Poker Hands Rankings: What Beats What in Poker

Find all poker hands ranked from best to worst. Use the OFFICIAL poker hand rankings to know what beats what in poker.

Poker Hand Rankings (Highest To Lowest)

There are ten different categories that poker hands can fall into. A royal flush is the best possible poker hand, followed by a straight flush, then four of a kind, a full house, a flush, a straight, three of a kind, two pairs, one pair, and finally a high card. The straight flush is the second best poker hand, after the royal flush. This holds true for all of the most popular forms of poker, including Texas Hold'em.


52 cards are included in a pack of standard playing cards. The following is a ranking of the cards, from best to worst:

The rankings are as follows: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1.

There is no consideration given to suit in the standard poker played in North America. A total of five cards make up a poker hand. Hands with a higher rank win over hands with a lower rank, and within each hand type, cards with a higher value win over cards with a lower value.

#1 Straight Flush

In games where there are no wild cards, this is the best possible hand to have. It is made up of five cards of the same suit that are arranged in a row. When comparing flushes, the winning hand is the one that has a high card with the highest value. For example, a straight flush consists of the 5-6-7-8-9 of the same suit. The highest ranking possible straight flush is known as a Royal Flush and consists of the cards A-K-Q-J-10. It is not possible to turn a flush into a straight flush; for instance, 3-2-A-K-Q is not considered a straight flush.

#2 Four of a Kind (Quads)

A four of a kind is a hand that contains four cards of the same rank, such as four jacks. The fifth card, also known as the kicker, can be any other card. When two sets of four of a kind are being compared, the set with the higher value wins. For instance, a better hand than 5-5-5-5-J would be 10-10-10-10-2. In the event that two players have a four of a kind with the same value, the winner is determined by which player has the highest ranking kicker.

#3 Full House (Boat)

Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank are required to form a full house. The value of the player's first three cards is used to determine their rank within Full Houses; the player who has the three cards with the highest rank wins. In the event that all three cards have the same rank, the decision is made by the pairs. For example, the beat goes Q-Q-Q-3-3. 10-10-10-A-A BUT the sequence 10-10-10-A-A would win. 10-10-10-J-J.

#4 Flush

Five cards all of the same suit can be used. The value of the highest card in a flush is used to determine where it falls in the hierarchy of other flushes. In the event that they are also equal, proceed to compare the cards with the next highest value until a victor can be identified.

#5 Straight

A five-card run from two different suit decks in sequence. Within straights, the winning hand is the one that contains the highest ranking top card. The ace can act as either a high card or a low card, but it cannot do both at the same time. The wheel, also known as the lowest possible straight, consists of the cards 5, 4, 3, 2, and A, with the five appearing on top.

#6 Three of a Kind (Triplets/Trips)

Three cards of the same rank and two additional cards make up a "three of a kind" (not of equal rank). In the event that more than one three-of-a-kind hand has the same rank, the winner is determined by whichever hand has the higher high card out of the two that are still in play.

#7 Two Pairs

Two cards of the same rank are considered to be a pair. Two separate pairs of cards with different ranks make up a hand that is said to have two pairs. For instance, K-K-3-3-6, in which the sixth card is the odd one out. If there are more than two pairs in a hand, the winner is determined by which hand has the highest pair regardless of the other cards. To illustrate, K-K-5-5-2 is superior to Q-Q-10-10-9 because K > Q, despite 10 > 5.

#8 Pair

Two cards of the same rank make up a single pair, and the remaining three cards in the hand can be of any rank (as long as none are the same.) When comparing two different pairs, the winner is determined by which of the cards has the higher value. If they are tied, then compare the oddball cards with the highest point value; if that round is also tied, then continue to compare cards until a winner is established. The following is an example of a hand: 10-10-6-3-2

#9 High Card (Nothing/No Pair)

Your hand is considered to be high card if it does not meet any of the criteria listed above, does not form any kind of sequence, and contains at least two suits that are distinct from one another. When comparing these hands, the winner will be determined by the hand that contains the card with the highest value.