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Poker Hand Rankings

Article By: RuffPoker.com

You can learn all you want about continuation betting and check-raising, but every poker trick in the book won’t help you if you don’t know what the best possible hand is in any situation.
It’s important to know what the best possible hand is in Texas Hold’em and it’s absolutely critical to know what it is when you’re playing Omaha. Here’s a refresher course on poker hand rankings in case reading about advanced poker strategies has fried your brain. These hands are listed from lowest to highest.

High Card

High card is the lowest possible hand you can have. This hand only has value in games like five card stud, and even then it’s a tenuous holding. Save yourself some money and lay this hand down unless you’re playing Hi-Lo and your high card is an eight or lower.

Pair (KK, 55, JJ, Etc.)

A pair is the most common “made hand” in poker. The odds of having a pair are 1.366:1. The value of this hand depends largely on how high your pair is and what variant of poker you’re playing. For example, top pair/top kicker can be a strong hand in Texas Hold’em, but it’s worthless in Omaha.

Two Pair (KKJJ, 7722, Etc.)

Two pair is a solid hand in almost all forms of poker, though it is somewhat shaky in Omaha. The odds of holding two pair are about 20:1.

Three of a Kind (KKK, 777, 555, Etc.)

Three of a kind, also known as trips or a set, is a strong hand in every form of poker except for Razz. The odds of holding this hand are 46.3:1.

Straight (A-2-3-4-5, 10-J-Q-K-A, Etc.)

Now we’re starting to talk about the big boys. A straight will often be the nuts in many forms of poker. The odds of holding a straight are 253.8:1.

Flush (Any Five Cards of the Same Suit)

Any time you see three cards of the same suit in the community cards, a little alarm should go off in your head that says, “I may be beat by a flush” or “Yes! I made my flush!” Flushes are very strong hands and usually win; that is, unless the board pairs. The odds of holding a flush are 507.8:1

Full House (Three of a Kind and a Pair: ex. KKK55)

A full house is possible whenever the board pairs. This hand is a monster that rarely loses. The odds of holding a full house are 693.2:1.

Four of a Kind (KKKK, 5555, 7777, Etc.)

This hand is a monster. Pray that you’re in a bad beat jackpot room the day you lose with four of a kind. The odds of holding this hand are 4,164:1.

Straight Flush (A Straight With All Cards Sharing the Same Suit)

It could be years before you hold this hand, but when you do you’ll win. If you ever lose with a straight flush, you can rest assured that the poker gods hate you. The odds of holding this hand are 72,192.3:1.

Royal Flush (A-K-Q-J-10 All of the Same Suit)

This hand is known as the uber-nuts. A royal flush is the best possible hand. I’ve seen this hand three times in almost ten years of playing a lot of poker and have held it only two of those times. The odds of holding this monster are 649,739:1