Poker Hands Ranking

Not sure what beats what in poker?

Learning poker hand rankings is a first step toward being able to play most poker variants such as Texas hold'em. Listed below are all of the five-card poker hands in order going from the best hand in poker — the royal flush — down to "high card" hands that contain no pair. Commit this poker hands ranking list to memory and start making winning poker hands.

1. Royal Flush

The best hand in poker, a "royal flush" is extremely rare, consisting of the highest possible straight (ace to ten) with all cards being the same suit. {A-Spades}{K-Spades}{Q-Spades}{J-Spades}{10-Spades} would represent a royal flush.

2. Straight Flush

A straight flush is a five-card straight (that is, five cards of consecutive rank) with all five being the same suit. (A royal flush is an example of a straight flush — the highest one.) For example, {9-Hearts}{8-Hearts}{7-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{5-Hearts} is a straight flush and would beat even an ace-high flush.

3. Four of a kind

Next comes four of a kind or "quads," that is, four cards of the same rank. A hand like {Q-Spades}{Q-Hearts}{Q-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds}{2-Clubs} is four of a kind and would beat any hand other than a straight flush or royal flush.

4. Full house

A full house consists of three cards of the same rank along with two more cards of the same rank (in other words, three of a kind plus a pair). {J-Hearts}{J-Clubs}{J-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} is an example of a full house and beats a flush, a straight, and all lesser-ranked hands.

5. Flush

A flush consists of any five cards of the same suit, such as {K-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}. When comparing two flushes, the one containing the highest-ranked card is best. Therefore a flush containing an ace (an "ace-high flush") would beat this king-high flush.

6. Straight

A straight is made from any five cards consecutive in rank that are not all the same suit, such as {J-Hearts}{10-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{7-Spades}. When comparing two straights, the one with the highest-ranking card is best, so this jack-high straight would beat a ten-high straight (going from ten to six) and all lower ones.

7. Three of a kind

Making three of a kind or "trips" requires having three cards of the same rank among your five — for example, {6-Hearts}{6-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{K-Spades}{9-Clubs}. Three aces is the best possible three of a kind to make, followed by three kings, three queens, and so forth.

8. Two pair

Two pair involves having two cards of the same rank plus two more cards of the same rank among the five in your hand, such as {A-Clubs}{A-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{5-Hearts}{3-Clubs}. The best possible two-pair hand is aces and kings.

9. One pair

Making one pair means having two cards of the same rank in your five-card poker hand, with the other three cards being unpaired. For example, {K-Spades}{K-Hearts}{8-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{2-Clubs} would constitute a one-pair hand.

10. High card

A "high card" hand consists of five unpaired cards that make neither a straight nor a flush, such as {A-Clubs}{K-Hearts}{J-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{8-Hearts}. The highest-ranked of the five cards determines its value, so an "ace-high" hand (such as this example) would beat a "king-high" hand, and so forth.

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