Hand Rankings In Poker

In poker, players make hands of five cards, with each hand having a ranking. With high-card games like Texas Hold’em and Omaha, the highest-ranking hands win. In low-card games, like Razz, the lowest-ranking hands win. There are many different types of poker – each with its own set of rules, but the types of poker hand are consistent. What are these hand rankings in poker?

Five of a Kind

When you have five of the same cards.

It only occurs when wild cards are in play, e.g. J, J, J, J + Koker. If more than one hand has five of a kind, the higher rankings five card wins. Five Aces beats five Kings.

Royal Flush

A, K, Q, J, 10, all the same suit.

Straight Flush

Five cards in a sequence, all in the same suit, e.g. 8, 7, 6, 5, 4

Aces figure in two straights: High, which is a Royal Flush, or low, e.g. 5, 4, 3, 2, A

Aces cannot be used the ‘wraparound’ or ‘turn the corner, ‘ e.g. 3, 2, A, K, Q

A Straight Flush is the best natural hand you can hold, i.e. when not using wildcards.

Four of a Kind

When you have four cards of the same rank, plus a kicker. If there are two or more hands that qualify, the hand with the highest-ranking four of a kind wins, e.g. Four Kings beat for Jacks.

Full House

A full house is when you have a three of a kind and a pair, such as K-K-K-5-5. Ties are broken first by the three of a kind, then pair. So K-K-K-2-2 beats Q-Q-Q-A-A, which beats Q-Q-Q-J-J.


Any five cards of the same suit, but not in a sequence, e.g. J, 8, 5, 3, 2, all in spades. When flushes tie, follow the rules for High Card, i.e. who holds the highest rankings card.


Five cards in a sequence, but not of the same suit, e.g. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

An ace is high or low but cannot be used to ‘wraparound’.

To break a tie the highest straight wins and if two straights have the same value, e.g. A, K, Q, J, 10 vs A, K, Q, J, 10, players split the pot.

Three of a Kind

Three cards of the same rank, matched with two kickers – cards that are not a pair (otherwise it would be a Full House).

Highest three of a kind wins. If both are in the same rankings, apply the High Card rule.

Two Pair

Two distinct pairs of cards and a 5th card – the kicker.

The highest pair wins in a tied situation. If both hands have the same high pair, the highest ranking second pair wins. If both hands have the same pairs, the higher 5th card wins.


One pair of three unmatched kickers. High card breaks ties.

High Card

It is any hand which doesn’t qualify as any one of the above hands. If nobody has a pair or better, then the highest card wins. If multiple people tie for the highest card, they look at the second highest, then the third highest etc. High card is also used to break ties when the high hands both have the same type of hand (pair, flush, straight, etc.)

Check out on where to start with online poker to learn even more.