Poker Hand Rankings and Top Hold’em Starting Hands

When you first start playing poker it’s important that you are quickly able to recall hand rankings and the strength of the hand you’ve been dealt. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to do so, as highlighted in this complete guide to the 10 strongest poker hands, with their rankings listed in order from highest to lowest. Furthermore, the rankings are standard for all the most popular types of poker games including No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha and Seven-Card Stud. Poker Hand Rankings Infographic

In addition to a poker hand rankings chart, also provided are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding poker hand rankings, as well as the game of poker in general.


1. Royal Flush

Royal flush poker hand infographic

A ‘Royal Flush’, otherwise known as a ‘Royal Straight Flush’ or ‘A Royal’, is the best possible hand in poker. It consists of ace, king, queen, jack and ten, with all five cards of the same suit, such as As-Ks-Qs-Js-10s.

This unbeatable hand is rare, though, with the odds of making a royal flush just 1 in 30,939 or 0.0032 percent using 7 cards. These odds apply to the game of Texas Hold’em where you build your hand using 5 cards, but still have 7 cards to choose from, namely 2 pocket cards and 5 on the board.

2. Straight Flush

Straight flush poker hand infographic

A ‘Straight Flush’ consists of five cards in a row that are all in the same suit. It essentially combines a straight with a flush, with an example being Jc-10c-9c-8c-7c. This powerful hand rarely gets beaten, but in the eventuality of a showdown between straight flushes the player with the highest top card wins. Bear in mind that suits are irrelevant in poker and that only kickers are used to separate same ranked hands.

The odds of making a straight flush is 1 in 3,589, or 0.0279 percent.

3. Four of a Kind

Four of a kind poker hand infographic

A Four of a Kind, otherwise known as ‘Quads’, consists of any four of the same value cards in each of the four suits. For example Ks-Kh-Kc-Kd-2s is a four of a kind hand. In Texas Hold’em, if the community cards dealt complete four of a kind on the board, such as 10c-10s-10h-10d-7c, the player with the highest hole card wins. In the example provided, however, if none of the players have a card higher than a 7 the hand is drawn.

Four of a kind hands are strong and rarely beaten, with the odds of making such a hand 1 in 594, or 0.168 percent.

4. Full House

Full house poker hand infographic

A ‘Full House’ is any three of a kind hand combined with a pair. An example of such a hand would be Ah-Ac-Ad-Kc-Kd, or “aces full of kings,” which is the best possible full house hand and would in turn beat a lesser-ranked full house, as well as a flush, a straight, or any other hand ranked lower on this list.

Also referred to as a ‘Full Boat’, the odds of making a full house is 1 in 37.5 or 2.60 percent.

5. Flush

Flush poker hand infographic

A ‘Flush’ is fifth highest on the poker hand rankings list, and consists of five cards of the same suit, but not in consecutive order. An example would be Ac-Jc-9c-7c-5c or Qd-10d-7d-5d-2d. Between two flushes, the one with the highest-ranked card wins the hand, with an ace-high flush the best possible flush. Therefore, an ace-high flush beats a king-high flush, a king-high flush beats a queen-high flush, and so on. This is a hand that even a super tight poker player would play.

The odds of making a flush is 1 in 32.1, or 3.03 percent.

6. Straight

Straight poker hand infographic

A ‘Straight’ consists of five consecutive cards in numerical order, but not of the same suit. In this hand, aces can count both as a high or low card. For example, the lowest possible straight, also known as the ‘Wheel’ or ‘Bicycle’, is five-high as in 5h-4d-3s-2c-Ad, while the highest referred to as ‘Broadway’ is ace-high as in Ad-Ks-Qh-Jc-10s.

The odds of making a straight is 1 in 20.6 or 4.62 percent.

7. Three of a Kind

Three of a kind poker hand infographic

A ‘Three of a Kind’ hand consists of any three cards of the same face value, and two non-paired cards. An example would be Ah-As-Ad, with a King and a Queen as side cards, which is also the best possible three of a kind hand. The term ‘Set’ and ‘Trips’ both refer to types of three-of-a-kind hands, but in a set you must hold a pair in your hand. By contrast, trips are when there is a pair on the board and you hold a third matching card in your starting hand, such as a 6c-6s-Kh-10h-5d board and you hold a 6d in your hand.

The chances of making a three-of-a-kind hand is 1 in 19.7, or 4.83 percent.

8. Two Pair

Any ‘Two Pair’ hand consists of two cards of the same face value together with another two cards of the same value. For example Jc-Jd-6c-6h-Kc. If two players both hold two pair then the player with the biggest pair wins. At the top of the two pair ranking order is aces and kings with a queen kicker.

The odds of making two pair or ‘Top Two’ as it is also known is 1 in 3.26, or 23.5 percent.

9. One Pair

Pair poker hand infographic

A ‘One Pair’ hand means you have two cards of the same face value and three other non-matching cards. For example Ac-Ad-Qc-9d-3h or 10d-10h-7c-5d-2h. In a pair versus pair situation, like the previous example, the higher pair always wins, with two aces the best possible one-pair hand. Where two players have the same pair the player with the next highest card wins.

Also known as a ‘Pocket Pair’, the odds of making such a hand is 1 in 1.28, or 43.8 percent.

10. High Card

High card poker hand infographic

When a player has five unpaired cards the highest-ranked card plays. The highest possible high card in poker is an ace, which would beat a king high hand, and so on. For example, an Ac-Qh-10d-7s-3h hand would beat a Kd-Jc-9h-7c-5s hand.

The odds of not making a pair is 1 in 4.74, or 117.4 percent.

Frequently Asked Questions


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