The poker hand ranking system is universal to all types of poker games. Be it 7 Card Stud, Texas Hold’em or Pot Limit Omaha a flush will always beat a straight and a full house will always beat a flush. So make sure you pay attention because the ‘poker hands order’ will be useful to you no matter what type of poker you play!
To get a printable winning poker hands ranking chart in PDF format click here. Keep this printable PDF hand ranking sheet beside you when you play to make sure you don’t make a mistake!
A poker hands calculator (for poker hands odds) can be found at PokerStrategy.com which may also be of use.
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The strongest to weakest hands of them poker hand hierarchy are listed below with the poker hands probability listed in brackets. After reading there will be no debating with friends ‘who has the best poker hand’!
Poker hand ranking system:
- Royal Flush (649,739:1)
Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten all of the same suit – the strongest poker hand.
- Straight flush (72,192:1)
Five sequential cards all of the same suit. The second strongest poker hand.
- Four of a kind (4,164:1)
Four cards of the same value. Also known as ‘quads’.
- Full House (693:1)
Three cards of the same value plus two cards of the same value. Usually a winner!
- Flush (508:1)
Five cards all of the same suit.
- Straight (254:1)
Five cards in sequential order. Also referred to as a run.
- Three of a kind (46:1)
Three cards of the same value.
- Two pair (20 : 1)
Two sets of two cards with the same value. A common hand which can sometimes win at showdown!
- One pair (1.37:1)
Two cards of the same value.
- High card
The player with the highest card wins. Unlikely to be a winner so play with care.
A kicker is much like a decider when both players have similar hand types. For example, if player A has A♠Q♣ and Player B has A♣J♠ and the board is A♥K♦5♠ 7♠ 2♦ both players will have top pair with an ace but player A will win because the Q♣ is a better kicker than the J♠. The best five cards in this scenario are AAQ75 whereas the losing hand has AAJ75. A kicker is a very important concept when trying to understand the poker hand ranking system.
Split pots occur when both players get to showdown and have the same hand rank. The pot is divided up equally between each of the players.
To take an example, if player A has K♠J♥ and player B has K♣Q♠ on a A♥K♦5♠5♣2♠ board both players will have two pair and ace kicker as their best hand (A, K, K, 5, 5). Therefore the pot will be split between the two players.
Alternatively, if the neither player can improve the hand on the board it will also be a split pot. If the board is A♥K♦5♠5♣K♠ and player A has Q♠J♣ and player B has 4♣4♠ then both players will be playing the board and thus it will be a split pot. Hence, you cannot have three pair in poker and the best two pair will play.
Beyond hand rankings
The rules of poker and poker hand rankings are just the beginning for you on your poker journey. One of the core skills in poker is being able to determine whether your hand is strong or weak on a relative scale as opposed to an absolute scale. For example, three of a kind is extremely strong on a board with no flush or straight possibilities but very weak on a board with 4 to a flush or 4 to a straight (e.g. T♥9♥8♥7♥ – any heart or J or 6 beats three of a kind).
One key point to note is that in poker all suits are of the same value. An Ace high flush of hearts is the same value as an Ace high flush of spades.
The first step to this is remembering if a flush beats a straight, or whether a straight flush beats quads; the next stage is figuring out your hand’s relative strength based on how your opponent is playing, his tendencies and most importantly the board texture as noted.
Additionally, we should take into account the following factors:
- How many players are in the pot
- The amount of chips in the pot
- The size of the bets made
If you can understand the poker hand rankings and relative hand strength you will be ahead of the game; get ready to beat all your friends and opponents at your home games and casinos!
If you are new to poker and are unsure of what hands you need to play, check out our starting hand charts over at the poker cheat sheet webpage.
Check out this poker hand ranking video for a more visual format of everything we said:
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