What is the Ranking of Poker Hands

Understanding poker hands is essential for any aspiring poker player. Whether you are playing casually or aiming to compete in tournaments, knowing the different hands can drastically improve your strategy and chances of winning. In this article, we will explore the various rankings of poker hands in detail.

High Card

This is the lowest-ranking hand in a game of poker. The value of the hand is determined by the highest card if no player has a pair or better. Key points about high card hands include:

  • High card ranges from Ace (highest) to 2 (lowest).
  • If two players have the same high card, the next highest card is used to break the tie.
  • This hand is often weaker, but learning to utilize it in bluffing can be advantageous.

One Pair

One Pair consists of two cards of the same rank. Although it's a step above high card, it often doesn't hold much strength in most rounds. Important aspects of one pair include:

  • The value of the pair can range from a pair of Aces to a pair of 2s.
  • The higher the pair, the better the chances of winning.
  • Ties are broken by the highest kicker card beside the pair.

Two Pair

Two Pair ranks higher than One Pair and consists of two different pairs of cards. Things to note about two pair:

  • It includes two pairs of cards of different ranks.
  • If players have the same highest pair, the second pair determines the winner.
  • Should both pairs be identical, the kicker (fifth card) is used to determine the winner.

Three of a Kind

Three of a Kind, also known as Trips or a Set, contains three cards of the same rank. Key facts about this hand include:

  • The rank of the three cards determines the strength of the hand.
  • The higher the rank, the more likely it is to win against other Three of a Kind combinations.
  • May occasionally face stiffer competition in multi-way pots.


A Straight consists of five consecutive rank cards in a sequence. Highlights of a straight include:

  • Straights can range from Ace-Two-Three-Four-Five (lowest straight) to Ten-Jack-Queen-King-Ace (highest straight).
  • Cards do not share the same suit.
  • Often yields strong winning potential against weaker hands.


Five cards of the same suit that do not form a consecutive sequence. Features of a flush include:

  • The highest card in the flush determines its rank.
  • In case of a tie, the next highest card decides the outcome.
  • Flushes are powerful hands that can outplay lower-ranked hands such as straights or three of a kind.

Full House

A Full House comprises three cards of one rank and two cards of another. Relevant details about Full House:

  • The triplet’s rank determines the primary strength of the hand.
  • If two players possess a Full House, the one with the higher triplet wins.
  • A very powerful hand often leading to significant wins.

Four of a Kind

Also known as Quads, this hand features four cards of the same rank. Essential points about Four of a Kind:

  • The rank of the four cards determines the strength of the hand.
  • Four of a Kind is extremely difficult to beat except by a Straight Flush or Royal Flush.
  • In case of identical Quads, the highest kicker card determines the winner.

Straight Flush

A Straight Flush consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit. Important notes on this hand include:

  • This hand’s rank is determined by the highest card in the sequence.
  • It is second only to the Royal Flush.
  • In rare cases of identical Straight Flushes, a draw occurs.

Royal Flush

The highest-ranking hand in poker is the Royal Flush. It includes Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suit. Key highlights:

  • The Royal Flush is unbeatable and always guarantees a win.
  • It includes the highest possible straight using only one suit.
  • Extremely rare, making it a prized possession among competitive players.

Mastery of these rankings enables one to excel in Texas Holdem Poker and other variations of the game. Understanding when to play or fold based on hand strength forms the core strategy for successful gameplay.

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