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High card by suit

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In non-standard variants of poker, it is sometimes necessary to assign relative values to the suits for special purposes such as drawing a card to decide who deals first. There is no standard ranking of suits across all poker games, and even within certain games, the order of suits varies by location. Two common conventions are:
  • alternating suits: diamonds (lowest), followed by clubs, hearts, and spades (highest). Note that this order of suits is used in the Chinese card game Big Two[?] or Choi Dai Di[?].
  • alphabetical order: clubs (lowest), followed by diamonds, hearts, and spades (highest). Note that this is also the order of suits in the game of bridge.

Cards are always compared by rank first, only then by suit (for example, using alphabetical order, the ace of clubs ranks higher than any king, but lower than the ace of diamonds). This ranking of cards is called high card by suit. It is never used to break ties between poker hands, but can be used in the following situations, as well as various others, based upon the circumstances of the particular game:

  • Randomly selecting a player or players.
To randomly select a player to deal, to choose the game, to move to another table, or for other reasons, deal each player one card and the player with high card by suit is selected. Multiple players can be selected this way.

  • Assigning the bring-in.
In games such as Seven-card stud, where the player with the lowest-ranking face-up card is required to open the first betting round for a minimal amount, ties can be broken by suit.

  • Awarding odd chips in a split pot
In High-low split games, or when two players' hands tie, the pot must be split evenly between them. When there is an odd amount of money in the pot that can't be split evenly, the odd low-denomination chip can be given to the player whose hand contains the high card by suit.

See also : Poker

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