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Poker Hand Rankings

Not sure what beats what in poker?

You can see the full list of poker hands ranked best to worst below.

Poker is one of the most popular casino games, especially for players who are looking for games in which they are not playing against the "house" but against other players. While a lot of casino games are based largely on chance, poker is a game in which players can use their skills to enjoy an edge over the competition and thereby increase their likelihood of success.

For that reason, many consider poker less of a gambling game than other casino games, although in order for that genuinely to be true players need to improve their understanding of game play and the strategy required to be a winning player.

The first step toward learning how to play poker is to learn the poker hand rankings. Most poker players have these rankings memorized, which allows them to think about other things at the table when deciding the best way to play their hands.

The good news is these hand rankings tend to be the same among a wide variety of poker variants, whether it is Texas Hold'em, Omaha, seven-card stud, or other games. All of those games use the same traditional hand rankings that were first developed way back in the 19th century when five-card draw first started to be played.

If you look below, you'll see a complete list of hand rankings for five-card poker hands going from the highest possible hand, the royal flush, down to the lowest hand in which there is no pair among the five cards.

Hand rankings in poker correspond to the likelihood of making such hands. A royal flush, consisting of the cards ranked ace through ten all being the same suit, is extremely rare — in fact, some players go their entire lives without making a royal flush.

Meanwhile a regular straight flush with any five consecutive cards of the same suit is a little less rare, four of a kind occurs slightly more frequently, and so on. Notice that a full house is ranked higher than a flush — that's because a full house comes just a little less frequently than a flush, thereby making it the higher-ranked hand of the two.

It should be noted also that while poker hand rankings never change, sometimes circumstances can make a good hand less valuable and a poor hand more valuable. In other words, when it comes to poker hands there's a difference between absolute value (reflected in the chart below) and relative value.

For instance, in a game of hold'em if you have two pair that might seem like a good hand. But if your opponent keeps betting into you and it's possible he could have a straight or flush, your two pair is no longer looking so good. Meanwhile if you have just one pair but your opponent keeps checking to give you a free play at the pot, you might well have the strongest hand and should bet your hand. The "absolute" value of your hand may not be great, but in that case the "relative" value very well could be.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that in some games like razz, deuce-to-seven triple draw, Badugi, and others you might encounter when playing online poker, the hand rankings listed below do not apply. These hand rankings are for regular or "high-card" games, not "lowball" games with alternate hand rankings.

Commit this poker hands ranking list to memory today and start making winning poker hands.

Poker Hands From Best To Worst

1. Royal Flush

The best hand in poker, a "royal flush" is extremely rare, consisting of the highest possible straight (ace to ten) with all cards being the same suit. {A-Spades}{K-Spades}{Q-Spades}{J-Spades}{10-Spades} would represent a royal flush.

2. Straight Flush

A straight flush is a five-card straight (that is, five cards of consecutive rank) with all five being the same suit. (A royal flush is an example of a straight flush — the highest one.) For example, {9-Hearts}{8-Hearts}{7-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{5-Hearts} is a straight flush and would beat even an ace-high flush.

3. Four of a kind

Next comes four of a kind or "quads," that is, four cards of the same rank. A hand like {Q-Spades}{Q-Hearts}{Q-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds}{2-Clubs} is four of a kind and would beat any hand other than a straight flush or royal flush.

4. Full house

A full house consists of three cards of the same rank along with two more cards of the same rank (in other words, three of a kind plus a pair). {J-Hearts}{J-Clubs}{J-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} is an example of a full house and beats a flush, a straight, and all lesser-ranked hands.

5. Flush

A flush consists of any five cards of the same suit, such as {K-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}. When comparing two flushes, the one containing the highest-ranked card is best. Therefore a flush containing an ace (an "ace-high flush") would beat this king-high flush.

6. Straight

A straight is made from any five cards consecutive in rank that are not all the same suit, such as {J-Hearts}{10-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{7-Spades}. When comparing two straights, the one with the highest-ranking card is best, so this jack-high straight would beat a ten-high straight (going from ten to six) and all lower ones.

7. Three of a kind

Making three of a kind or "trips" requires having three cards of the same rank among your five — for example, {6-Hearts}{6-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{K-Spades}{9-Clubs}. Three aces is the best possible three of a kind to make, followed by three kings, three queens, and so forth.

8. Two pair

Two pair involves having two cards of the same rank plus two more cards of the same rank among the five in your hand, such as {A-Clubs}{A-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{5-Hearts}{3-Clubs}. The best possible two-pair hand is aces and kings.

9. One pair

Making one pair means having two cards of the same rank in your five-card poker hand, with the other three cards being unpaired. For example, {K-Spades}{K-Hearts}{8-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{2-Clubs} would constitute a one-pair hand.

10. High card

A "high card" hand consists of five unpaired cards that make neither a straight nor a flush, such as {A-Clubs}{K-Hearts}{J-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{8-Hearts}. The highest-ranked of the five cards determines its value, so an "ace-high" hand (such as this example) would beat a "king-high" hand, and so forth.

Download Poker Hands Ranking in pdf

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