Poker Hands Rankings: Complete Guide to Understanding Poker Card Strength

Content Team 1 year ago
Poker Hands Rankings: Complete Guide to Understanding Poker Card Strength

In poker, the player with the best hand wins the pot. Therefore, knowing poker hands rankings is essential to make an informed decision on when to fold, bet, or raise. In addition, understanding the card hierarchy helps players read their opponents’ hands and play strategically. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into this topic, so let’s begin.

The Basics of Poker Hands Rankings

Poker is all about winning, but in order to win, you need the best five-card hand, and the strongest wins the pot. Poker hands are valued based on how rare or common they are, with the most common hands being valued lower than the rarer ones.

Knowing poker hand rankings will help you determine the strength of your starting hands and identify whether you have a strong hand. In this way, you will know which hands to play with and which ones to discard.

Before you begin, remember these things:

  • Most poker games (Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Short Deck) don’t rank suits.
  • It’s possible to use an Ace as a high or low card.
  • The “kicker” is used to break ties between equally ranked hands.

Poker Hands Rankings: Complete Guide to Understanding Poker Card Strength

1. Royal Flush

According to poker-hand rankings, the royal flush is the best hand. From 10 through ace, five consecutive cards of the same suit exist. It’s a nuts hand, no matter what.

Royal Flush

2. Straight Flush

Any five consecutive cards in the same suit that are not a royal flush are straight flushes. The only hand that can beat a straight flush is a royal flush or a straight flush with higher-ranked cards.

Straight Flush

3. Four of a Kind

The same card from all four suits. Therefore, among the five cards on the table or in your hand, the highest card completes the hand.

Four of a kind

4. Full house

The hand consists of three cards of the same rank from three different suits and two cards of the same rank from two different suits. The player with the highest three-of-a-kid cards wins if more than one player has a full house.

Full house

5. Flush

Any five cards of the same suit create a Flush. The highest valued card wins the hand if two players have a flush.


6. Straight

A set of five cards in the consecutive numerical value of more than one suit. Aces usually rank either high (above a king) or low (below a 2), but not both at once.


7. Three of a kind

The hand consists of three cards of the same rank in three different suits. It’s completed with the two highest available options from the table in addition to the three of a kid.

Three of a kind

8. Two pairs

There are two sets of two cards of equal rank. The hand is completed with the highest-ranked card remaining.

Two Pair

9. Pair

A pair of equally ranked cards of different suits. Three of the highest-ranked cards complete the hand.

One Pair

10. High card

This is the lowest-ranked hand. Your “best poker hand” is created with the highest card in your hand.

High Card

Poker-hand rankings can be useful if you’re still practicing and building your poker strategy. It’s important to never forget the suit and kind of your cards, because suited hands and connectors increase your chances.

Poker Hands Variations

There is no difference in the rankings for Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker games. As for the Short Deck, there will be a slight difference due to the reduced number of cards involved. In Short Deck, for example, a flush ranks higher than a full house because it’s more difficult to make a flush with a reduced deck of cards.

Many different poker variations exist, and some may have different rules for ranking hands. Therefore, prior to playing, make sure you’re familiar with the type of poker game and its rules.

Understanding Poker Card Strength

Identifying the strength or weakness of a card combination is one of the most important skills in Texas Hold’em poker. But, of course, many factors influence how strong or weak a hand is.

The number of players determines poker hand strength. Therefore, there’s a good chance that many players are playing because they hold strong hands. In contrast, it’s less likely to happen if only two players are involved. For instance, the value of a pair of aces decreases significantly when four players are involved.

Another important factor is your opponent’s playing style. Whenever they play, you can expect them to hit with a strong hand if they are “tight.” Conversely, the relative strength of their cards generally decreases if they play a lot of hands.

The composition of community cards determines how many strong potential hands are in play. For example, holding three of a kind decreases your poker combination strength, but a flush and straight both require four cards. In the same way, your strength increases if the board eliminates any possible flushes possible.

Also, the number of chips plays an important role. Players usually start small, and low-value chips are always dealt more than high-value chips.

It takes a lot of experience to understand these complex decisions. However, by choosing the best poker starting hands, you can greatly improve your game.

Poker Hands: Absolute vs. Relative Value

Poker hand rankings are constant, but circumstances can sometimes reduce the value of a good hand and raise the value of a poor hand. In other words, there is a difference between absolute value and relative value regarding poker hands. It’s imperative to understand the absolute and relative value of poker hands in order to make strategic decisions during the game.

The absolute value refers to its inherent strength, independent from other players’ hands. For instance, the royal flush is the strongest hand in poker. However, the poker hand strength is also compared to other hands in a game. A pair of aces might have a high absolute value, but if another player has a flush or straight, its relative value will be reduced.


Poker hands strength should be treated only as a beginner’s guide. That’s because each hand has the potential to be a winning or losing hand, depending on the circumstances. Once you feel you have a good understanding of the poker hand rankings, you should move on to some of our more advanced poker strategies.


Why is 7 and 2 the worst poker hand?

7 and 2 is considered the worst poker card combination because it has the lowest probability of winning. It is known as the “worst hand in poker” or “the hammer.” It has a very low chance of making a straight or a flush.

What is the luckiest hand in poker?

The luckiest combination in poker is generally considered to be pocket aces. This gives you a high chance of winning the pot since it is the strongest starting hand in Texas Hold’em. It is also known as “bullets” or “pocket rockets.”

What are the best 5 poker hands?

If you play by the standard rules and poker hands rankings and use a standard deck, the best 5-card hands are: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House and Flush.

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