Knowing the poker hand rankings is essential for pretty much every gambling fan. Why? Because whether it’s played in a top online casino, respected land-based casino, or renowned online platform, poker is the most popular card game on the planet.
But if you want to win at poker you need to know what the best hands are, and what the worst hands are.
From best to worst, our guide lists all of the poker hands you can get in the most popular type of poker – Texas hold 'em.
We’ve looked at how many ways you can make each hand, the probability of getting a certain hand, the odds of it happening, and explaining why you’ll like or dislike it.
As the image above explains, there are ten distinct hands in poker that can be made post-flop (once the community cards have been dealt). These hands are ordered by their strength – the likelihood of them winning you the game – with the worst being a high card and the best poker hand being a royal flush.
We have looked at each of these hands in descending order and provided a detailed breakdown of their strengths and weaknesses – just don’t ask us to play dealer in your next poker game and deal you a royal flush!
No.1- Royal Flush: Poker hand ranking (the best poker hand)
A royal flush is a straight flush that starts from 10 and features jack, queen, king, and ace in the same suit. There is no better poker hand ranking than a royal flush – fact. If you get this on the flop then you know you have a 100% chance of victory – so it’s simply a case of getting as much money from your opponents as possible.
How many distinct poker hands are there in a royal flush?
There can only be one distinct hand in a royal flush. This is because you need five unique cards from the same suit in the card deck to make it.
What is the frequency of getting a royal flush?
The frequency of a royal flush is based on the number of suits in a card deck. This means that there are four potential royal flushes that can be made – diamonds, clubs, hearts, and spades.
What is the probability of getting a royal flush poker hand?
The reason that royal flush is such a powerful poker hand is that it’s a very unlikely one to hit – you may play poker your entire life and never get one. Unsurprisingly, the probability of getting a royal flush is very low – 0.000154%, so don’t bank on getting one when you’re playing poker in an online casino, land casino, or on a poker platform.
What are the odds against me getting a royal flush in poker?
The odds of you getting a royal flush are terrible – at 649,740-1, there’s more chance of you winning an Olympic gold medal than getting a royal flush in poker!
Straight Flush: Poker hand ranking – No.2
A straight flush is when you get five cards of the same suit that are in order – for example, if you have 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of diamonds. It’s the second-best poker hand ranking you can get.
How many distinct poker hands are there in a straight flush?
Because you can make a straight flush using any ascending five-card combination of the same suit, there are nine distinct hands that can make a straight flush – this begins with ace to 5 and ends with 9 to king.
What is the frequency of getting a straight flush?
There are 36 different ways to get a straight flush. It’s pretty simple to calculate the frequency of getting one – all you do is multiply the number of distinct hands (nine) by the number of suits (four).
What is the probability of getting a straight flush poker hand?
Because it’s number two on the scale of poker hand rankings, you won’t be surprised to learn that the probability of you getting a straight flush is very low – 0.00139%, to be precise.
What are the odds against me getting a straight flush in poker?
The odds of you getting a straight flush aren’t great – in fact, at 72,192-1 you’ve got a better chance of winning an Academy Award than earning victory in a poker game with this hand.
Four Of A Kind: Poker hand ranking – No.3
While there’s nothing in poker that beats the feeling of seeing a royal flush on the flop, there’s something special about getting four of a kind – there’s just a lovely symmetry to having four of the same cards (also known as quads).
How many distinct poker hands are there in a four of a kind?
There are 13 different distinct ways that you can make the third best hand in poker. This is because you can only make one of these hands for every type of card in the deck (from 2 to ace).
What is the frequency of getting a four of a kind?
At 634 the frequency getting four of a kind isn’t brilliant, but it’s over 150 times better than that of a royal flush.
What is the probability of getting a four of a kind poker hand?
As one of the strongest hands you can get in poker, it’s of little surprise that the probability of getting a four of a kind isn’t even a tenth of a percent – it’s 0.0240%.
What are the odds against me getting a four of a kind in poker?
The odds against you getting four of a kind are 4,165-1. This means it’s not quite as unlikely as Leicester City’s 5,000-1 EPL title victory, but it’s not far off!
Full House: Poker hand ranking – No.4
Rumour has it that the fourth best poker hand ranking gained its “boat” nickname after a gambler lost their river boat to another player – they lost because their opponent’s full house beat their straight flush. But what is it? A combination of two cards that are the same alongside three cards that are the same – For example, joker-joker/queen-queen-queen.
How many distinct poker hands are there in a full house?
Full house is such a strong poker hand because there aren’t a huge number of distinct hands for it – 156, to be exact.
What is the frequency of getting a full house?
Full house is the strongest poker hand ranking that many casual players get during the course of playing. One of the reasons for this is that the frequency for a boat is quite good – at 3,744.
What is the probability of getting a full house poker hand?
There’s a fun fact about the probability of getting a full house that sports fans will adore – while the probability of you getting one is 0.1441%, the cumulative probability is 0.17% – which is the same probability of an NFL game ending in a tie.
What are the odds against me getting a full house in poker?
If you’re fond of placing a bet, then you probably wouldn’t wager on getting a full house while playing poker – the odds of making a boat are 693-1, making it more risky than betting on the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series back in 2011 (spoiler, they won!)
Flush: Poker hand ranking – No.5
So-called because it means “fullness or abundance,” a flush is when you have a hand that is made up of any combination of five cards of the same suit – such as having five hearts. It completes the top five in the list of poker hand rankings, though, you’d feel pretty unlucky to lose with a flush.
How many distinct poker hands are there in a flush?
Because you only (we say only!) need to have any five cards of the same suit to make a flush, there 1,277 distinct hands in a flush. However, one there’s one thing to remember about a flush – that a nut flush (with an Ace) is the distinct hand you want to have.
What is the frequency of getting a flush?
Although it’s a great hand (often good enough to win you a game), the frequency of a flush runs into the thousands – 5,108.
What is the probability of getting a flush poker hand?
We mentioned above that there are a huge number of combinations that allow you to make a flush. This means the probability of you getting one is pretty good, right? Wrong. It’s just 0.1965%.
What are the odds against me getting a flush in poker?
You’re not very likely to get a flush when playing poker. Why? Because the odds against it happening are 508-1
Straight: Poker hand ranking – No.6
A straight is a very strong hand in poker because its uses five cards to make a hand. These are five cards in ascending order, such as from 5 to 9, but are not all of the same suit.
How many distinct poker hands are there in a straight?
Because a straight is based on you getting five cards in ascending order, there are only a limited number of hands in a straight – specifically, ten.
What is the frequency of getting a straight?
You'll be pleased to know that there’s a frequency of 10,200 for the sixth strongest hand in the overall poker hand ranking list.
What is the probability of getting a straight poker hand?
While the frequency of getting a straight is more than 10,000, the probability is just 0.392
What are the odds against me getting a straight in poker?
While odds of 254-1 won’t get you too excited about the chances of getting a straight, you’re more likely to get one than Ben Curtis was to win the 2003 Open Championship – and Ben did alright.
Three Of A Kind: Poker hand ranking – No.7
Speaking from experience, three of a kind is the hand we find pays off the most in poker – it crops up more than you’d expect and it puts you in a very strong position. And what is it? Three of the same cards.
How many distinct poker hands are there in a three of a kind?
Also known as a set (if your starting hand is a pair) or trips (if two of your three cards come from the board), there’s a sizeable 858 distinct poker hands in a three of a kind.
What is the frequency of getting a three of a kind?
There’s a greater frequency of getting a three of a kind hand (54,912) than there are seats in Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium (54,074).
What is the probability of getting a three of a kind poker hand?
We like the probability of getting a set or trips when playing poker. Why? Because it’s 2.1128%.
What are the odds against me getting a three of a kind in poker?
Odds of 46.3-1 might not seem that great, but it gives you a pretty respectable chance of getting three of a kind when you’re at the poker table.
Two Pair: Poker hand ranking – No.8
Two pair is an extremely straightforward hand to understand – it’s any occasion where you make two pairs, such as two kings and two aces.
How many distinct poker hands are there in a two pair?
With 858 distinct poker hands for a two pair, the chances of you making a hand that’s often good enough to win is pretty good.
What is the frequency of getting a two pair?
Two pair is where the frequency of making a hand really starts to see an increase in the numbers – it has a frequency of 54,912.
What is the probability of getting a two pair poker hand?
You’d be surprised how quickly you can burn through hands in poker, you could sit through 100 of them in less than two hours. If you do, you can expect to get a two pair five times – as such, the probability of getting a two pair hand is 4.7539%.
What are the odds against me getting a two pair in poker?
We won’t make any comment on your betting habits, but we think that odds of 21-1 are pretty respectable. And do you know what, 21-1 is the odds you get for a two pair in poker.
One Pair: Poker hand ranking – No.9
One pair is one of only two examples in the poker hand ranking list that you can make pre-flop. Ideally, you’d like a pair of aces (aka the rockets), because believe us, this will very often be more than enough to win the pot – especially if you can get it all in pre-flop.
How many distinct poker hands are there in a one pair?
While there are only thirteen different types of cards in poker (from ace to king), there are 2,860 distinct hands that will make you a one pair.
What is the frequency of getting a one pair?
The frequency of you getting a one pair hand in poker is huge – 1,098,240, to be precise.
What is the probability of getting a one pair poker hand?
You’ve got a really high chance of making a one pair when you either play poker in a brilliant online casino or an excellent land casino – at 42.2569%, you’ll make a one pair almost every other game.
What are the odds against me getting a one pair in poker?
With a near 50/50 chance of scoring a one pair hand, you’d think the odds of it happening are pretty good? You bet they are! Your odds are 1.37-1.
High Card: Poker hand ranking – No.10
A high card in poker is what is sounds like – it’s an occasion where your strength comes from the highest card you have in your hand. While ace is the best high card you can have, it’s no shock to learn that this is rarely good enough for you to win – although, sometimes it will be.
How many distinct poker hands are there in a high card?
We’ll keep it simple – there are 1,277 distinct high card hands in poker.
What is the frequency of getting a high card?
As you’d expect, the frequency of achieving a high card in poker is higher than all of the other hand possibilities – it’s 1,302,540.
What is the probability of getting a high card poker hand?
You’ve got a 50.1177% chance of finding yourself in a position where high card is your best hand. Unfortunately, your chances of that being good enough for you to win the hand are a lot worse than 50%.
What are the odds against me getting a high card in poker?
While you’ll like the odds of getting a high card in poker (they’re a ridiculous 0.995-1), you won’t be very happy if that’s the best you get – particularly if you started with ace-king and end up losing to a pair of 2s (especially if that pair was made from the board!).
Where can I play online poker?
Once you've got the poker hand rankings nailed, as that's left for you to do is test your skills. Online poker is a great way of mastering your gameplay and these are some of the best sites for playing it:
As Mike Sexton once said, “poker takes five minutes to learn and a lifetime to master.” One of the reasons for this is that there are just ten different hands that you need to learn, but an almost endless number of ways to play them. Now that you know what they are and the chances of getting them, all that’s left is for you to put your knowledge into practice.