Poker Hand Rankings – From Best to Worst
1. Royal Flush
The Royal Flush is like a magical hand, where you hold the A, K, Q, J, 10 cards, and they all match in suit. There are only four possible ways to make a Royal Flush, and they all have the same power.
Remember, in poker, a Royal Flush is the ultimate goal! It is the absolute best possible hand in poker, unbeatable by any other combination.
Example: A♣ K♣ Q♣ J♣ 10♣
This is a five-card hand of sequential rank, all in the same suit. The top dog of Straight Flushes is the Royal Flush, which we’ve shown above
The rank of the Straight Flush is based on the highest straight card. And if there’s a tie, the winner is the one with the highest Straight.
Example: 9♦ 8♦ 7♦ 6♦ 5♦
This is another powerful hand known as ‘Quads’. It’s made up of four cards of the same rank, plus one other card. The best Quads hand obviously consists of four Aces.
If two players happen to have the same Four of a Kind hand, the deciding factor is the fifth card. The player with the better fifth card wins the pot.
For example: A♣ A♦ A♠ A♥ 2♦
4. Full House
Also known as a boat or tight. It consists of three cards of the same face value, along with any two other equally ranked cards.
The key to a strong Full House is the first three cards, which determine its strength. And if two players have the same Three-of-a-Kind, the one with the higher pair takes the pot.
The ultimate Full House is Aces Full of Kings, which beats all other Full Houses on the table.
Example: A♣ A♦ A♠ K♥ K♣
A Flush is a random combination of five cards of the same suit. It doesn’t matter if the cards aren’t in order.
The ranking of the flush is determined by the highest card of the combination. So, the strongest hand of the regular flushes is the one with an Ace.
Example: A♥ 4♥ J♥ 8♥ 2♥
You may think of a Straight in poker as five consecutive cards in the same hand. Suits don’t matter, but the best card of the sequence determines its rank.
Aces can be either high or low:
- The “Wheel” is the lowest possible Straight. Namely, A-2-3-4-5.
- “Broadway” is the highest possible Straight. Which is A-K-Q-J-10.
This poker hand is also known as Trips, and it is made up of three cards of a similar rank. The other two cards are of different ranks and are referred to as “Kickers”.
The higher the value of the cards, the better. When you and your opponent(s) have the same Three of a Kind, the player with the highest kicker will take the pot.
Example: 8♦ 8♥ 8♠ 4♦ 2♣
Two pair is like having two sets of twins in your hand – two of the same cards side by side, plus a fifth card that is not part of the pair.
The best possible Two-Pair hand combination is two Aces and two Kings.
Example: A♠ A♣ K♥ K♠ Q♦
A common and weak hand. One Pair is made up of two cards of the same value and three unpaired cards.
Example: 7♦ 7♣ 10♦ 3♠ 5♠
10. High Card
Five cards of unique ranks and different suits. This is the worst hand in poker, with 2-3-4-5-7 taking the throne.
The Ace obviously is the highest value card here when facing off against another High Card hand.
Example: A♥ 8♠ 4♦ 6♣ J♣
Download Our Poker Hand Rankings Cheat Sheet
Download our printable poker hand rankings chart for free by clicking the button below.
Important: make sure you are familiar with the poker rules when using this overview.
A Word on Ties and Kickers
Have you ever wondered what happens when two or more poker players have the same hand? That’s when the concept of Kickers comes into play.
The Kicker is the next strongest card in the hand, which is used to break the tie between players.
For instance, if two players have the same pair:
- The player with the higher Kicker wins the pot.
- If the Kickers are also tied, the next highest card decides the winning poker hand.
- If all cards are tied, the pot is split evenly.
So, it’s always important to keep an eye on your Kicker while playing a game of poker, as it could make all the difference in winning or losing the game.
What Beats What in Poker? A Table Chart
Many questions regarding this topic mainly come down to the ‘What Beats What?’ type of questions. Instead of answering all of these questions separately, we created an all-in-one table chart for you.
Below the table, we explain exactly how you can use it.
|Left-to-Right||Royal Flush||Straight Flush||Four-of-a-Kind||Full House||Flush||Straight||Three-of-a-Kind||Two-pair||One-Pair||High Card|
|Royal Flush||Tie, Split Pot||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Straight Flush||❌||Highest Straight||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Full House||❌||❌||❌||Highest 3 Cards||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Two-Pair||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌||Highest Two Pair||✔️||✔️|
|High Card||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌||Highest Card|
The table above represents a comparison chart for different poker hands in Texas Hold’em. It shows the hierarchy of hands from highest to lowest and indicates whether one hand beats another.
Here’s how to read the table:
- The leftmost column represents your hand.
- The top row represents the hand of your opponent.
- The cells in the table indicate the outcome of the comparison between the two hands.
The symbols used in the table have the following meanings:
- ✔️: Indicates that the hand on the left side beats the hand on the top.
- ❌: Indicates that the hand on the left side loses to the hand on the top.
For example, according to the table:
- If you have a Royal Flush and your opponent has a Straight Flush, it would result in a split pot.
- If you have a Straight Flush and your opponent has a Full House, the Straight Flush would win.
- If you have a Flush and your opponent has a High Card, the Flush would win.
- A Full House beats a Flush and everything below a Flush
- A Royal Flush, a Straight Flush, as well as a Four of a Kind, beats a Full House.
- A Flush beats a Straight and lower on the poker hand rankings chart.
And so on.
Note: The table assumes that no wildcards are in effect and is specific to the rules of Texas Hold’em.
Be Aware of Differences per Game Type
The examples above are focussed on so-called ‘Hi’ games, meaning the highest ranking hand on the strength chart wins.
However, it is important to remember that not all poker games are created equal when it comes to hand rankings.
- In Lowball poker games the lower-ranking hand would beat the higher-ranking one. Examples of these games are Razz, 2-7 Triple Draw, and Badugi.
- In Hi-Lo games the pot is equally distributed among the players who possess the top-ranking and bottom-ranking hands. Examples are Omaha Hi-Lo and Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Strongest Card in Poker?
The Ace is the strongest hand and the 2 is the weakest one.
What is the Best Hand in Poker?
Nothing beats a Royal Flush. This is the absolute best five-card poker hand. It consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10, all of the same suit.
What is the Worst Hand?
One High Card is the worst hand, in particular 2-3-4-5-7 of different suits.
Are All Suits Worth the Same?
Yes, the four suits are valued equally in poker. No suit is higher than the other.