: 5d-9d-3s-Jc: only one diamond can be used so this is a three-card hand Jc-5d-3s
    – dcudonk
    May 5, 2017 at 8:14
  • Sure, I think we're talking about two different things. The OP is talking about arranging a given set of cards in a particular order, whereas you're talking about actually changing cards which can/will of course affect the strength of a hand. In your example of 5d 9d 3s Jc in Badugi, your hand is a 3 card Jack regardless of the order of those 4 cards.
    – 3N1GM4
    May 5, 2017 at 11:32
  • 1
    That is rank not order. Rank matters in poker. Jc-5d-3s = 3s-Jc-5d
    – paparazzo
    May 5, 2017 at 19:33

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