Poker Hand Ranking

Considerdered as the easiest gambling card games to learn, poker is about matching up different combination of cards to beat other players.

Poker players form sets of five playing cards dubbed as hands conforming to the rules of the game. The rank of each hand is compared against the rank of all participating in the showdown to be able to know who wins the pot. Listed below are all the available poker hands ranked accordingly from highest to lowest.


Five of a Kind

A five of a kind is the highest possible hand. It ranks above a straight flush but only possible if the player is using a wild card or more, technically having five cards of one rank in a deck such as A-A-A-A and a Joker. For five of a kind, the higher beats the lower, five aces being the highest of all. Five of a kind aces is only possible when the joker card is added to the deck as a bug. A bug is a form of wild card that can act as the fifth ace or can also be a straight, flush or straight flush. 


Straight Flush

Considered as the best natural hand. A straight flush is a hand that has five cards in sequential rank that are all of the same suit such as Q-J-10-9-8. In the event that there are two straight flushes, the one that has the highest rank at the top of the sequence wins. Ace can rank either high or low but cannot be both rank high and low. The Ace high straight flush is called a Royal Flush and is the highest natural hand and this consist of A-K-Q-J-10. The royal flush is considered as the unbeatable hand.


Four of a Kind

Four of a kind also known as squads and is basically four cards of the same rank along with another card of another rank known as a kicker. For example, four queens and then a kicker could be anything, Q-Q-Q-Q-8. In rare cases where two players have four of a kind, the one with the highest card rank wins the game. In the event where both players have the very same four of a kind, the kicker or the side card will be the tiebreaker. It is a very good for it is very hard to draw this hand. 


Full House

This is a hand where a player has a three of a kind and a pair in the same hand, such as K-K-K-5-5. In the event that there are two or more players have the same three matching cards, the one with the highest value of the other two matching card wins. A full house is also known as a “boat”. 



This is a poker hand where all of the five cards are of the same suit and does not have to be in the right sequence such as K-Q-8-6-3. In the event that two players have flush, the one with the highest card in that suit wins. If the highest cards are have equal value, then the second highest card is compared and so on. 



A hand that contains five cards running in sequence regardless of suit, such as 6-7-8-9-J. Remember that an Ace Card can be either high or low end of a straight, but not be both high and low simultaneously. For example, A-K-Q-J-10 and 5-4-3-2-A are considered valid straights, but not 2-A-K-Q-J. The lowest possible straight is 5-4-3-2-A and is also called the “wheel”.


Three of a Kind
The hand that is known as “triplets/trips” or a “set”, it contains three cards of any rank, matched with two cards (or side cards) that are not a pair such as A-A-A-K-7. Three of a kind ranks below a “straight” and above “two pair”. The highest ranking three of a kind wins. 


Two Pair
This hand contains a pair of one rank and another pair of a different rank and a kicker. The sample for two pairs is 6-6-8-8-K.  In such cases where players have the same highest pair, the 2nd to the highest pair wins. For players with identical pairs, the highest side card or the kicker wins. 



A usual combination that has one pair of the same value with three distinct cards. This hand is considered as the lowest ranking “made” hand. The one with the higher pair is better when comparing two “pair” hands. The highest side card or kicker (both second and third) is a tiebreaker when both players have two identical ranks.


High Card

This is any hand, which does not qualify to any category. This one ranks below “one pair”. If nobody has a pair or better, then the highest one wins. On the assumption of multiple players tie for the highest cards, they will automatically check and compare the second highest then the third highest. Note that High card is use to break ties when the high hands have the same type of hand.