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Everything About Poker Cards – Learn the Card Names and Meanings Now

To understand the game of poker, familiarizing yourself with the deck is the first crucial step, especially if you intend to play proficiently. These cards determine everything from the rank order of hands to the range of possible combinations.

Experienced players even master the art of calculating the odds of winning based on their hands. As a result, they gain valuable insight into the outcome of each hand and game, sometimes even predicting possible moves of opponents at the table.

If you’re keen on deepening your knowledge about card names, types, and the various decks in poker, our guide is a must-read. This will help you grasp how the decks work in all the poker variants that Betmaster offers. Put simply, this knowledge can be used in our gaming rooms, where you can discover top live poker rooms as well as the best video of poker games.

What Deck of Cards Is Used For Poker?

The deck used in most poker games is the widely known English or French deck, consisting of 52 cards. Depending on the specific poker variant, two additional special cards might be added. Nevertheless, the most popular versions played on our platform always use the traditional 52-card French deck.

In poker, each card is ranked and valued. This allows for a multitude of combinations, where some are more valuable than others, determining whether you win or lose a game.

You might be curious: the origins of the English and French decks remain somewhat mysterious, tracing back over 600 years. It’s believed they may have evolved under the influence of other decks, like the German or Spanish ones. This belief comes from the similarities they share with these decks, particularly in the symbols they represent.

Distribution of Poker Cards

The deck is divided into 4 symbols, red and black colors. In English, they are known as “suits”.

The 4 suits of a standard deck are as follows:

Each suit comprises 13 cards. These cards range from 2 to 10, followed by the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack. In poker, each card has a specific value, which is used to differentiate between various hands and combinations.

In some instances, the “joker” card is added as a wildcard. However, it’s rare to find poker rooms using this card.

Here’s a breakdown of the cards you’ll find in a traditional poker deck:


The Ace is one of the most sought-after cards in all card games, being the highest individual card. In other words, an Ace in your hand outranks any other single card in your opponent’s hand unless they have a higher combination. The Ace has a dual value – it can count as 14 or 1, which is handy for straight sequences like Ace-2-3-4-5 or 10-Jack-Queen-King-Ace.


Following the Ace, the next highest card is the King. Represented by the letter ‘K’ in all suits, each King has a distinct design for each suit, though their function remains the same. Historically, the kings from each suit were inspired by different monarchs:

If we were to assign a numerical value to the King, it would be 13.


The Queen is the third card in the rank of a poker deck. Denoted by the letter ‘Q’, each Queen also has a unique design per suit but shares the same value. Unlike the kings, the queens from the English and French decks have different historical ties:

Numerically, the Queen is valued at 12.


The Jack, also known as the Knave, is the first face card in a deck with its value represented by a letter. Denoted by ‘J’ in poker decks, it has a value of 11. Regarding its design, each Jack represents a historical or mythical figure:

Interestingly, the Jack card is present in various decks, including the Spanish, English, and French.

Number Cards

To complete the values in the poker deck, we have the number cards. As implied, these cards are represented by numbers, ranging from 2 to 10. The value of these cards is exactly as displayed, with 2 being the lowest and 10 the highest.

Joker or Wild Card

Lastly, we have the Joker. This special card is typically included twice in a full deck and has varying uses depending on the game. In popular poker variants, the Joker is rarely used. When employed, it acts as a wildcard, substituting any other card to form winning combinations.

Card Values and Poker Hand Rankings

As previously discussed, the cards have an increasing value that ranges from number 2 to Ace. To break it down further, the cards rank from lowest to highest as follows: 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K-A, with 2 being the lowest and Ace the highest in value. This ranking directly impacts the game; for instance, a pair of 2s is lower than a pair of 3s.

In poker, players aim to combine their cards to form winning hands. Here’s a more detailed table:

Description: Achieved with five consecutive cards from 10 to Ace, all of the same suit.

Description: Made up of five consecutive cards of the same suit.

Description: Contains four cards of the same rank.

Description: Comprises a trio and a pair simultaneously.

Description: Made up of five cards of the same suit, but not in sequence.

Description: Consists of five consecutive cards, not of the same suit.

Description: Three cards of the same rank.

Description: Contains two sets of pairs.

Description: Has two cards of the same rank. The other three cards must be different and not form any other hand.

Description: The player with the highest card among all players wins.

As evident, the value and classification of each card become highly significant in poker. Depending on how you combine them, you could end up with the best or the lowest hand – with the Royal Flush being the most prestigious and the High Card the least.

Further, considering there are 52 cards in the deck, one can assess each player’s chances of winning. This percentage is often displayed below the player’s name during televised tournaments, especially towards the game’s end.

Does Understanding The Deck Improve a Player’s Winning Chances?

One of the top strategies employed by poker players revolves around familiarizing themselves with the deck – primarily, the number of cards it contains. This doesn’t just help in better identifying the hands one might currently hold, but also the potential hands one could achieve or those that opponents might be striving for.

In the betting world, everything comes down to odds. As the game unfolds, these odds will shift, either in your favor or against. At such moments, the cards in play should guide whether to continue or fold.

Take, for instance, a game where you’re dealt a pair of 2s and the table cards reveal another 2 and a pair of 8s, giving you a full house. Reflecting on the ranking table shared earlier, only three possible scenarios could result in your defeat, with two of them already ruled out. Starting to see the potential?

In any given poker game, players can always raise the stakes. It’s advisable to increase your bets when you have a strong hand, always keeping in mind the possibilities within the remaining deck.

Your only further consideration would be the odds of an opponent holding a Four of a Kind. You’d also rely on your instincts to assess if your opponent’s behavior suggests a winning hand. Ultimately, your understanding of the deck or card set in your favorite poker game is crucial to developing this skill.

How The Deck Changes Across Poker Variants

It’s important to note that different poker games might use varied decks in terms of design or include joker cards. This depends on the game type, whether it’s video poker (slot machines), live game rooms, or competitive virtual poker rooms.

In top live poker rooms, you can engage with real-life dealers. Typically, a standard poker deck is used, minus the joker and represented only by values. This means traditional face cards like kings, queens, and jacks are not used.

In slot or video poker options, while the standard deck might be used, card mechanics might differ. Game developers might introduce other cards, like the joker or other wild card variants.

Such variety in both modes provides enhanced winning chances and special gameplay mechanics, like in the case of 3-card poker. At Betmaster, we aim to offer as many poker games as our users demand, with more than 100 poker game titles.

Finally, in competitive poker rooms, the same standard deck is used, similar to live casino rooms. In such scenarios, digitized cards without traditional face designs are used, overseen by a digital dealer.

Which Cards Should You Buy For Playing Poker?

If you’re interested, starting to practice at home can help you improve your understanding of the deck. This familiarity can prepare you for games where real money is at stake without jumping in blindly.

Regarding brands, there are many reputable ones out there. Some of the standout names in the card world include Fournier, Royal, Copag, and Bicycle. These brands are popular choices for both professional and semi-professional games in top casinos across the US and Europe. The preference for these brands comes from the quality of materials they use – typically a mix of cardboard and plastic – ensuring smooth gameplay and preventing mishaps, which is essential for fair and transparent games.

We recommend practicing with these, shuffling as much as you can, and even setting up mock games. You can also organize friendly games with mates, ensuring you’re playing in a fun and legal environment.


The deck or card set plays a key role in shaping the course of a poker game. Having an in-depth understanding of the card set used in your games could provide you with an edge over other players and guide more informed decisions during play. Yet, as with any skill, continuous practice is essential. In our view, this preparation is the best starting point before venturing into real-money competitive poker rooms.

Finally, all of us at Betmaster hope you’ve found this guide beneficial. We wish you all the best for your future online and in-person poker games.