Review of Poker Hand Rankings

The basis of all poker-based games is the hand rankings. It’s important to know the different rankings (what beats what) in order to be successful in all forms of poker. The following are just a few of the several of types of poker played around the world:

  • Texas Hold’em
  • Five Card Draw
  • Five Card Stud
  • Caribbean Poker
  • Seven Card Stud
  • Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
  • Omaha Hi
  • Omaha Hi-Lo
  • Omaha 8
  • 3-Card Poker
  • 4-Card Poker
  • Indian Poker
  • Chicago

There are ten hand rankings that are used in each of these games to determine the winning player. Starting from the weakest to best, the hands are:

  • High card
  • One pair
  • Two pair
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Full house
  • Four of a kind
  • Straight flush
  • Royal straight flush

If no player at a table has a pair or better, the individual with the highest card wins. Sometimes only having an ace is good enough to take the pot. One pair is two cards that match such as Ace-Ace (which is the highest pair possible) or any similar combination. Two pair is two sets of cards of the same rank such as Ace-Ace, King-King which is the highest possible two pair.

Three of a kind is three cards of the same rank such as Ace-Ace-Ace which is the highest three of a kind possible. A straight is when all five cards are in a row, but not the same suit such as 10-Jack-Queen-King-Ace which is the highest strait possible. A flush occurs when all five cards are of the same suit, but not in order such as 9-Jack-Queen-King-Ace. Having a high card such as a King or Ace is important to beat lesser flushes.

A full house is a set of three of a kind and a pair such as Ace-Ace-Ace-King-King which is the highest full house possible. Four of a kind is four cards of the same ranking such as Ace-Ace-Ace-Ace-King which is the highest possible full house combination. A straight flush is all cards of the same suit in a row such as 5-6-7-8-9 which is the highest possible straight flush combination.

Finally a royal straight flush occurs when the player has exactly 10-Jack-Queen-King-Ace of the same suit. This is the rarest of all hands and beats every other hand in poker. The chances of landing a royal flush are slim due to the exact card combination required.

These hand rankings are the bread and butter of all poker. Memorizing them will help you become a better poker player.

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