How To Rank Poker Hands

Poker hands are the same in all variants of poker, so understanding the ranking is of prime importance before getting started. They are pretty easy to understand.

An ordinary deck of playing cards contains 52 cards in 4 suits. The suits are Hearts, Diamonds, Spades and Clubs. Generally, in poker, the suits have no difference in ranking. The cards, however, do rank from the lowest card to the highest card and the order is as follows: two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace. In a poker game, the objective is to compile the top 5 card hands that you can with the possible poker hands from the lowest to highest hand are as follows.

High Card

The high card signifies the highest-ranking card. If a condition occurs where there are no better hands, the highest card will win. The high card can also be used as a tiebreaker when there is a tie. For example, a King can beat a 7; a nine would beat a four and so on.


Any pair will be able to beat a high card. For example, a pair of twos can beat an Ace. However, a pair of threes can beat a pair of twos. If two players have the same pair, they can use the high card to break the tie. At this point, the high card is referred to as the kicker.

Two Pair

Two pairs can beat a single pair. A pair of twos and a pair of threes will beat a pair of Aces. Two players with the same hand can use the fifth card as the kicker here as well to determine the winner.

Three Of A Kind

Two pairs can be beaten by three cards of the same value. For example, three twos will beat a pair of Kings and Aces. In some games, more than one player can have the same three of a kind hand and yet again a high card is used to determine the winner.


Three of a kind can be beaten by five cards in sequential order. For instance, if you had 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of different suits, you could use that to beat three Aces.


Five cards of the same suit are collectively termed as a flush. For a flush, the cards do not need to be in sequential order, just of the same suit. However, this can be beaten by a higher value card flush, such as an Ace Flush.

Straight Flush

If all the cards in hand are in sequential order and are of the same suit, you have a Straight Flush. This means that a two of clubs, three of clubs, four of clubs, five of clubs and a six of clubs will be able to beat an Ace high Flush of clubs or any other suit.

Royal Flush

An Ace high Straight Flush is a Royal Flush.

How To Rank Poker Hands

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