When it comes to the standard poker hand rankings, suits of cards generally rank equal to each other. The ace of hearts is just as strong as the ace of spades, for example.
There are some situations where the suit of a card determines which hand wins. The hierarchy of suits differs depending on where you play, but in the US all poker rooms use the same suit rankings.
Let’s take a look at what the highest suit is in poker, and what situations call for a card suit tiebreaker:
What is the Highest Suit in Poker?
An easy way to remember the suit rankings is by thinking of them in reverse alphabetical order. In US poker games, the suits are ranked from highest to lowest as follows:
In other countries, the order of suits might be different. Some games in Russia, Italy, China, and Germany use different suit rankings, for example.
When Does the Highest Suit Matter?
Suits are never used to determine who wins a poker pot. A heart royal flush and a spade royal flush would split a pot in the rare event that the two hands went against each other, such as in a game of Seven Card Stud.
Suit rankings are used to break ties in the following situations:
The Bring-In – In games like Stud, the player with the lowest upcard starts the action with a minimum bet (the bring-in). In the event of a tie, the player with the lower-ranking suit is the bring-in player. For example, with one player showing the 2♠ and another the 2♥, the 2♥ has to post the bring-in. In Razz, the player with the highest card has to post the bring-in, and the higher suit has to post in case of a tie.
Assigning the dealer button – At the beginning of a new game, the dealer will give each player one card to determine who gets to start the game on the button. The highest card gets the button, with ties broken by the suit rankings. This process can also be used to choose which player gets the first choice of game in a mixed-game format, or who gets an available seat at another table when a game breaks.
Splitting an odd pot – When a split pot has an odd number of chips, suits can be used to determine which player gets the odd chip.