List of Poker Hands Rankings — From Highest to Lowest

Dennis  «Dennis_Stets» 
08 May 2024
Holdem Poker Basics
08 May 2024

Most recreational players begin their familiarization with online poker directly with the classical rules. Actually, an important part of these rules is poker combinations. Why? Poker terms, the process of the game, types of bets, etc. — of course, it’s all fundamental knowledge, but what poker game can take place without poker combinations.

Therefore, in today's material we will tell and show poker combinations in pictures by seniority, as well as consider the mistakes of beginners and answer the top 5 most common questions that interest players.

Why make combinations?

To fully enjoy playing online poker, you need to know how to win. We’re not talking about poker strategy. First of all, the of the main components of this is the knowledge of combinations. There are a total of 10 combinations in poker. Studying this material with a brief description of each combination and visual illustrations will not take a lot of time, so we would rather start!

If you have not memorized poker combinations, it is better to print them out.

The goal of any game is to win. And as the rules of poker say, you can win in Texas Hold'em by collecting a senior combination or knocking out all opponents from the game without revealing cards.

When making a combination, 5 cards are used. These can be common cards + starting hand.

According to the rules of poker, you can not use your starting cards to make a combination if they do not fit, and use only the common cards from the board.

What should a player strive for and what is the winning hand? The strongest combination in poker is considered the rarest — Royal Flush. 52 cards of the poker deck only 4 times can give players Royal Flush. But the High Card can be found in 1,302,540 cases — that’s why its value is too low.

Poker Hands Ranked

There are 10 combinations — for better understanding of beginners we will supplement the combinations with pictures / examples. Each card set has its own precedence and peculiarities of composition. Suits are rarely taken into account when determining the strength of combinations. In disputable situations, the rank of cards is considered to identify the winner of the current poker hand.

High Card

It consists of five unrelated cards, one of which indicates the outcome of the game. It beats what in poker? Absolutely nothing, except in cases when the opponent has a stronger high card than yours.

For example, when the two remaining players do not have a stronger combination, the winner is decided by the highest pocket card.

One Pair

One Pair represents a commonly seen hand in poker, formed from two pieces of the same denomination. The probability of getting the combination is within 50%. With One Pair, players try to take the pot before showdown by knocking out their opponents with big raises.

Interesting fact: Many major WSOP live series tournaments have been won by poker players with One Pair.

The most valuable are the High-Rank Pairs (for example, Aces). Going all-in with this hand gives you a mid chance to win and take the pot.

Two Pairs

The combination is constructed by two cards of one rank and two of another. The hand that includes a Pair of high denomination is of the highest value.

When two or more participants receive a similar set of cards, the winner is determined by the highest Pair in the combination. In case two cards of the highest denomination are equal, the lowest Pair in the hand is compared.

If the paired pieces are equal, the kicker (high card) is taken into account.

In case if the senior paired cards of the opponents are equal, the junior Pair is compared. If the first and the second poker player have both Pairs of equal value in the game, the participants will share the pot equally, the kicker in combinations is common (because it is placed on the board).

Three of a Kind

Three of a Kind — 3 cards of the same rank. The combination also bears other names that determine the principle of composition — Trips. It is considered from one pocket + two board cards.

Remember that Three of a Kind is higher than a Trips, because it is difficult for opponents to assume that one of the players has three cards of the same value. The higher it is, the stronger your card combination will be.

If two or more participants have equal value, the owner of the pot is determined by the highest kicker.

Let's assume that both players have the same Three of a Kind, consisting of Jacks. In this case, the pot will go to the poker player with the highest kicker.


Straight represents a set of five-cards in sequence by rank. The suit of the cards must be different — if they’re the same, then you have Straight Flush.

Ace in a straight acts as the senior figure, and the junior. When the Ace opens the order before 2 — it acts as the junior card, playing the role of 1. When completing the combination after the King, the Ace will be a senior card. Accordingly, the junior Straight is A-2-3-4-5, and the senior Straight is 10-J-Q-K-K-A.

The hand from A-2-3-4-5 is commonly referred to as the «Wheel». The assembled variant from 10-J-Q-K-K-A is called «Broadway».


A Flush is a collection of five single-suit cards. The card must not go by rank in order — otherwise we get a stronger hand.

With an equal Flush, the strength of the hand is not determined by suit — the Kickers in the layout are compared, or the next Kickers if the first ones are the same.

Since this is a rare hand, losing with it happens only in a few cases. By picking up a Flush and making raises at the odds of your opponents' pot, you will take a big bank at the end of the game.

Full House

Full House represents 3 cards of one rank + 2 of another one. In most games, the combination turns out to be a winning hand. 

In isolated cases, there are controversial situations. When two players collect a Full House, the winner is determined by the Trips. If the 3 cards of the opponents are equal in rank, then the value of Pair is compared.

Four of a Kind

Four of a kind is a very rare combination formed by four cards of the same rank. The strength of the hand depends on the denomination. In this case disputable situations rarely arise.

When comparing hands, the face value of the four cards is taken into account. In case of equal combination, the kickers are compared.

Straight Flush

Here we have almost the best hand, except Royal Flush. A Straight Flush is a one-suit hand made up of cards in order of rank. In essence, the hand is a symbiosis of Straight and Flush, which we talked about earlier. 

To get two combinations of Straight Flush at the same time is a difficult task. The probability of losing and getting into controversial situations with a hand is minimal.

If two players collect Straight Flush, the winner of the pot will be determined by the closing card.

Royal Flush

Royal Flush is the oldest variation of Street Flush. It forms a spread from 10 to A. And that’s the best possible hand.

There are four variations of Royal Flush — K, clubs, diamonds, spades. The hand is considered unbeatable, but players who have been playing for several years can't get it together.

As you understand, the chances to collect it are the lowest (0.000154% or odds of 649,739 : 1, to be exact).

Evaluation of starting hands according to the Hutchinson system

Now let’s think globally… so which starting cards should you continue the game with? There is no specific answer to this question. The most comprehensive answer, in our opinion, has so far been given by American pro Edward Hutchinson. He has developed a system for playing with a large number of players (from 8 and more) using mathematical modeling using the Monte Carlo method. 

It can also be used on shorter tables, while playing more aggressively and reducing the number of specified points — depending on the situation. Actually, the main essence of the Hutchinson system is to summarize the points that we will award for a hand in each of the three following steps:

  • Step 1. If two or more cards belong to the same suit, then we should award points for the highest card according to the scale given: A — 8 points; K — 6; Q — 5; J — 4; T — 3; 9 — 3; 8 — 2; 7 — 1; all others — 0. If the hand is a two-suit hand, then the counting procedure must be repeated. If the hand has three or four cards of the same suit, then we take away 2 points.
  • Step 2: If there is One Pair, the counting is as follows: A-A — 18 points; K-K — 16; Q-Q — 14; J-J — 13; T-T — 12; 9-9 — 10; 8-8 — 8; 7-7 — 7; all others — 0. If there are 3 cards of the same value at once, no points are awarded.
  • Step 3. If the starting hand has cards close in value with the potential to make a straight, with no more than three gaps between them, consider: four cards — 25 points; three — 18; two — 8 points. Further from the above values you can subtract two points for each gap (max. is 6 points). Ace combinations require another four points to be subtracted from the values because a hand with an Ace can make up a smaller number of straight hands.

By calculating the points using the Hutchinson system, the strength of the starting hand can be determined.

We recommend playing hands of 28 points or higher (hands of 20 points or higher can also be advantageous for distance play). When it comes to raises / raise calls, it all depends on certain factors. But in general a hand should be at least 32 points.

To consolidate the acquired knowledge, let us give some examples. The strongest Two Pairs are considered to be two suited pairs — Aces and Kings (54 points). In the first step we will get 16 points for the two-suit hand with the senior aces (8 points each). In the second step we will get another 34 points: 18 for a Pair of Aces and 16 for a Pair of Kings. 

In the third step, we get an additional 4 points on top for the potential of the straight: two cards on the straight bring us 8 points, but because one of them is an ace, we take 4 points away from this value. Or another example: 9-8-9-8. In this case we will get 32 points (6 for two suits with higher Nines + 18 for a Pair of Nines and a Pair of Eights + 8 for the 9-8 combination). Or A-K-Q-10 — 31 points (8 for the ace + 0 since there are no pairs + 23 for 4 cards that are tied with one gap). As you can see, there is nothing complicated about calculating points — try it and you will succeed!

Common mistakes of beginners who just learnt poker hands

Where and under what circumstances do beginners make the most mistakes? Let's find out!

#1: Chasing the best combination

A very common mistake is to play to the last in the hope of improving the combination in Poker Holdem. These can be various Flushes, Straight Flushes and even Royal Flushes. Playing in each hand you need to understand whether it is worth trying to catch the combination or better to give up.

Realize that sometimes it's better to make a pass than to take a risk and move on until it's too late.

#2: Pay attention to the value cards only

As they say, looks can be deceiving. Even with a pair, there is a risk of losing. Very often beginners enter the game with a hand that seems to look good, but in reality it is not. For example, in Holdem these are one-size or value cards with bad kickers, combinations like Q-T, K-J and A-9. With hands like these, there is a very low probability that you will get a winning combination on the flop. No matter how you look at it, understanding to continue playing with aviable card of fold them comes with experience.

#3: Willing to play a lot of hands

One of the major fallacies is the desire to play every hand. Often beginners are very impatient because of a feeling of detachment from the game. They don't want to appear weak against other opponents, or they don't understand what to do. Roughly speaking, any hand can look attractive if you don't know which combinations are really good.

A beginner often tries to reach the flop, but when this moment comes, suddenly realizes that he has far from the best value cards. Anticipate this mistake before you play a lot of hands and lose a huge amount of stack.

#4: Incorrect bet size

For a successful game, you should always be aware of what your bet size should be. As a rule, in No-Limit games recreational players bet either too little or too much. For example, at the preflop stage, some participants increase their blinds by 4-5 times. Ideally, a bet should be optimal to maximize your chances of winning, while minimizing your losses.

#5: Excessive emotionality

If you have had a hard day, or lost a couple of big pots in a row, then emotions will undoubtedly affect your future decisions. Obviously, playing in such a state will only bring losses. Well, extra emotions can lead to different consequences. It will be more difficult for you to read players and analyze information at the table.

Making a decision based solely on emotions is not the best option.

Final words on best poker hands

To fully enjoy playing online poker, you need to know how to win. In fact, one of the main components of this is the knowledge of poker hand rankings chart. It’s the absolute foundation of the poker game, without which there is no point in talking about anything more serious.

Beginners are advised to start playing poker for free, and when the ranking of cards will no longer cause bewilderment or slight panic, to start mastering poker rooms or tournaments to earn real cash. There are ten of them, and there is nothing complicated in their study. And to ensure that the learning process did not cause you problems, we advise you to print out a photo with poker combinations by seniority. It helps a lot!

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