Poker hand ranking: What are the best poker hands a player can have?

Poker hand ranking: What are the best poker hands a player can have?

Here’s all you need to know about the key poker metric

When playing poker, it’s vital that you know the progression of how the various different forms of hands are ranked.

But, what is the best poker hand a player can have? Does a four of a kind beat a full house? What’s the difference between a flush and a straight?

With our newly launched poker portal – we thought it would be a good idea to round up the rankings of the best poker hands.

If you're a beginner, you might also want to read our guide on the five poker game types you need to learn.

The below hands rank from the best at the top to the lowest rank at the bottom.

1 & 2. Straight Flush & Royal Flush - Five cards in numerical order in the same suit

 

This is the best possible hand you can get in poker, with the best possible straight flush available being a Royal Flush.

 

A Royal Flush would be: ace, king, queen, jack and a ten of a suit. There is no possible hand that can beat a Royal Flush.

3. Four of a Kind - Four cards all the same rank and one card known as a ‘kicker’

 

This is where you get four rank cards the same, for example, ace, ace, ace, ace and another assorted card.

In the event of a tie, the highest four of a kind wins the hand.

4. Full house - Three cards of the same rank and two different cards, that match

 

This is, for example, having three kings and two ten rank cards. In the event of a tie, the highest rank of the three cards will win that hand. 

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5. Flush - Five different cards all in the same suit

 

To get a flush in poker, you would, for example, have to have five cards all in the same suit, for example all spades. In the event of a tie, the player holding the highest rank card wins the hand.

It then goes down second highest card, third highest in the hand.

6. Straight - Five cards in a sequence

 

A straight is when the cards run one number or symbol after the other, for example > 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. The highest possible flush is: ace, king, queen, joker, and ten.

In the result of a draw, whoever has the highest number at the top of the sequence, wins. 

7. Three of a kind - Three cards of the same rank, with two side cards

 

For example, the best three of a kind a player could have is: ace, ace, ace, with two unrelated cards. In the event of a tie, the player with the highest three of a kind wins.

8. Two pair - Two cards of the same rank and another two cards with the same rank

 

For example, you could have king, king, queen, queen and joker. In the event of a tie, the player with the with the highest pair wins.

9. One pair - Two cards of the same rank and three unrelated cards

 

This is the second lowest hand that a player can have, and is simply matching two cards together. In the event of a tie with the same pair, the highest side card will decide the winner of the hand.

10. High card - Any hand that does not include the above

 

This is as simple as whoever has the highest card, wins. If, of course, there are none of the aforementioned hands at play. In the event of a tie, the second highest, third highest, fourth highest and smallest card can be used to finish the tie.

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