Ranking Guide for Standard Poker Hands
There's no use talking about poker before hand rankings are established and agreed upon, since they determine the winner of each round. If more than one player is still 'alive' at the end of the round, the winner is the player showing the highest ranked poker hand. Different poker variants use different ranking systems, but they all stem in some way or another from the classic, conventional poker hand rankings which are displayed below.
The Logic Behind Poker Hand Rankings
Players construct the best five-card poker hand according to the specific rules of each poker variant. These five-card hands are ranked in an inverse relation to the probability of being randomly dealt each hand. In simple terms this means that the harder it is to make a hand, the higher that hand will rank, therefore beating players holding weaker hands which are statistically easier to come across.
General Poker Rank Rules
- Individual cards are ranked as follows, from high to low: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9….2
- Poker hands are ranked first by the categories below, and then by individual card rank within each category. For example, if two players are holding a Two Pair, the player with the highest ranking pair wins.
- A hand is always made up of five cards.
- Suits have no value. In case of a tie between the same flush using two different suits, the pot is split.
Texas Hold'em - Hand Ranking
The winner of each poker hand is the player who has the strongest combination of cards, using any combination of "pocket" cards and "community" cards. The combinations are listed here from strongest to weakest hand.
Before you hit the online poker tables, you'll need to familiarise yourself with the basic hand rankings. Here are the 10 hands every player should know before joining the action.
The highest possible Straight Flush – 10,J,K,Q,A of the same suit.
Five cards in sequence, of the same suit. In the event of a tie, the highest rank at the top of the sequence wins.
Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same rank, and one side card or ‘kicker'. In the event of a tie, the player with the highest side card (‘kicker') wins.
Three cards of the same rank, and two cards of a different, matching rank. In the event of a tie, the highest three matching cards wins.
Five cards of the same suit, not in sequence. In the event of a tie, the player holding the highest ranked card wins.
Five non-suited cards in sequence. In the event of a tie, the highest ranking card at the top of the sequence wins.
Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same rank, and two unrelated side cards. In the event of a tie, the player with the highest, and if necessary, second-highest side card (‘kicker') wins.
Two cards of matching rank, two cards of different matching rank, and one kicker. If both players have an identical Two Pair, the highest kicker wins.
Two cards of matching rank, and three unrelated side cards. In the event of a tie, the player with the highest, and if necessary, second or third-highest side card wins.
Any hand that does not qualify under the categories listed. In the event of a tie, the highest card wins, such as ‘king-high'.