Poker Hand Rankings

No matter if you are playing poker in a card room or at the local casino, whether you want to apply home game rules or play online using various websites like PokerStar, PartyPoker or 888Poker, learning poker hands and their orders are always vital. 

As a poker player, you should learn and even print the poker hands list because it is important to know the correct hands rank. Knowing the key for starting will help you in winning poker hands. 

Poker Hands in Descending Order

  1. Royal Flush – In Texas Hold’em, a Royal Flush is considered the best Poker Hands. It happens when you get A, K, Q, J, and 10 from the same suit.
  1. Straight Flush – A Straight Flush happens when a player gets sequential order of five cards belonging to the same suit.
  1. Four of a Kind – In four of a kind, players get any of the four matched cards.
  1. Full House – A full house happens when a player gets a pair and three of a kind all during the same hand.
  1. Flush – A flush happens when a player gets five cards, all belonging to the same suit. The order is not important in such situations.
  1. Straight – When a straight occurs, the player has sequential order of five cards. For a straight hand to happen, the suit does not matter.
  1. Three of a Kind – A player gets three cards that numerically match in three of a kind but belong to different suits.
  1. Two Pair – When a player gets two various types of pairs during the same hand, a two pair occurs.
  1. One Pair – As the name suggests, when a player gets single pair of numerically-matched cards in hand.
  1. High Card – A high card is the least valuable hand in Texas Hold’em poker game. On the other hand, the ace is the highest-ranked while the two are the lowest-ranked card.
Poker Hands Rankings

What Beats What in Poker?

Poker is considered more like gambling than an actual game. This can be true to some extent. However, for understanding this concept, a player should have a clear understanding of the game and all the strategies used to win the game. That’s learning poker hand rankings are considered the first step of learning poker itself. 

Memorizing the rankings helps players during the game. It enables them to decide and form their strategies accordingly. Moreover, most poker variants use the same hand ranking, including Omaha, Texas Hold’em, Seven-Card Stud, and more. Since all of these games have the same roots. So, you don’t need to learn these hands separately for various games. 

This article lists down all the poker hand rankings starting from Royal Flush and ending to no pair in five cards. The hand ranking indicates the likelihood of each of these hands. 

The rarest form of hand ranking is Royal Flush because getting five consecutive ranked cards from A to 10. Sometimes, it takes a whole lifetime to get a royal flush. However, as compared to a royal flush, a straight flush occurs more frequently. While getting four of kind hand has a higher frequency, and the list goes on. 

If you go through the list again, you will notice that flush is ranked lower than a full house. This is because flush has a bit more frequency of occurrence than a full place.  

Understanding Winning Poker Hands

New poker players always struggle to know the best poker hands. However, studying the poker guide might help them to a great extent. 

In Texas Hold’em, the players’ major goal is to form the five best hands at showdown. Moreover, the rule also allows you to win by forcing your opponent to fold while not showing your cards. However, for this article, we assume the showdown has occurred to know what beat what in poker.

Winning Poker Hands: Knowing the Best Hands

The weakest holding a player can make in poker is first up. With this hand, winning poker is quite rare, especially when there are multiple pot players. For the win to occur, the hand should have high cards. In this scenario, the player does not even have a pair among all five cards. 

The second hand involves one pair. It is one of the most common hands in the Texas Hold’em game. With this hand, the player can easily win numerous pots. 

After one pair, the next ranked hand is a two pair. As suggested by its name, the player gets two pairs in this hand. An example can be getting a pair of 10, a pair of ace, and another number. If you get a two pair, it is important to tell the highest pair before the lowest to avoid confusion.

Good Hands in Poker

No matter what previous hands you got, the chances of winning are not as much as in the three of a kind. Once you get a three-of-a-kind hand, you will most likely win the pot. 

After a player scores three of a kind, the other player would need at least a straight to win the game. The straight should have five consecutive cards, with one of them from a different suit.

The hand will be won by the player that has seven high straights. Two types of straights are Broadway and Wheel. The wheel runs from A to 5, while Broadway runs from 10 to A. 

Flush is another essential hand. Flush occurs when a player gets five cards, all belonging to the same suit. Flush is not easy to hand to break. A full house can only beat it. In a full house or boat, the five cards include a pair and three of a kind. In the boat, the card with the highest value wins the hand.

Stronger Hands in Poker

These hands are one of the rarest hands, and you hardly see these hands happening. 

For beating a full house, four of a kind is required. This hand represents four cards, all belonging to the same rank. However, for beating four of a kind, you need a stronger hand. You can only beat a four of a kind either with Royal Flush or straight flush. 

Poker Hands Probability

Some players love finding the probability of a hand to happen. Though Royal Flush is one of the rarest phenomena in poker, the odds of happening can be estimated through probability. 

Calculating the Probability of Poker Hands

The poker contains 52 cards in a single play. The combination for the 52 cards becomes 2,598,960. For calculating the possible outcome, it is important to divide a total number of possibilities by the total poker hands. 

If we follow the same method, the odds of Royal Flush become 4/2,598,960 = 0.000001539. In the same way, one can also calculate the probability of calculating a straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pairs, and one pair. 

Relative Value vs. Absolute Value of Poker Hands

The hand rankings in poker never change. However, sometimes the circumstances may turn unfavorable, and the more valuable hand might not have as much impact as the less valuable hand. This sudden shift in the value occurs because of absolute value and relative value. 

For example, while playing Texas Hold’em, a player has two pairs with a good hand. But the opponent keeps increasing the bet that indicates he might have a flush or straight. In such circumstances, even your good hand will no longer look good. 

However, in circumstances where a player has one pair while the opponent keeps checking, that allows the player to have a free play in the pot. This indicates that the player has a comparatively stronger hand and that he should opt to bet. In this scenario, the relative value works well, while the absolute value is not very effective. 

Moreover, in some online poker games like Badugi, deuce-to-seven triple draw, razz, etc., the stated hand rankings will not apply. These games have their specific rules, while the hand rankings in this article are applied in regular poker games. 

Poker Hand Rankings FAQs 

What is the Order of Poker Hands?

The order of poker hands is also provided above in the article. However, the lowest to highest ranking is High Card, One Pair, Two Pairs, Three of a Kind, Straight, Flush, Full House, Four of a Kind, Straight Flush, and Royal Flush. With Royal Flush being the top-ranked hand while the High Card is the least ranked. 

What is the Best Hand in Poker?

The best poker hand is Royal Flush. It is one of the rarest forms of hands. For a Royal Flush to occur, a player must have 10, J, Q, K, and A, all belonging to the same suit.

What Beats What in Poker?

The hierarchy of what beats what in poker is also discussed above in the article. However, the hierarchy can be defined from the list below.

  • For beating high cards, the player should have a pair.
  • Two pairs then beat one pair.
  • If the player has three of a kind, he can beat two pairs.
  • Three of a kind can be beaten by straight.
  • Players need a flush to beat straight.
  • A full house is required to beat a flush.
  • Players should have four of a kind for beating a full house.
  • Four of a kind can be beaten by a straight flush.
  • While finally, to beat straight flush, the player needs a Royal Flush. A royal flush is the best hand, so nothing can beat it if you have a royal flush.

What is a Straight in Poker?

A straight occurs when a player has all the five cards in consecutive order like 2,3,4,5,6. Moreover, if all five cards belong from the same suit, the player gets a straight flush. A straight flush is stronger than a normal straight. 

What Beats a Straight in Poker?

For a player to beat straight, he should have a hand stronger than a straight. The hands capable of beating a straight include royal flush, flush, straight flush, full house, and four of a kind. 

What Beats a Flush in Poker?

The hands that can beat a flush are royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, and full house.

What Beats a Full House in Poker?

A full house can only be beaten by three hands: a royal flush, four of a kind, and a straight flush.

What is the Highest Suit in Poker?

Normally, the suits have the same values in poker. However, some games may assign different values that are not a common game practice. In games that assign values to the suits, the spades often have the highest value and clubs the lowest.

How Many Poker Hands are there?

The total number of poker hands can be estimated through probability. With the 52 cads, the number of poker hands becomes 2,598,960.

What Hands to Play in Poker?

The answer to this question depends on the game and the circumstances around it. The action you take during the game is entirely random. However, one of the top poker players, Jonathan Little, has shared his best hands to play might help you decide your hand. 

Can you Make Three Pairs?

While playing poker, the hand should be made using only five cards. So, if you have three pairs, you don’t win.

What are Better, Trips or a Set?

Both are types of three-of-a-kind hands. However, since trips are comparatively tougher than the set, sets are considered better hands. 

What is a Split or Chopped Pot?

This happens when you and your opponent both have five-card poker hands of the same kind. In such instances, the pot is split between two.

Who Wins if there is Four of a Kind on the Board?

Players in a poker game are required to form the best five-card hand. Therefore, in four a kind, the player with the highest card wins the game.

Are the Suits Ranked in Texas Hold’em?

The suits are in some variants of poker. However, in Texas Hold’em, the suits have the same value. 

Why Did My 4,4,4, T, T Lose to my Opponent’s 7,7,7,8,8?

The three kinds of elements dictate the winner. This is also evident from the ranking chart that you can download and print for better learning.

Useful Poker Tools 

 Some useful poker tools include a poker odds calculator and how to use PokerStars tools to your advantage.  

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