In Poker, players create a set of five playing cards referred to as hands. Every hand possesses a rank which would be compared against the opponent’s own to choose who wins the pot. The highest ranking hands win in high games, while the lowest ranking games win in low games like Razz. However, in high-low split games, different rules are followed to rank the high and low hands therefore both the highest-ranking and lowest-ranking hands can win.

A pivotal part of Poker strategy is knowing the Poker hand rankings. This would allow you to make better decisions about your hand and also judge your opponent’s hand movements. To be an excellent Poker player, nothing beats the ability to think ahead of your opponent, as this would leverage your own strength.

Overview of how hand rankings are used in Poker

Using the rank of its cards, a hand is ranked within its category determined by the patterns created by its cards. From the highest to the lowest, each individual Poker hand is ranked: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2.

When using a standard 52-card deck, there are nine categories of hands, excluding the under ace-to-five low rules, which do not recognise straights, flushes and straight flushes. There is also another category – five of its kind – which exists when one or more wild cards are used. The fewer the hands, the higher the ranks.

The Basics of Poker Hand Rankings

The Poker hand ranking is a sequence for ranking hands in a game of Poker. This encompasses combinations like a full house, straight, flush and three-of-a-kind. Depending on the type of cards used in making it, each rank will be higher or lower. To start winning Poker hands, it is important to note the correct rankings. The Poker hand rankings are from the highest to lowest in this sequence:

Poker Hand Description
Royal Flush: It is the best hand in Poker and consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit from ten through to ace. This Poker hand comprises three cards of the same rank in 3 separate suits plus the two highest available cards.
Straight Flush: This refers to any five cards of successive values in the same suit that isn’t a royal flush. Only a royal flush or a straight flush comprising cards of higher rankings can beat a straight flush.
Four of a Kind: Here, four of the same card are in the same suit. The highest card among the players on the table or in your own hand completes the five-card hand.
Full house: Three exact value cards in three different suits sum up with a different pair of the same rank card in two different suits in one hand. In a situation where more than one player has a full house, the one with the highest value, three-of-a-kind, wins.
Flush: Five cards of the same suit are arranged in no specific order. In a situation whereby more than a player has a flush, the highest-valued card wins.
Straight: This consists of more than one suit with five cards of successive numbers. Usually, an ace might rank as high (above a king) or low (below a 2) but never at the same time in one hand.
Three of a kind: From 3 different suits but of the same rank, 3 cards are chosen to make a Poker hand. Asides from the three-of-a-kind, the two highest available cards complete this hand.
Two pairs: Two separate sets of cards of complimenting ranks make this up. The highest-ranked available card compliments the hand.
Pair: These are cards of the same rank in distinct suits completed by the three highest-ranked cards present in the game.
High card: Here comes the lowest-ranked card available. It is the worst Poker hand you can get as it lacks pairs, straight, flushes and every other card combination.

However, not all Poker games choose the winning hand according to the highest-ranked on the Poker hand rankings. The Poker hand rankings choose the best Poker hand in three different ways:

  • Hi or high-hand Poker: This is the easiest way to rank a game because the best Poker hand is picked from the highest on the Poker hand rankings. Examples include Texas Holdem and Seven-Card Stud.
  • Lo, Low-hand or Lowball Poker: This works oppositely to high-hand games. Here, the plan is switched, and the lowest ranking hand is picked as the best hand possible. Differences spring out while considering whether the Straights and Flushes are to be noted or whether the Ace is referred to as a low or high card. Common examples are Razz, Triple Draw, and London Lowball.
  • Hi-lo or High-low Split Poker: Here, the pot is divided equally between the player with the low hand and the one with the best high hand. The pot is split between the best and the worst hand in Poker. An example is the Omaha Hi-Lo.

Poker hands ranking chart

The table below shows all hands in Poker in a hierarchical order:

Hand Ranks Hand name Example Probability Combinations Description
1. Royal Flush 0.000154% 4 Consists of 10 Jack, Queen, Ace and King, all from the same suit.
2. Straight Flush 0.0015% 36 Five cards in a row, all from the same suit.
3. Four of a Kind 0.0256% 624 Four different suits with the same card.
4. Full house 0.17% 3,744 Three of a kind coupled with a pair.
5. Flush 0.367% 5,108 Five different cards not in sequential numerical arrangement but in the same suit.
6. Straight 0.76% 10,200 Five cards in different suits but in a numerical arrangement.
7. Three of a kind 2.87% 54,912 Two non-paired cards with three of one card.
8. Two pairs 7.62% 123,552 Two separate pairings of similar cards in one hand.
9. One pair 49.9% 1,098,240 The pairing of the same type of card.

A Poker hand chart is also a cheat sheet that enables you to understand all critical parts of a winning Poker strategy clearly. There are a lot of Poker charts pasted all over the internet, but it’s our sole responsibility to bring you the best of all.

Understanding Poker Hand Odds and Strength

To maximize your chance of winning, you need to know the odds of hitting some odds and making draws, which would facilitate better decision-making. Capitalizing on your Poker hand strength allows you to make better decisions and secure a win.

While calculating and strategizing, you need to understand the number of “outs” your hand possesses especially when drawing, and how you can determine the chance of the cards you need to be dealt. To calculate your Poker hand odds, you must know the number of “outs” your hand possesses. An out is a card in the deck that guides you to make your hand.

But in most insurances, you do not know what your opponents are holding, so you can only calculate odds with the knowledge that is present to you. To fully understand the Poker hand values, consult the table above for additional knowledge.

How to Use Hand Rankings in Poker

Every successful decision in life needs proper planning and strategizing. Poker isn’t left out. Winning a game isn’t sheer luck or favouritism because a lot of effort needs to be put in place. Tips for a successful decision include:

  • Familiarize yourself with Poker hand hierarchy.
  • Maximize your earning potential. Up your game.
  • Be calm, calculating and assertive.
  • Pay attention to your opponents’ expressions and movements.
  • Be disciplined and game responsibly while placing bets.
  • Practice as much as possible.

Hand rankings can also help in numerous ways. Some of which are:

  • Bluffing: This works best in a logical situation as it can mark a change between losing and winning. You must convince your opponents that you got a better hand, even if it’s a big fat lie. To do this, you need a good knowledge of hand rankings.
  • Value betting: This is another survival skill necessary in Poker. The ability to bet the right hands for the right quantity is essential when gaming. This can be enhanced and improved upon if you’re quite versatile with Poker hand rankings.
  • Betting intervals: The Poker hand order is relevant here also, as betting intervals differ completely in each type of game. Each player places a bet, followed by the other simultaneously, and the player with the highest number of chips remaining wins.

What is the best hand in Poker?

The best hand in Poker indisputably belongs to Royal Flush, the highest-value straight flush. It consists of a King, Ace, Queen, Jack and 10 and defeats any other hand held by your opponents. If you manage to play this hand, it’s a jackpot for you as you would win all the money in the pot for yourself. No card comes close to the Royal Flush, as it’s the top hand in Poker variants.


Just like oxygen is necessary for life, Poker hand rankings are also essential to a player’s survival during a game. You need to know the Poker hand strength to be a successful player. Employing your understanding of implied odds guides you to make informed decisions too.

It helps players calculate, know when to bet, and relax. You have the perfect information to choose your starting hands too. All these sum up to determine a player’s overall success. With the perfect understanding of Poker hand rankings, you are a step ahead of the opponent. You can also read about the Poker Terms in our other article.

Two things affect a player on the table – luck and decision-making. Luck is out of your control; capitalize more on better decisions making, as this would help you go a long way. Learn the rankings and hierarchy and watch yourself soar into greatness in the world of Poker.


Posted by: Catalina Kirby
Chief Editor

With 4 years of experience in writing about online gambling, Catalina has decided to gather all her knowledge and share it with others on one platform. Her main goal is to provide detailed information so that players could gamble in a more safe way.