Learn the ranking of poker hands from best to worst before playing live at your neighbourhood casino, card room, and home using an app like PokerStars, 888Poker, or party poker. Many people think poker is less of a gamble compared to other casino games. However, players must understand how games work and the tactics needed to succeed for that to be the case.
Understanding the poker hand rankings is the first step in understanding how to play the game. In addition, most poker players have these rankings committed to memory, which frees them up to consider other factors at the table when determining how to play their hands. The good news is that regardless of the poker variation—Texas Hold’em, Omaha, seven-card stud, or another—these hand rankings tend to remain consistent throughout a wide range of games.
Poker Hand Rankings
Now that we know how to build a hand in Texas Hold ’em poker let’s examine the official poker hands rankings. The hands listed below are from best to worst, starting with the royal flush, which is the best poker hand.
The best poker hand has never been seen before by some of the best players in the world, but it is incredibly rare to witness. 10-J-Q-K-A produces a straight when dealt to a player, all of which are of the same suit.
Similar to a royal flush, except that any card value can be used. 7-8-9-10-J, all in the same suit, would be a straight flush. This is another hand you won’t likely see in a game.
A hand with three of a kind and a pair is referred to as a full house or full boat. Some refer to our sample hand as a “full house, Kings full of 9s.” A full house with the higher-ranked three of a kind always defeats a full house with the lower-ranking three of a kind, regardless of the rank of the paired component, in the same way, that the ranking rules for two pair hands apply. Therefore, in a showdown with QQQAA, our example hand prevails.
A flush is a five-card combination, similar to a straight when all the cards are of the same suit but do not form a straight. In contrast to QJT72, which indicates a Queen-high flush, our example displays an Ace-high flush.
When you have three cards with the same value, this happens. As a result, there will be a difference between the final two cards. An example of the hand is 8-8-8-J-A.
The next thing is the pair of hands. 42% of all possible hand combinations fall into one pair of hands, which comprises one pair and three additional unpaired cards. In a showdown, if both players have one pair, the hand with the higher pair wins, or if both hands have the same pair, the highest non-paired card wins.
The ladder’s bottom rung is this one. All five cards in a high card hand, also known as a no pair hand, must have different card ranks, not be consecutive, and not be of the same suit. A high card hand is weaker than the other nine hands in our rating system, making it the least coordinated and having the lowest value. Although this may seem like a lot to remember, the fundamental idea is straightforward.
How do you determine who wins when two players have high hands? If someone holds an Ace, as in the example above, and their opponent’s top card is a Queen, the first person wins with “Ace high.” Otherwise, compare their highest-ranking cards to determine who wins. Compare each player’s next highest card, and so on, until a winner is determined if the game is tied. There is a tie, and the players split the pot if both hands are comparable.