Poker Hands: All poker hand rankings explained

Author Adam Hampton
Adam Hampton
Posted on: December 21, 2020 06:43 PST

Understanding poker hand rankings is a key part of learning to play. This hierarchy of what hand beats what in poker soon becomes second nature, but it’s always useful to have a poker hands chart handy - whether you’re starting out yourself or playing with people who are learning as they go.

That’s why a poker rankings chart like the one below is so useful to have. Download it, bookmark it, save it to your phone or print it for the next time you play. That way you’ll always be able to tell what are the winning hands in every pot.

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Never argue with friends again! Download our handy poker hand rankings chart to keep with you during your next poker game or tournament, whether you’re playing online poker or hosting your own game.

Every poker hand explained

Royal Flush 

A royal flush is a ten-to-ace straight, with all five cards of the same suit. The strongest possible five-card hand, the royal flush is the rarest of hands. Even if you spend many hours playing poker, you might not ever make a royal flush. The four different suits produce four different possible royal flush combinations for a five-card hand.

Combinations 4
Hands a Royal Flush beats All hands

Straight Flush 

A straight flush makes the second-strongest five-card hand, trailing only the royal flush in the poker hand rankings. A straight flush is made with any five consecutive ranking cards of the same suit.

Combinations 36
Hands a Straight Flush beats All hands beside Royal Flush


Holding four of the same card (like four aces or four kings) gives you four-of-a-kind, one of the strongest hands in poker. Also known as 'quads', four-of-a-kind doesn’t happen often in a game of poker.

Combinations 624
Hands a Four of a Kind beats All hands beside a royal flush or straight flush

Full House  

A full house is made by holding three of the same ranking card with two of another rank. A five-card hand with three aces and two kings, for example, makes a full house. Other names for a full house include a 'full boat', or simply a 'boat'. 

Combinations 3,744
Hands a Full House beats All hands beside a royal flush, straight flush or four of a kind


A flush is represented by any five cards of the same suit (the sequence of the cards doesn’t matter). The highest card of the five determines the strength of the flush, eg. an ace-high flush beats a ten-high flush. A flush is only possible in Texas hold’em when at least three cards of the same suit are on the board.

Combinations 5,108
Hands a Flush beats Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, Pair, High Card


Five cards in sequence make a straight. The ten-to-ace straight, also known as a 'broadway straight', is the strongest possible version of a straight. The ace can also be used as the low end of an ace-to-five straight, also known as a 'wheel straight'. Aces can only ever form the top or bottom of a straight.

Combinations 10,200
Hands a beats Three of a Kind, Two Pair, Pair, High Card


Any hand with three of the same ranking card qualifies as three-of-a-kind. This hand is known as 'trips' when a player has a matching third card to go with a pair on the board, or a 'set' when a player holds a pocket pair and another of that same card hits the board.

Combinations 54,912
Hands a Three of a Kind beats Two Pair, Pair, High Card

Two Pair 

Two pair refers to a hand with two distinct pairs, plus an unconnected fifth card. Two pair is said to be the average winning hand in Texas hold’em.

Combinations 123,552
Hands a Two Pair beats Pair, High Card


As you would expected, a pair is the name for two of the same ranking card. When your two hole cards in Texas hold’em make a pair, you hold a 'pocket pair'.

Combinations 1,098,240
Hands a Pair beats High Card

High Card 

Any five-card hand that doesn’t qualify in any of the above categories is known as a high-card hand.

Combinations 1,302,540
Hands a High Card beats Whoever has highest card

The order of poker hands: by the numbers

The strongest poker hands are the ones that are hardest to make in terms of probability.

The table below shows the probability of making each hand in a seven-card poker game such as Texas hold’em or Seven-Card Stud (the odds will be worse in a five-card game such as Five-Card Draw, and better in a nine-card game such as Pot-Limit Omaha).

As you can see, the best poker hands at the top of the table are more unlikely to occur.

Poker hand probabilities

Poker Hand Percentage Probability Odds Against
Royal Flush 0.0032% 30,939 to 1
Straight Flush 0.0279% 3,589 to 1
Four-of-a-Kind 0.168% 594 to 1
Full House 2.6% 37.5 to 1
Flush 3.03% 32.1 to 1
Straight 4.62% 20.6 to 1
Three-of-a-Kind 4.83% 19.7 to 1
Two Pair 23.5% 3.26 to 1
One Pair 43.8% 1.28 to 1
High Card 17.4% 4.74 to 1

Tied poker hands

It's not uncommon for more than one player to hold the same poker hand, so how can you tell which hand wins? In the event of a tie, just check the table below - and remember, if hands are exactly the same they will split the pot equally. Aces always count as high, unless forming the bottom end of a straight.

Tied Poker Hands Who Wins? Example
High card vs High card The highest card wins. If players each have the highest card, the next highest card wins, and so on. beats
Pair vs Pair The higher pair wins. If players each have the same pair, the highest non-paired card (the 'kicker') determines the winner. beats
Two Pair vs Two Pair The highest pair wins. If each player has the same highest pair, the next highest pair wins. If each player has the same two pair, the highest fifth card (kicker) wins. beats
Three-of-a-Kind vs Three-of-a-Kind The highest three-of-a-kind wins. If each player has the same three-of-a-kind, the highest kicker wins. beats
Straight vs Straight The highest straight wins. beats
Flush vs Flush The flush containing the highest card wins. If these are tied, it goes to the next highest card, and so on. The suit has no bearing on which flush wins. beats
Full House vs Full House The higher three-of-a-kind wins. If these are tied, the higher pair wins. beats
Four-of-a-Kind vs Four-of-a-Kind The higher four-of-a-kind wins. If this is tied, the higher kicker wins. beats
Straight Flush vs Straight Flush As with a straight, the higher straight flush wins. beats
Royal Flush vs Royal Flush A royal flush cannot be beaten - if more than one player has a royal flush, they split the pot. N/A

Poker hands for Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Stud and more

The poker hands chart above is especially helpful as you can use it for almost any poker game. Everything from Texas Hold’em to Draw poker, Stud, Omaha, and almost any other poker variant you can think of uses the poker hand rankings above.

Even ‘lowball’ games like Razz or 2-7 Triple Draw use these poker hand rankings, only in reverse: in these games you win by making the worst hand, but crucially you still use the same order of hands.

Exceptions to the poker hands chart

You’ll notice we said these hand rankings can be used in ‘almost any poker game’. So what are the exceptions?


Badugi is a different kind of poker game, and involves a different approach to hand rankings.

  • It’s a four-card game, so five-card hands like flushes, straights and full-houses aren’t even possible.
  • Badugi is a lowball game, meaning you don’t want to make so much as a pair anyway. The best hand is A-2-3-4, of four different suits. Why different suits? Because…
  • If your hand contains more than one card of the same suit, you can only use one of them. That means your final hand might consist of a single card.

For these reasons, Badugi is an exception to the poker hand ranking rules laid out above.

Wild card games

When you play with wild cards - for example in the Five-Card Draw variant 'Deuces Wild' - you add the possibility of five-of-a-kind, which beats a royal flush. All other poker hand rankings are unaffected, though some games will favor hands without wild cards over those with them, when breaking a tie - it’s best to check before you play.

Wild cards themselves may be jokers, or other cards may be designated as wild, such as in the poker variant 'Baseball' where all 9s are wild, or 'Woolworth' where wild cards are 5s and Ts.

Three-Card Brag

Along with some less-than-traditional betting rounds, this twist on poker uses just three cards for a game related to, but distinct from, most other forms of poker.

The three-card brag hand rankings look like this, from best to worst:

Three-Card Poker Hand Description Example
Prial Three-of-a-Kind
Straight Flush Three suited cards in sequence
Straight Three unsuited cards in sequence
Flush Three suited cards
Pair Two cards of the same rank
High card Three unsuited and unpaired cards, out of sequence

Short Deck

6+ or Short Deck Hold’em uses a stripped down deck of 36 cards, with all cards ranked 2-5 removed.

Playing with a smaller deck impacts traditional poker odds in various ways; for example, you are much more likely to be dealt a premium pair like aces or kings, but on the flip-side a single pair is unlikely to win a pot.

Aces can be played high or low, which means the lowest possible straight is A-6-7-8-9, but the biggest change to the poker hand rankings in Short Deck affects flushes and full houses.

Full houses become easier to make in short deck, while flushes are more difficult. For this reason, most Short Deck games reverse these two hands’ position in the hierarchy.