Skip to content

Poker Winning Hands: A Comprehensive Guide

poker winings hands guide
Poker is a game of skill, strategy, and a bit of luck. One of the most fundamental aspects of the game is understanding the hierarchy of poker hands. Whether you’re playing Texas Hold’em, Omaha, or any other variant, knowing which hands are the strongest is crucial. This guide will walk you through the ranking of poker winning hands from highest to lowest, helping you make better decisions at the table.
poker winings hands guide
Poker Winning Hands: A Comprehensive Guide | Rhino Bet

1. Royal Flush

A Royal Flush is the highest possible winning hand in poker, considered the ultimate combination that every player dreams of achieving.

It consists of five specific cards: the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten, all of the same suit.

This unbeatable hand is not only extremely rare but also represents the pinnacle of poker hands, providing an exhilarating moment for any player lucky enough to hold it.

Composition

A Royal Flush is made up of:

  • Ace (A)
  • King (K)
  • Queen (Q)
  • Jack (J)
  • Ten (10)

All these cards must be of the same suit, meaning they all have to be hearts (♥), diamonds (♦), clubs (♣), or spades (♠).

Example: A♠ K♠ Q♠ J♠ 10♠

Rarity and Probability

The rarity of a Royal Flush is a major part of its allure. In a standard deck of 52 cards, there are only four possible Royal Flushes, one for each suit.

The probability of being dealt a Royal Flush in a five-card hand is approximately 1 in 649,740, making it the rarest hand in poker.

Importance in Poker

In most poker variants, the Royal Flush is the best possible hand, ensuring an automatic win.

Its significance varies slightly depending on the specific rules of the game being played, but its status as the highest-ranking hand is universal across all forms of poker.

2. Straight Flush

A Straight Flush is one of the most powerful hands in poker, second only to the Royal Flush. It consists of five consecutive cards, all of the same suit.

This hand combines the attributes of both a straight (five cards in numerical order) and a flush (five cards of the same suit), making it a formidable and rare combination.

Composition

A Straight Flush is made up of:

  • Five consecutive cards (e.g., 9, 8, 7, 6, 5)
  • All cards must be of the same suit (e.g., clubs, hearts, diamonds, or spades)

Example: 9♣ 8♣ 7♣ 6♣ 5♣

Ranking and Tie-Breakers

In the event that two players both have a Straight Flush, the winner is determined by the highest-ranking top card in their Straight Flush.

For example, a Straight Flush from 9 to 5 (9♣ 8♣ 7♣ 6♣ 5♣) would lose to a Straight Flush from 10 to 6 (10♦ 9♦ 8♦ 7♦ 6♦).

The highest possible Straight Flush is the Royal Flush, which ends with an Ace.

Probability and Rarity

The Straight Flush is one of the rarest hands in poker.

The probability of being dealt a Straight Flush in a five-card hand is approximately 1 in 72,193.33.

This rarity adds to the excitement and prestige of achieving this hand during a game.

3. Four of a Kind

Four of a Kind, often referred to as “quads,” is one of the strongest hands in poker.

This hand consists of four cards of the same rank and one unrelated card, known as the kicker.

The formidable nature of Four of a Kind makes it a highly desirable and powerful combination in any poker game.

Composition

A Four of a Kind hand includes:

  • Four cards of the same rank (e.g., 4♠ 4♣ 4♦ 4♥)
  • One unrelated card (the kicker), which can be of any rank or suit

Example: 4♠ 4♣ 4♦ 4♥ J♠

Ranking and Tie-Breakers

When two players both have Four of a Kind, the winner is determined by the rank of the four cards. The higher the rank, the stronger the hand.

For instance, four Kings (K♠ K♣ K♦ K♥) would beat four Queens (Q♠ Q♣ Q♦ Q♥).

If both players have the same Four of a Kind, which is highly unlikely but possible in community card games like Texas Hold’em, the kicker determines the winner.

Probability and Rarity

Four of a Kind is a rare hand, adding to its strength and appeal. The probability of being dealt Four of a Kind in a five-card hand is approximately 1 in 4,165. This rarity makes it a thrilling moment for any player lucky enough to achieve it during a game.

4. Full House

A Full House is a strong hand in poker, ranking just below Four of a Kind and above a Flush.

This hand combines three cards of one rank with two cards of another rank, making it a powerful and reliable combination that often leads to winning pots.

Composition

A Full House is made up of:

  • Three cards of one rank (e.g., Q♦ Q♠ Q♣)
  • Two cards of another rank (e.g., 7♣ 7♦)

Example: Q♦ Q♠ Q♣ 7♣ 7♦

Ranking and Tie-Breakers

In the event that two players have a Full House, the winner is determined by the rank of the three matching cards.

For instance, a Full House with three Aces (A♦ A♠ A♣) would beat a Full House with three Kings (K♦ K♠ K♣).

If the three cards are of the same rank, the rank of the pair is considered. For example, A♦ A♠ A♣ 2♦ 2♠ would beat A♦ A♠ A♣ K♦ K♠.

Probability and Rarity

A Full House is a relatively rare hand, though not as rare as Four of a Kind or a Straight Flush.

The probability of being dealt a Full House in a five-card hand is approximately 1 in 693.17. This combination’s rarity and strength make it a coveted hand in many poker games.

5. Flush

A Flush is a strong and elegant hand in poker, ranking below a Full House and above a Straight.

This hand consists of any five cards of the same suit, not necessarily in numerical order.

The simplicity and power of a Flush make it a favorite among poker players.

Composition

A Flush is made up of:

  • Five cards of the same suit (e.g., hearts, diamonds, clubs, or spades)
  • The cards do not need to be in numerical order

Example: K♥ 10♥ 7♥ 6♥ 2♥

Ranking and Tie-Breakers

When comparing Flushes, the hand with the highest card wins.

If two or more players have the same highest card, the second highest card is considered, followed by the third, fourth, and fifth highest cards if necessary.

For example, a Flush with K♥ 10♥ 7♥ 6♥ 2♥ would beat a Flush with Q♦ J♦ 9♦ 6♦ 3♦ because the King is higher than the Queen.

Probability and Rarity

The Flush is a relatively rare hand, with a probability of being dealt a Flush in a five-card hand being approximately 1 in 508.8.

This makes it less common than a Straight but more common than a Full House or Four of a Kind, striking a balance between attainability and strength

6. Straight

A Straight is a solid and straightforward hand in poker, ranking just below a Flush and above Three of a Kind.

This hand consists of five cards in consecutive numerical order but not all of the same suit.

Its straightforward nature and respectable rank make it a valuable hand to achieve in various poker games.

Composition

A Straight is made up of:

  • Five consecutive cards (e.g., 8, 7, 6, 5, 4)
  • The cards can be of different suits

Example: 8♠ 7♦ 6♠ 5♠ 4♣

Ranking and Tie-Breakers

When comparing Straights, the hand with the highest top card wins. For example, a Straight from 10 to 6 (10♦ 9♠ 8♣ 7♠ 6♥) would beat a Straight from 9 to 5 (9♠ 8♦ 7♣ 6♠ 5♥).

If two players have Straights with the same top card, the hands are considered tied and the pot is split, which is a rare but possible scenario in community card games like Texas Hold’em.

Probability and Rarity

A Straight is a relatively rare hand, though more common than a Flush or Full House.

The probability of being dealt a Straight in a five-card hand is approximately 1 in 254.8. This makes it an exciting hand to achieve, offering a balance between attainability and strength.

7. Three of a Kind

Three of a Kind, often called “trips” or “a set,” is a solid hand in poker that ranks above Two Pair and below a Straight.

This hand consists of three cards of the same rank, accompanied by two unrelated cards. Its straightforward nature and moderate strength make it a valuable hand in many poker situations.

Composition

A Three of a Kind hand includes:

  • Three cards of the same rank (e.g., 7♣ 7♠ 7♦)
  • Two unrelated cards (known as kickers)

Example: 7♣ 7♠ 7♦ K♠ 2♠

Ranking and Tie-Breakers

When two players both have Three of a Kind, the winner is determined by the rank of the three matching cards. For example, three Kings (K♠ K♦ K♣) would beat three Queens (Q♠ Q♦ Q♣).

If the three cards are of the same rank, which is rare but possible in community card games like Texas Hold’em, the player with the highest kicker wins.

For example, 7♣ 7♠ 7♦ K♠ 2♠ would beat 7♣ 7♠ 7♦ Q♠ J♠ because the King kicker is higher than the Queen kicker.

Probability and Rarity

Three of a Kind is a relatively common hand in poker. The probability of being dealt Three of a Kind in a five-card hand is approximately 1 in 46.3.

This makes it a hand that players can reasonably expect to achieve with some frequency, adding to its strategic importance

8. Two Pair

Two Pair is a moderately strong hand in poker, ranking just below Three of a Kind and above One Pair.

This hand consists of two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank, and one unrelated card, known as the kicker.

Its relatively frequent occurrence and decent strength make it a valuable hand in many poker games.

Composition

A Two Pair hand includes:

  • Two cards of one rank (e.g., J♠ J♦)
  • Two cards of another rank (e.g., 4♣ 4♠)
  • One unrelated card (the kicker)

Example: J♠ J♦ 4♣ 4♠ 9♥

Ranking and Tie-Breakers

When two players both have Two Pair, the winner is determined by comparing the highest pair first.

If the highest pairs are the same, the second pair is compared. If both pairs are identical, the kicker is used to break the tie.

For example, J♠ J♦ 4♣ 4♠ 9♥ would beat 10♠ 10♦ 4♣ 4♠ 8♥ because the Jacks are higher than the Tens.

If both players had Jacks and Fours, the hand with the higher kicker would win.

Probability and Rarity

Two Pair is a relatively common hand in poker. The probability of being dealt Two Pair in a five-card hand is approximately 1 in 21.

This frequency makes it a hand that players can expect to achieve with some regularity, adding strategic depth to the game.

9. One Pair

One Pair is a fundamental hand in poker, ranking just below Two Pair and above High Card. This hand consists of two cards of the same rank and three unrelated cards, known as kickers. Its frequent occurrence and moderate strength make it a common and essential hand in poker games.

Composition

A One Pair hand includes:

  • Two cards of the same rank (e.g., A♠ A♦)
  • Three unrelated cards (kickers)

Example: A♠ A♦ 8♣ 7♠ 3♥

Ranking and Tie-Breakers

When two players both have One Pair, the winner is determined by the rank of the pair. The player with the highest pair wins. If both players have the same pair, the highest kicker is compared.

If the highest kickers are the same, the next highest kicker is compared, and so on.

For example, A♠ A♦ 8♣ 7♠ 3♥ would beat K♠ K♦ 10♣ 9♠ 4♥ because the Aces are higher than the Kings. If both players had Aces, then the kickers would be compared to determine the winner.

Probability and Rarity

One Pair is one of the most common hands in poker. The probability of being dealt One Pair in a five-card hand is approximately 1 in 2.37.

This high frequency makes it a fundamental part of poker strategy, as players often find themselves with One Pair and must know how to play it effectively

10. High Card

High Card is the lowest-ranking hand in poker, coming into play when no player has any other qualifying hand (such as a pair or higher). In this case, the winner is determined by the highest card in their hand. This hand serves as a tiebreaker in many situations and is fundamental to understanding poker’s hand rankings.

Composition

A High Card hand includes:

  • Five unrelated cards with no matching ranks, no five cards in sequence, and not all cards of the same suit.

Example: A♠ 10♦ 9♣ 5♥ 3♠

Ranking and Tie-Breakers

When no player has a pair or better, the winner is determined by the highest card in their hand.

If two or more players have the same highest card, the second highest card is compared, and this process continues if necessary until a winner is determined.

For example, A♠ 10♦ 9♣ 5♥ 3♠ would beat K♠ Q♦ J♣ 9♥ 8♠ because the Ace is higher than the King. If both hands had an Ace, the next highest card would be compared, and so on.

Probability and Rarity

High Card hands are the most common in poker since they occur when no other hand is made.

The probability of being dealt a High Card in a five-card hand is approximately 50.1%.

This high frequency makes it a regular occurrence in poker games, emphasizing the importance of high-ranking individual cards.

Comparison Table of Poker Winning Hands

Now, here is a table that compares the various poker winning hands, detailing their rankings, compositions, and examples for better understanding and quick reference.

comparison table of poker winning hands

Understanding Hand Rankings in Different Poker Variants

While the ranking of hands remains consistent across most poker variants, the way these hands are used can differ. For example, in Texas Hold’em, each player is dealt two private cards and must combine them with five community cards to make the best hand. In Omaha, players receive four private cards and must use exactly two of them along with three community cards.

Interesting Facts About Poker Winning Hands

Here is a table that presents some interesting facts about poker winning hands. This table provides insights into the rarity and unique characteristics of each hand, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of the game.

Hand NameInteresting Fact
Royal FlushThe odds of being dealt a Royal Flush are approximately 1 in 649,740, making it the rarest hand in poker.
Straight FlushA Straight Flush is so rare that the odds of getting one are about 1 in 72,193.33 in a five-card draw.
Four of a KindThe probability of being dealt Four of a Kind in a five-card hand is roughly 1 in 4,165.
Full HouseFull Houses are often called “boats” in poker slang. The odds of being dealt a Full House are about 1 in 694.
FlushFlushes are more common than Full Houses, with the odds of being dealt a Flush at about 1 in 508.8.
StraightThe odds of being dealt a Straight in a five-card draw are approximately 1 in 254.8.
Three of a KindAlso known as “trips” or “a set,” the odds of getting Three of a Kind are around 1 in 46.3.
Two PairTwo Pair hands are relatively common, with the odds of being dealt one being about 1 in 21.
One PairOne Pair is the most frequently dealt hand in poker, with the odds being about 1 in 2.37.
High CardHigh Card hands occur when no other hand is made, and they happen more than 50% of the time in five-card draw.

Tips for Remembering Poker Hand Rankings

  1. Practice Regularly: The more you play, the more familiar you’ll become with the hand rankings.
  2. Use Mnemonics: Create a memorable phrase or acronym to help recall the order of hands.
  3. Flashcards: Create flashcards for each hand and quiz yourself regularly.
  4. Play Online: Use online poker games and apps to practice recognizing and ranking hands in real-time.

Conclusion

Understanding poker hand rankings is essential for any player looking to improve their game. By knowing which hands are the strongest and how they rank against each other, you can make more informed decisions and increase your chances of winning. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, mastering these rankings will enhance your poker strategy and enjoyment of the game. So, study up, practice regularly, and soon you'll be making the most of every hand dealt your way.

Read also...
poker winings hands guide
Poker is a game of skill, strategy, and a bit of luck. One of the most fundamental aspects of the game is understanding the hierarchy of poker hands. Whether you’re playing Texas Hold’em, Omaha, or any other variant, knowing which hands are the strongest is crucial. This guide will walk you through the ranking of poker winning hands from highest to lowest, helping you make better decisions at the table.
poker winings hands guide

Conclusion

Understanding poker hand rankings is essential for any player looking to improve their game. By knowing which hands are the strongest and how they rank against each other, you can make more informed decisions and increase your chances of winning. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, mastering these rankings will enhance your poker strategy and enjoyment of the game. So, study up, practice regularly, and soon you'll be making the most of every hand dealt your way.

Read also...