Poker hands rankings
Hand combinations in poker is a cornerstone, because if you don’t know the poker hand rankings, you are simply going to lose money. Hand rankings in poker is one of the components of the poker rules, because the main goal is to form the strongest card combination available, or either to force your opponent to fold his cards. In this article we will go through the hand rankings in poker, which are used in the most varieties of poker games, including no-limit Texas Hold’em.
This lesson should be studied by you in the first place, because it’s pretty hard to imagine a winning (or a break even player) player, who doesn’t know the cornerstone of No-Limit Texas Hold’em - hand rankings. We’re sure you have some sort of understanding of hand combinations in poker (a Texas Hold’em variety), because it’s highest combination - royal flush - is often used in many images with cards.
Anyone who wants to succeed in any case has to study his thing thoroughly, and only then get down into business. In poker it is the same: the first thing a beginner should do is study all the possible card combinations, as well as their strength, and only then proceed to the more advanced rules and especially - playing the game. Don’t be afraid, you will not need to strain your memory, as you did (or still doing) in school. In this case everything is much simpler - only 10 (ten) poker combinations, that differ one from another radically. 10 fingers on your hands - 10 combinations in poker. Everything is pretty simple, isn’t it?
For starters, let’s get acquainted with the strength of cards in poker on their own (from the weakest to the strongest one):
- deuce (weakest card)
- ten (can be indicated as either T or 10)
- ace (strongest card)
Texas Hold’em: hand rankings/order
You will find the poker hand rankings below. They are arranged in order of strength, from the highest (strongest) - to the lowest (weakest). The structure is as follows: name of the hand, an example, the probability of getting the hand, and the description of the hand in poker. Let’s get started.
Traditional high poker hand ranks
All poker hands are formed out of five cards, made up of your hole cards and community cards on a board. All the suits have an even strength (no suit is considered stronger than the other).
1. Royal flush | Poker Hand Rankings
The chance of getting this hand in poker (no-limit Texas Hold’em) equals 0,0002%.
Royal flush is the strongest poker hand in poker. Royal flush is a combination of five consecutive cards of the same suit from ten to ace. In other words - straight-flush from an ace. Royal flush can be of any suit.
- - a hearts royal flush
- - a spades royal flush
- - a diamonds royal flush
- - a clubs royal flush
It’s obvious, that in every given hand a player can only have only one of four royal flushes. Situation, when players have drawn 2 different royal flushes, is impossible. There are situations when the royal flush hits the board as community cards. In that case the pot is always split among the active players at the table equally.
2. Straight flush | Poker Hand Rankings
The chance of getting straight flush in poker (no-limit Texas Hold’em) equals 0,0015%.
Straight flush is combination of any five consecutive cards of one suite. The strength of straight flushes is determined by the strength of the highest card and does not depend on suit. Sometimes there will be situations when two players at the table will have a straight flush. In that case the winner of the hand will be considered a player with the highest card forming a straight flush. An example will be given below.
Examples of straight flush in poker:
- - the lowest straight flush
- - standard straight flush
- - the highest straight flush, which is also the highest hand in poker (royal flush). It can be said that royal flush is a variety of a straight flush.
Example. Player 1 was dealt , Player 2 was dealt . were dealt on a board. Two players have a straight flush poker hand. How to determine a winner in this hand? Simply enough. Player 2 is the winner of this hand because his highest card in the straight flush is 10 (Player 1 has nine).
If were dealt on a board and players 1 and 2 would have similar starting hands, the pot would be split equally, because the highest possible combination is on a board already, and none of them can have a better hand.
3. Four of a kind | Poker Hand Rankings
The chance of getting four of a kind in poker (no-limit Texas Hold’em) equals 0,024%.
Four of a kind is just four similar cards (for example - four kings or four threes, plus one other card). The highest four of a kind is four aces, the lowest - four deuces. If four of a kind is dealt on a table, the winner of the hand is determined by highest card (kicker). As you may have guessed, there cannot be more than two four of a kind combinations of different ranks in one hand. In that case (2 four of a kind in one hand) the winner is the player with the highest ranked four of a kind.
Example. were dealt on a board. Player 1 has , Player 2 - . In that situation the winner is Player 2, as he has a combination of , when player 1 has . If Player 1 also had an ace the pot would be split.
4. Full house | Poker Hand Rankings
The chance of getting a full house in poker (no-limit Texas Hold’em) equals 0,14%.
Full house is 3 cards of one kind plus 2 card of the other kind. If there are two full houses in a hand, the winner is first determined by the rank of set of 3 cards, and then by the rank of pair.
Example. is considered a weaker hand than , but is higher than .
5. Flush | Poker Hand Rankings
The chance of getting a flush in poker (no-limit Texas Hold’em) equals 0,20%.
Flush is any five cards of the same suit. If two or more players have flush in one hand, the winner is considered a player with the highest card in the flush. If two or more players have similar flush in a hand, the pot is split equally.
Example. Player 1 has , Player 2 has . were dealt on a board. Who will win? Exactly, Player 2, because he has , and Player 1 has . But if would be dealt on a board (with the same pocket cards for Players 1 and 2), the pot would be split equally.
6. Straight | Poker Hand Rankings
The chance of getting a straight in poker (no-limit Texas Hold’em) equals 0,39%.
Straight is any five consecutive cards. Similar as in the previous example, if two or more players have straight in one hand, the winner is considered a player with the highest card in the straight. If two or more players have similar straight in a hand, the pot is split equally.
Note: An ace can be considered either as a highest, or the lowest card in this combination.
- - the lowest straight (the wheel)
- - standard straight
- - the highest straight
Example. Player 1 has , Player 2 has . were dealt on a board. In that situation Player 2 will win the pot, since he has a straight from eight - , and Player 1 has straight from 7 - .
7. Three of a kind | Poker Hand Rankings
The chance of getting three of a kind in poker (no-limit Texas Hold’em) equals 2,1%.
Three of a kind (set or trips) is just three cards of one rank. Beginners often think, that set and trips are different hands. In reality they are not, however there is a small difference. Let’s explain it. In any case, either you have a set or trip - on a showdown your hand will be called Three of a kind. So, the only difference between set and trips is the following:
- Set - is a variety of three of a kind combination, i.e., situation when you have any pocket pair and one more card of this rank is dealt to the board. Example. You have , board - .
- Trips - is a variety of so called three of a kind, i.e., situation when you have unpaired pocket cards and there is a pair of cards on a board, and one of your pocket cards are of the same rank to this board pair. Example. You have , board - .
8. Two pair | Poker Hand Rankings
The chance of getting two pairs in poker (no-limit Texas Hold’em) equals 4,75%.
Two pair is a combination of a pair plus one more pair. If two or more players have two pairs in a specific hand, the ranking of the higher pairs are considered first, if they are equal, the rankings of lower pairs are considered to determine a winner. Example. You have , opponents has . were dealt on a board. In that situation you are the winner, because you have two pairs - , opponent has .
9. Pair | Poker Hand Rankings
The chance of getting a pair in poker (no-limit Texas Hold’em) equals 42,26%.
Pair is a combination of any pair of cards. If two or more players at the table have a pair, the winner is considered a player with the highest ranking pair. Example. You have . Player 2 has . Player 3 has . were dealt on a board. Player 2 is a winner in this situation, as he has a pair of , you have a pair of , and Player 3 has a pair of .
10. High card or Kicker | Poker Hand Rankings
The chance of getting a kicker (high card) in poker (no-limit Texas Hold’em) equals 50,12%.
The kicker is when you have none of the aforementioned combinations. If all the five cards are equal the combinations are considered equal as well.
Board: . Who will be considered a winner in this situation? Answer - the pot will be split, as Player 1 has weaker pair than two lying on a board, meaning that Player 1 has two pairs of . Player 2 hasn’t hit the board at all, meaning that he has two pairs of as well. Since the board also has a community card of , this card will be considered a kicker for both players. Consequently, the pot will be split.
Let’s take a look at the similar example.
Board: . Player 2 will be considered a winner in this situation, as he has two pairs and an Ace kicker. Player 1 has two pairs and a King kicker. is weaker than .
You can refer to our article Poker hands in pictures, where you will find an image with all poker hands by rank and a brief description of each.
Knowledge base's sections
The best about poker
- How to get satisfaction from playing poker
The psychology of poker
- Five reasons why I've made money and continue doing this playing poker
The psychology of poker
- Poker table positions (positions in poker)
Fundamentals of poker
- The fundamental theorem of poker
- Slow play in poker
Fundamentals of poker
- The probabilities of getting specific starting hands on preflop