Poker Hand Rankings

Seven Card Stud

Not sure what beats what in poker?

Check below for a list of all poker hands ranked from best to worst. These are standard for all poker sites.

Answers to some of the most frequently asked poker hand ranking questions can be found below the list.

Still confused after? Drop a question in the comments and someone will more than likely sort you out.

 Poker Hands from Highest to Lowest

Royal Flush       

A straight from a ten to an ace with all five cards of the same suit. In poker all suits are ranked equally.

Straight Flush       

Any straight with all five cards of the same suit.

Four of a Kind       

Any four cards of the same rank. If two players share the same Four of a Kind (on the board), the bigger fifth card (the "kicker") decides who wins the pot.

Full House       

Any three cards of the same rank together with any two cards of the same rank. Our example shows "Aces full of Kings" and it is a bigger full house than "Kings full of Aces."

Flush       

Any five cards of the same suit (not consecutive). The highest card of the five determines the rank of the flush. Our example shows an Ace-high flush, which is the highest possible.

Straight       

Any five consecutive cards of different suits. Aces can count as either a high or a low card. Our example shows a five-high straight, which is the lowest possible straight.

Three of a Kind       

Any three cards of the same rank. Our example shows three-of-a-kind Aces, with a King and a Queen as side cards - the best possible three of a kind.

Two Pair       

Any two cards of the same rank together with another two cards of the same rank. Our example shows the best possible two-pair, Aces and Kings. The highest pair of the two determines the rank of the two-pair.

One Pair       

Any two cards of the same rank. Our example shows the best possible one-pair hand.

High Card       

Any hand not in the above-mentioned hands. Our example shows the best possible high-card hand.

Poker Hands Rankings Explained

Poker Hand Rankings FAQ

Does a straight beat a flush?

No. This is one of the most common misconceptions in poker. In reality a flush (five cards of the same suit) always beats a straight (five cards in a numeric sequence). A straight-flush, which is five cards of the same suit in consecutive order, beats both hands.

 

What’s better -- Two Pair or Three of a Kind?

Three-of-a-kind always beats two-pair. The only “made” poker hand that two-pair beats is one pair. 

 

Does “All Reds” or “All Blacks” beat a straight?

“All Reds” or “All Blacks” doesn’t beat/mean anything in poker. To make a flush in poker you have to have five cards of the same SUIT. That means five spades, hearts, clubs or diamonds. Having all one color is not a poker hand.

 

Does it matter if I have higher flush cards?

It does. In No-Limit Hold’em if you have a flush with an ace as the highest card and your opponent has a flush with a king as the high card, you win. The easiest way to understand who wins is to lay out your complete five-card hand and compare it with your opponent’s hand. If anyone has a higher card, that person wins (obviously you both share the cards on the board).

 

Which suit is ranked the highest?

In poker, suits don’t count. Spades aren’t better than hearts, clubs aren’t higher than diamonds, etc. If you have the same hand as your opponent but in different suits then you simply split the pot. This misconception is from other games where suits do matter.

 

What do I beat if I have 3 Pairs?

Absolutely nothing. You just use your two highest pairs. There is no such thing as “3-pair” in poker.

 

Is there a difference between Trips and a Set? Which is better?

Trips and a set are the same hand: Three-of-a-kind. The difference is how you acquire three-of-a-kind. A set is made when your pocket pair hits one card on the board.

Trips are made when you utilize two cards on the board and one in your hand to make three-of-a-kind. Because they are much easier to conceal when betting, sets are generally considered the better hand.

 

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What if there’s a straight on the board?

You chop the pot. That’s provided that no player has a better hand (flush or higher) or someone has a higher straight using the cards in their hand. 

 

What’s a Four-Flush?

A four-flush is when you use four cards of the same suit on the board and one from your hand to complete a flush. It’s worth noting this is one of the key differences between No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha. In PLO you have to use two of your cards so you can’t have a four-flush.

 

What if I have the same pair as my opponent?

Once again you chop the pot. Pocket aces versus pocket aces generally means you have a split pot (unless someone is fortunate enough to hit a four-flush on the board).

 

Can you make a Straight with 4-3-2-A-K?

No. While the ace can make both the lowest straight (A-2-3-4-5) and the highest straight (A-K-Q-J-10) it can’t wrap around.

 

Does my 3-3-3-A-A Full House beat my opponent’s 8-8-8-K-K?

Nope. When it comes to full houses the highest of the three-of-a-kinds determines the winner. In the example above the full house with three 8s tops the full house with three 3s.

 

Who wins with Four-of-a-Kind on the board?

The player with the highest kicker. For instance if the board is 8-8-8-8-5, you have A-K and your opponent has K-Q, you win. (Your best five-card hand is 8-8-8-8-A, his is 8-8-8-8-K). If the board was 8-8-8-8-A you’d split the pot as the best five-card hand for both of you is 8-8-8-8-A.

 

What’s the difference Between Four-of-a-Kind and “Quads”?

Nothing. They’re exactly the same hand.

 

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Brad Miller 2008-12-05 16:00:00

5 of a kind (wild card/joker) beats a straight flush. Right?

Sean Lind 2008-12-02 18:10:00

Roger: This gets confused often because of how online sites list the winning hand. When you win it would say "Wins with flush Ace high". In the real world you'd never say that. In your example, the first player would call his hand as:
"I have a flush, Jack high"

while the second player would say that he has a flush "Seven high".

Because you have to make the best 5 card hand, the winner is the one with the highest flush cards in their hand. If you're using all 5 on board, and so is your opponent, it's a split. If either of you has a flush card higher than anything on board, you win the pot.

Roger 2008-12-02 13:45:00

I have a question regarding flush draws.

If a flop produces akq of clubs for example and two players are holding a flush, one with j6 and the other with 73 then who wins?

I was always led to believe it was the highest card which ranked the flush, in this case an ace so it would be a split pot.

However I have had examples of playing online where the jack has won the hand based of it being higher than my 7.

funkmanfist 2008-11-27 19:39:00

fo fho dodo that was off the hildo dingo i was ridin up n the hood with my gee dogs thinkin to my self that was off the hizzy fizzy

homogdog 2008-11-27 19:30:00

yeah man that was up n the down yo that was all like up in my grille gee

Sean Lind 2008-11-04 17:22:00

Absolutely correct Hobbo. Thanks for that.

Hobbo 2008-11-03 21:54:00

Just reading through the comments and picked up on this:

--------------------------------------
Brad states:
most of these questionsthe awnser is that payer 1/2 has a higher kicker gee
so if the board is
8s Jh Kd Qd Qs
player1 Qh 7h
player2 qc 9h

player 2 won because ithad a higher kicker(number/letter card)
A can be counted as one or 14 witch is abuv the king
-------------------------------

In this hand the pot would be split as both players have the same hand QQQKJ the fact that p1 has 7 and p2 has 9 is irrelevant as you can only play a 5 card hand.

Sean Lind 2008-09-30 17:57:00

krystal:

Aces are higher valued than any other single card (the suits rarely matter, other than a flushnever for determining a winning hand).

You have two pair with AA228
You lose to a straight 56789

Rule of thumb for scratch and wins: Just assume you've lost, you'll probably be correct.

krystal 2008-09-30 09:34:00

I am playing poker night scratcher through ca lotto I have an important question.

on the back with the winning hands examples it says A spades is higher than any other card in hand.

But, its shown in order from lowest to highest with the A of spades being the first example. I got A spades, A diamond, 2 hearts, 2 spades, and an 8 hearts.

Dealer got a straight with
5s, 6d,7h,8c,9c

WHO IS THE WINNER?

Sean Lind 2008-09-23 18:35:00

April:
P1- 6, 6
P2- A, 6
Flop- K, 7, 5, K, 7

Player one got counterfeit. Player two wins the pot with two pairs Kings and Sevens with an Ace kicker.

Lizzy: Yes and no. Suits have no bearing in most aspects of poker. A pot is never decided by suit. That means when playing stud, if two players have the exact same flush A-9-6-5-2 they chop the pot.

Suits are only taken into account for things such as:
Drawing for seats/dealer button
The Bring in stud (two players with the same low card will go to their suits to descide who brings)

That's actually all the examples I can think of. In these scenario's the suits are in Alphabetical order: (from worst to best)
Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades

This is known as the "bridge" suit ranking, since it was taken from Bridge. Games such as Big-Two use the Chinese suit ordering:
Diamonds, Clubs, Hearts, Spades

I wrote a bunch of odd rules and what-nots in an article <a href="http://www.pokerlistings.com/strategy/general-poker/odd-situations-and-rules-for-your-home-game">here</a> with this very information. Check it out if you want to learn a bunch of rarely useful knowledge.

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