Poker Hand Rankings: What You Should Know About Each Hand

Poker hand rankings in poker are essential for players to understand. Knowing which hands beat can help you make better decisions at the table and maximize your chances of winning. Here we list the 10 essential things you should know about poker hand rankings.

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High Card

High Card is an essential element of poker card rankings and a great way to understand the fundamentals. It refers to the value of the highest hand in poker, which may be used to compare two or more poker hands.

A high card allows you to win the pot if no other poker hands are available, and as a kicker, it can also help you determine which one of two tied poker hands will prevail. It can make all the difference in games where everyone has even cards. Then, a high card becomes a last-ditch effort to win against an opponent with no other combinations.

One Pair

Knowing the poker hands in order is essential for any experienced or aspiring player. One pair โ€“ two cards of one rank with three unrelated side cards โ€“ is just one type of hand, but it could provide a nice return if the pot is big enough. This pairing is relatively easy to remember: two matching cards in the same hand and an assortment of other cards that don’t connect in any way.

It may not be as rare or valuable as some other hands, but it can be used to great effect by savvy players, such as by bluffing against opponents with higher hands. So while one pair may not always demand respect on its own merits, understanding how these pairings contribute to a potential winner can give you the edge you need in the poker game.

Two Pairs

Two-pairs is a hand consisting of two separate pairs of cards. Two-pair hands rank higher than one-pair hands but lower than three-of-a-kinds. More importantly, understanding the Texas Holdem rules and how to play two-pairs will give you an insight into the broader poker hand rankings โ€“ logic that can be applied to other poker hands such as straights and full houses.

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Being familiar with two pairs is a useful foundation for most players in the game’s early stages. If you can grasp the concept, it will unlock further levels of strategic play that you can use.

Three of a Kind

A three-of-a-kind consists of three cards with matching ranks; for example, 888 or JJJ. When multiple players have three of a kind, the player with the highest-ranking three-of-a-kind will win. If two or more players have the same three of a kind, the highest kicker is used to break the tie.


A straight in poker is a hand containing five cards of consecutive ranks, regardless of suit. It can be any sequential combination from Ace-2-3-4-5 all the way up to 10-Jack-Queen-King-Ace. Aces may also act as either a low or high card to help you complete the hand.

Knowing this distinction can really give you an edge when understanding the rankings of different poker hands, as straights are usually placed between three-of-a-kind and flushed hands.


Flush is a poker hand that contains 5 cards of the same suit. It is one of the stronger hands in poker and ranks higher than both two-pairs and a straight.

Not only is flush one of the strongest hands in poker, but it also has great potential to win if you end up going up against someone holding a lower-ranked hand. Knowing when to turn your flush into a bluff can give you an edge over your opponents.

Full House

A full house is a three-of-a-kind combined with a pair; for example, three 10s and two 5s would be considered a full house. Knowing how this rank fits into the list of potential hands helps to make other hands more distinct.

Four of a Kind

This hand consists of all four cards from the same rank, such as four kings or four aces.

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It usually proves difficult to make this hand due to its rarity (unless you’re playing with wild cards). As such, when you find yourself lucky enough to have it dealt to you at the beginning or draw it later, be sure to maximize your gains by betting accordingly.

Straight Flush

A straight flush is an incredibly powerful poker hand, ranking second highest in the standard poker hand rankings. It consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit, such as 4-5-6-7-8, all hearts.

It is essential to understand the straight flush and its capabilities when playing poker since it defeats all other hands except for a Royal Flush. If there is no possible way for a Royal Flush to be made in a given hand, then whoever holds the highest ranking straight flush will win that hand.

Royal Flush

A royal flush is the best hands to make in poker, and it’s unbeatable. It consists of five consecutive cards in the same suit, with an Ace as the highest card. This particular hand is precious, and understanding what it is, and its position on the poker rankings chart will give you a good foundation for becoming a better poker player.


Poker hand rankings are essential to playing Texas Holdem or any other form of poker. These 10 crucial things that you should know about poker hand rankings will help you understand the basics and get started with the game. Once you know the poker hand rankings, making winning moves during a poker game will become easier.