Poker Hand Rankings | Official Poker Hand Ranking Chart
A complete guide to the official poker hand rankings from strongest to weakest including how to determine the winning hand from two hands that are seemingly equal!
A Royal Flush is an ace-high straight flush. This is the best poker hand there is. All suits are equally high.
If two players have a straight flush, the one with the highest card wins.
Four of a Kind
If two players have four of a kind, the one with the highest kicker (fifth card) wins.
If two players have a full house, the one with the highest three-of-a-kind wins.
If two players have a flush, the one with the highest card wins.
If two players have the same straight, they split the pot.
Three of a Kind
If two players have the same three of a kind, the one with the highest kicker card wins.
If two players have the same two pair, the one with the highest kicker card wins.
If two players have the same pair, the one with the highest kicker card wins.
If no player has one of the hands above, the player with the highest individual card wins. If two players have the same highest card, the second highest cards are compared, and so on.
Hand Rankings in Poker
If you're playing any of the "high" variations of poker - Texas Holdem, Omaha, 7-Card Stud - the above hand rankings are the official way your hands will be ranked at showdown. Always and forever - these are your poker hand rankings.
There are no jokers or highest suits, etc. As you see those rankings up there, this is how your hand will be ranked against your opponents. If you have the best hand, you win the pot.
You can obviously win the hand long before showdown if everybody else folds, too, but if you're asked to show your cards this is how your best-5-card poker hand will be ranked.
Why is it important to know the poker hand rankings at all times? Well, if you're sitting there thinking your straight is the best hand out there while there are 3-cards to a flush on the board, you're about to make a big mistake.
Hitting a Royal Flush is such a rare event you don't need to worry too much your opponent is sitting on one but what you definitely want to sure of is that the hand you're currently holding beats the one your opponent is holding.
It doesn't have to beat it by a lot - it just has to be one-card or one level higher. That's it. So memorize these rankings and practice, practice, practice reading the board to make sure you've got the right hand ranking in your head while you play.
A quick note: No matter what YOU think your final best hand is, your ACTUAL best hand is the one that plays. So even if you think you just have a pair but you actually have a flush, the dealer will still award you the pot - as long as you show your cards live.
Poker Hand Rankings: Texas Holdem vs. Omaha
If you're wondering if the hand rankings are different for Texas Hold'em and Omaha we can tell you, as long as we're talking about the High version of Omaha, they are exactly the same.
From Royal Flush all the way down to just a high-card hand, Holdem and Omaha hands are ranked exactly the same from strongest to weakest. There are two major differences to pay attention to when it comes to hand rankings, though:
- In Omaha poker you MUST use exactly two cards (from your four hole cards) plus 3 cards from the community cards on the board to make your best 5-card poker hand
- If you're playing Omaha Hi-Lo the pot is split between the player with the highest hand (as listed above) and the lowest hand (which are ranked differently)
To see how low hands are ranked in Omaha Hi-Lo, check our Omaha Rules page here:
Poker Low-Hand Rankings
In a nutshell, here's how low hands are ranked in most low-hand games (Razz, 2-7 Lowball etc):
- Your lowest 5 cards are the ones that count and the highest of those cards is the one that matters most. The lowest of the high cards ultimately wins the pot.
- All of the low cards in your hand have to be different - ie a pair will lose to any 5-card hand with no matching cards
- To qualify a low hand in a Hi-Lo split game all of your cards have to be Eight or below.
- An Ace also counts as a low card only and is the lowest card in low hand rankings (if you're playing Hi-Lo though it also counts as a high card)
- Flushes and straights Do Not Count!
The best possible low hand in Omaha Hi/Lo and Stud Hi/Lo is 5-4-3-2-A.
Common Poker Hand Ranking Mistakes
Suits Don't Matter for (Most) Poker Hand Rankings
In terms of any of the common poker variations you will play either online or in a live casino/card room, the suits DO NOT have any effect on a hand ranking. Ie Spades are not higher than clubs, hearts not higher than diamonds, etc. The only thing that matters is the rank of the card.
The only poker game where suit might come into play is 7-card stud and the required "bring in" bet. The player with the lowest-ranking face-up card has to pay the bring and ties can be broken by suit.
A Straight Does Not Beat a Flush
It may seem like a straight - five consecutive cards in order by rank (eg. 5-6-7-8-9 or 9-T-J-Q-K) is tougher to get than a flush (five cards of any rank all of the same suit) but a Flush always beats a Straight.
A Straight Flush - a straight all of the same suit - is higher than both, though.
The Highest Flush is the One with the Highest Card
No matter what, the highest flush is the one with the highest card. eg A-6-4-3-2 beats K-Q-J-8-5. You do not combine the value of all the cards to determine the ranking of the flush.
If you have a flush and the A, you have the highest flush - also known as the "Nut" flush.
The Highest Two Pair Hand is the One with the Highest Pair
The same principle holds true for two-pair hands. Even if one player has KK and QQ, if another player has AA-99, the Aces and Nines win the pot. The combined value of the two pairs does not count. If both players have the same highest pair, the player with the highest second pair wins.
The Highest Full House is the One with the Highest Three-of-a-Kind
As far as comparing full houses, the full house with the highest set of 3 always wins. EG. A-A-A-2-2 beats K-K-K-Q-Q.
Three of a Kind Always Beats Two Pair
Another common misconception about poker hand rankings - two pairs do not beat 3-of-a-kind. A set (aka three-of-a-kind or "trips), even if it is just 2-2-2, beats two-pair (even if those two pair are KK-QQ).
There's No Such Thing as a "Four-Straight"
A hand with four cards to a straight - eg. 4-5-6-7-K - is not a "mini" straight or "small" straight. The only thing it will be ranked on is the high card and nothing more.
Your Best Five-Card Hand Always Plays
As the old saying in poker goes, "the cards speak." So even if you declare your best five-card final hand wrong (eg. you say you have a straight but you actually have a flush), the dealer can still award you the pot.
You must not however:
- muck your hand, which counts as you conceding the pot without showdown
- Intentionally declare your hand falsely to try and deceive an opponent into folding a better hand
Your Best 5-Card Holdem Hand Can Include 0, 1 or 2 Hole Cards
In Texas Holdem your best 5-card poker hand can include both, just one or none of your hole cards (the cards dealt to you face down).
If your best 5-card hand is the one showing in the 5 community card, that is the hand in play. You can also use one card in your hand with 4 from the shared community cards or two from your hand and three on the board.
In Omaha poker you MUST use exactly 2 of your 4 hole cards to make your final 5-card hand.
Important Note: Your hand is not ranked higher if you use both of your hole cards! They are compared equally no matter how many of the cards you are dealt are used in your final 5-card hand.
Three Pair is Not a Thing
Even if you can make three different pairs among your hole cards and the board cards, three pair is not a real poker hand. Your highest two-pair will count along with the highest single card (which can be one of the pair cards as well).
Straights DO NOT Wrap Around
Another common questions beginners ask about poker hand rankings is if you can "wrap" a straight around the top or bottom of the card rankings.
For example: 4-3-2-A-K is not a straight, nor is J-Q-K-A-2. The highest possible straight is A-K-Q-J-T, also known as the Broadway straight. The lowest straight is A-2-3-4-5 (ace is low card). This is called a "wheel."
What Happens if Two Players Have the Same Hand?
If two players have the exact same hand at showdown, the pot is split evenly between the two. The players must have the exact same hand for it to be split, though. For example if two players each have a pair of aces the value of the other three cards in their hands also must be exactly the same for the pot to be split.
If they are not the same the player with the highest "kicker" card wins the pot. Eg. A-A-K-5-3 beats A-A-J-T-7 (King is higher than a Jack).