Knowing the ranking of hands is the essential step in mastering poker game rules. The strength of your hand determines your strategy for the current hand. Understanding how poker hands rank will help you make better decisions at the table.

The picture below demonstrates all the poker combinations used in the game. You can save this picture so you always have them at hand before you fully memorize them.

Now we’ll run through the poker hands ranked from the strongest to the weakest with more detailed descriptions.

- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four-of-a-Kind
- Full House
- Flush
- Straight
- Three-of-a-Kind
- Two Pair
- One Pair
- High Card

## 1. Royal Flush

The **Royal Flush** is the best hand in poker. It’s unbeatable. A Royal Flush consists of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten, all in the same suit. For example, A♥ K♥ Q♥ J♥ T♥ is a Royal Flush. It’s the rarest poker hand and guarantees a win. The chances of getting a royal flush in a Texas Holdem poker game is 1 in 30,939.

## 2. Straight Flush

The **Straight Flush** is the second strongest hand. It consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit. For example, T♥ 9♥ 8♥ 7♥ 6♥ is a Straight Flush. The only hand that can beat a Straight Flush is a Royal Flush. A Royal Flush is basically the highest Straight Flush possible, just dedicated to a separate category with a special name.

## 3. Four of a Kind or “Quads”

**Four of a Kind** means you have four cards of the same rank and one other card (the “kicker”). For example, K♣ K♠ K♥ K♦ 6♥ is four-of-a-kind. This hand is very strong, but it can be beaten by a Straight Flush or Royal Flush.

## 4. Full House

A **Full House** consists of three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. This hand is powerful and often wins the pot. For example, K♥ K♦ K♠ J♥ J♠ is a Full House. In poker slang, the Full house combination is also called “**Full Boat**”.

If two players have Full Houses, the one with the higher three cards wins. For example, if Alice has Q♣ Q♦ Q♠ 2♦ 2♣ and Bob has A♠ A♥ 9♣ 9♦ 9♠, Alice wins as she has the higher rank of the three cards in her combination.

## 5. Flush

A **Flush** is five cards of the same suit, but not in sequence. For example, Q♦ J♦ 7♦ 3♦ 2♦ is a Queen-high Flush. If two players have Flushes, the one with the highest card wins.

## 6. Straight

A **Straight** consists of five consecutive cards of different suits. For example, 9♥ 8♣ 7♠ 6♥ 5♦ is a Straight. If two players have Straights, the one with the highest top card wins.

An ace can be either the highest or the lowest card in a straight. Ace-high straight A♥ K♥ Q♣ J♦ T♠ is called **Broadway**. 5-high straight with the Ace acting like “1” 5♦ 4♠ 3♠ 2♥ A♣ is called **Wheel**.

## 7. Three of a Kind

**Three of a Kind** means you have three cards of the same rank and two unrelated cards. For example, J♣ J♥ J♦ 6♦ 3♠ is three-of-a-kind.

This hand is also called “Trips” or “Set”, depending on how it’s made:

- If you made three of a kind using two of your hole cards and one community card, this combination is called a
**Set**. For example, you’re holding 4♥ 4♦ and the board comes A♠ 4♣ 9♥ K♣ T♣. You have a set of fours. - If you made three-of-a-kind using only one of your hole cards and two community cards, your combination is called
**Trips**. For example, you’re holding A♠ Q♣ and the board comes Q♦ 6♥ 7♦ Q♠ 2♥. You have a Queen’s trips.

## 8. Two Pair

**Two Pair** is when you have two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank, and one unrelated card. For example, 9♣ 9♥ 7♦ 7♣ 4♥ is Two Pair. If two players have Two Pairs, the one with the highest pair wins. If those are tied, the second pair is compared, and if needed, the kicker decides.

## 9. One Pair

**One Pair** is when you have two cards of the same rank and three unrelated cards. For example, 5♥ 5♣ A♦ K♠ 9♣ is One Pair. It’s a common hand but not very strong. If two players have One Pair, the highest pair wins. If they have the same pair, the next highest card (the kicker) is compared.

## 10. High Card or “Kicker”

If you don’t have any of the above hands, your hand is ranked by its Highest Card. For example, if your best card is an Ace and the rest don’t form a pair, straight, or flush, your hand is called “Ace-high.” If two players have High Card hands, the highest card wins. If those are tied, the second-highest card is compared, and so on.

These were all the combinations you can make from the deck.

## How to Use Poker Hand Rankings

Understanding poker hands and rankings is key to making good decisions at the tables. For example, if you have a strong hand like a Full House or better, you should try to build a bigger pot. If you have a weaker hand like One Pair or High Card, you might want to play more cautiously, especially if your opponents are making big bets.

But also remember that winning poker strategy is not only based on understanding the strength of your hand. This is just one factor in the hand. There are many others, such as your opponents’ betting history, positions at the table, and so on. Knowing poker combinations is necessary, but it is only the first step in learning a poker strategy.

💡 In poker, you can win not only by having the strongest hand. You can **win with the weak hand** using **bluff techniques**.

## Conclusion

Knowing the order of poker hands is crucial for success in the game. From the unbeatable Royal Flush to the humble High Card, each hand has its place in the poker hierarchy. The stronger your hand, the more confident you can be in betting and winning the pot. Study these rankings, and with practice, you’ll become more confident in your decisions at the poker table.