Hand Rankings

To be able to play poker you need to know the value of all the different types of possible hands. Hands are ranked in value based on the probability of getting one. The least likely hands are the highest ranked.

Hand Ranking Reference Table

The following table shows the hand rankings, starting with the best.


Rank

Hand

Example

Comments

1st (Best)

Straight Flush

10 9 8 7 6

Five sequential cards of the same suit. The higher the cards the better: A K Q J 10 beats J 10 9 8 7.

2nd

Four of a Kind

5 5 5 5

Four of the same card, regardless of suit. The higher the cards the better: K K K K beats Q Q Q Q.

3rd

Full House

KKK 77

Three of a kind plus two of a kind, regardless of suit. The higher the three of a kind the better: K K K 7 7 beats 7 7 7 K K.

4th

Flush

QJ8 7 3

Any five cards of the same suit. The higher the cards the better: Q J 8 7 3 beats Q 9 8 7 3.

5th

Straight

J 10 9 8 7

Five sequential cards of any suit. An ace can be used for a straight AKQJ10 or an A2345. Straights cannot wrap around: KA234 isn't a straight. When placed before a 2 in a straight, an A is lower than the 2: 2 3 4 5 6 beats A 2 3 4 5.

6th

Three of a Kind

9 9 9

Three of the same cards of any suit. The higher the cards the better: 9 9 9 beats 7 7 7.

7th

Two Pair

KK♣ 22♣

Two paired cards of any suit. The highest pair within the two pair wins: Q Q 8 8 beats J J 9 9.

8th

One Pair

QQ♣

Two of the same card of any suit. The higher the cards the better: J J beats 9 9.

9th

High Card

A

If you don’t even have one pair, the highest card in your hand.



Kickers

You make your hand out of the five best cards in your hand, or from your hand and the community cards in Omaha and Texas Hold'em. Straight flushes, full houses, flushes, and straights take up all five of the cards. But the “pair” hands—four of a kind, three of a kind, two pair, and one pair—do not. In these pair hands, your kicker, your highest card not in the pair, is important as a tiebreaker. For instance, if you have A A 7 4 3, you will lose to the player with a pair of A A J 4 3. Your highest card not in your pair is a 7, and the other player's highest card not in the pair is a J.