Poker Hand Rankings
Outlined below are the classic poker hand rankings for high-card games like Texas Hold’em, Stud, Omaha, and 5-card draw. There are also hi-lo variations of Omaha and Stud that use qualifying low hand rankings to determine who will split the pot, but I don’t particularly like to play any game that makes me split with the best hand. These rankings go from high to low. Card rankings go from the high card Ace through the low card 2. For straights, an Ace can be counted as above the King or below the 2.
Also, be aware that if more than one player has the same hand ranking, the higher individual cards win the hand. For example, 4 Aces beat 4 Kings, and an Ace-high flush beats a King-high flush. This all may sound complicated, but take a look at the following chart and you’ll get the hang of it. A good way to get familiar with “what beats what” is to download the software and play for play money at one of these online poker sites.
Note: For Texas Hold’em, your two hole cards will match up with 3 out of the 5 community cards (available to everyone) to make the best 5 card hand. You can also learn how to play poker games in our poker game rules section.
ROYAL FLUSH (high)
This is the ultimate poker hand and is the absolute “nuts” (best poker hand possible). A Royal Flush is the highest possible straight flush. It consists of a an Ace-high straight all of the same suit. When you hold this hand, you can’t be beaten.
FOUR OF A KIND
5 cards of the same suit. Flushes are ranked by their highest suited card (ex: an Ace-high flush is the best flush, and it beats a King-high flush or any other flushes. Another example would be a 10-high flush, which would beat an 8-high flush.)
Shown: A Queen-high flush.
THREE OF A KIND
HIGH CARD (low)
If no player holds at least one pair, the high card wins at the showdown. Holding an Ace would give you the best high-card hand. This most often happens in heads-up matches with only two players.