Poker hand rankings

By now you will not be surprised by the importance of the poker hand rankings. It is crucial to determine the order of strength of the hands because it depends on it the victory and, therefore, in whose hands the pot ends up.

But it is normal that, if you do not have much experience in poker or you have just started to play, you have doubts about the poker hand rankings and what is the correct order that determines the strength of the cards. But don’t worry, that’s what we are here for: to teach you the correct poker hand rankings.

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Poker hand rankings: hand order, from strongest to weakest

Let’s get to the point: this is the poker hand rankings you need to retain in your head. Use the example combination to see how it is formed.

We start strong: the royal flush. It is the most powerful poker hand. It is formed by a succession of cards that are the highest cards of the same suit. For example: A K Q J 10. It is unbeatable.

But the royal flush is still a straight flush, formed by the highest cards of the suit. Therefore, it is possible that, if you consult a different poker hand hierarchy, you will not find the royal flush as the highest hand, but the straight flush.

Differences between a royal flush and a straight flush? Only one: the former consists of the highest cards of the suit, while the latter does not have to. For example, 7 6 5 4 3 is a straight flush.

Poker closes the top 3 strongest hands in the poker hand rankings. Although it is the hand that gives the game its name, it is not the strongest hand, something that many people confuse, so, beware, because a poker is a strong hand, but it is not the top hand.

What cards make up this hand? Four cards of identical value and a kicker is always the structure this hand follows. For example, J Jª J J 4. This hand is always used to exemplify that, in case of a tie, the kicker has the last word.

Full House is the next hand on the list. It is sometimes referred to as just “full house”, followed by the cards that make up the hand. For example, K K K 5 5ª. This would be called a “full house of kings fives”. If the full house consists only of number cards, such as 10 10 10 3 3, the same scheme is followed: “full house of tens threes”. When it comes to verbalize it, always goes first the three of a kind, and then the pair, in order of strength.

Next hand: color. This is a hand made up only of cards of the same suit, that is to say, of the same color. Note here, not to be confused with mixing cards of the same color, but of different suits. Let’s see it with an example:

  • This is a flush: Q 8 5 3 2.
  • This is not a flush: Qª 8 5ª 3ª 2.

Next stop: straight. It is formed following the same premise as the royal flush, only in this one the cards are all of the same suit, while in a straight flush the cards, although they follow a successive order, are of different suits. For example: 9ª 8 7 6 5.

Little mystery from here on. Three of a kind is the next hand if we follow the order. It consists of three cards of identical value and different suit, and two cards of unequal value. For example: 9ª 9 9 3 2ª. If those two cards, instead of being of unequal value, were of the same value (i.e. a pair), the hand would become a full house. For example: 9ª 9 9 3 3ª. This would be a full house of nines threes.

Let’s go to pairs. Here we can find double pairs (stronger) and a plain pair (weaker). Example of double pair: 5 5ª 3 3 2. Example of pair: 7 7ª 5 4 3.

Finally, there is the high card. This hand is obtained when you don’t really have any good cards to tie anything, so it is little short of useless to try to fight something with a combination like Q Jª 5 4ª 2.

Additional poker hand rankings facts you need to know

Even if you are a novice, you should know that there is always, always, in any game, a ranking of hands. Poker is governed by that order, which is the one that determines the hierarchy and on the basis of which the winner is named in each round.

This order must be mastered. And it is important for you to know that in poker the hand rankings are very important. Playing hard without having them clear is not a good idea.

Keep in mind that this hierarchy of poker hands is the standard one used in Texas Hold’em, the most played modality, but some games are governed by other classifications. For example, Ace to Five follows another hierarchy, which you will have to memorize to know how to play well. The same goes for games like Deuce to Seven, so always take a look at the basic rules before you start playing new games you are not used to.

Poker hand rankings