Poker Hand Rankings
Poker is rather popular because it requires players to use skills and not rely on luck. Other casino games have a major luck factor in their gameplay, but that is not the case here.
Throughout the years, many poker game variants surfaced and that expansion sky-rocketed with the rise of online casinos. Since it requires you to have specific knowledge and master a few skills, poker is a variant that is a bit harder to understand.
However, we at BestPoker.com aim to provide you with as much help as we can, which is why we are more than happy to dissect this game. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this game, explain the winning poker hands, their probabilities, what are the best starting hands and more.
Let’s start breaking down the details.
Poker Hands Ranked
Before you start playing real money online poker, you must get familiar with the list of poker hands that will allow you to win. That’s what we are going to start with. Below, we’ve listed and explained hand rankings by strength.
The lowest winning poker hand is the high card. This is a deciding winning hand when no player on the table has a good hand. In other words, no combinations are formed with your hand and the community cards. The most valuable high card is the Ace.
If multiple players have an Ace, then the winner is decided based on the rest of the cards. The one that has the highest second card wins the round.
Next up, we have one pair. As the name itself suggests, this winning hand occurs when a card in your hand is identical to one of the community cards. One pair can be A-A, K-K, 7-7, etc. If multiple players have one pair, then the winner is the one whose pair is with the cards of the highest value.
Poker card games also feature two pairs. This is a level-up from the one pair winning hand. Just like the previous, it occurs when you have 2 by 2 identical cards.
Interestingly enough, two pairs are formed by either your hand and the community cards, but they can also be formed if your hand is identical to one card of the community section, while the community section has two additional cards of the same value.
Three of a Kind
Unlike one and two pairs, the three of a kind winning poker hand requires you to have three cards of the same rank. Keep in mind that these cards do not have to be of the same suit. Some examples of a three of a kind hand are Q-Q-Q, 2-2-2, 7-7-7, etc.
With the straight winning hand, we climb a level in the poker hand ranking. Since it is not as common as the previous ones, it has its weight. In games such as Texas Hold’em Poker, a straight winning hand is formed when you land 5 cards in consecutive value.
An example of this winning hand is 1-2-3-4-5 or 4-5-6-7-8. One thing worth noting here is that these cards do not have to be of the same suit.
A flush is the opposite of a straight and its level is pretty high in the hand rankings by strength. This winning poker hand is formed when you trigger 5 cards of the same suit, but not by rank.
For example, you can land 3, 6, 8, J and Q. As you can see, they are not consecutive, but if their suit is the same, then you will trigger this poker hand. The suit can be:
A full house is among the strongest winning hands in games such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha and is one of the rare combinations that can beat a flush.
This winning hand is a combination of three of a kind and one pair. For example, if the combination of your cards and the community cards is 7-7-7 and Q-Q, then you have won a full house poker hand.
Four of a Kind
Next up on the poker hands ranking list, we have four of a kind. This is a major upgrade as it requires you to have 4 cards of the identical suit. As you can see, the math here is the same with three of a kind. The only difference is that here, you need one additional extra card of the same suit.
A straight flush is the second most powerful win for poker players. A straight flush is a combination of straight and flush. In other words, to trigger this win, you need 5 consecutive cards of the same suit.
These cards can be 3-4-5-6-7 in Spades, 2-3-4-5-6 in Diamond, etc. Its strength is massive, which is why this hand wins in most cases.
The only winning hand that can overpower a straight flush is Royal Flush, also known as Broadway Straight. This is the best out of all Texas Holdem poker hands in order. Not only do you need 5 consecutive cards in the same suit to win trigger this win, but these 5 cards are not just any cards. They must be 10-J-Q-K-A, which are known as Royals.
Poker Hand Probabilities
Now that you are familiar with the order of poker hands, it is important to share how likely you are to trigger these winning hands. When you learn all about the poker rules for beginners it is worth knowing what are your chances of winning with a certain hand.
That way, you’ll know whether you should fold or continue playing a game. Consider the poker hands probability as poker tips that are quite handy during games. So, let’s check the probabilities from best to worst.
- High Card – 50.1%
- One Pair – 42.3%
- Two Pairs – 4.8%
- Three of a Kind – 2.1%
- Straight – 0.4%
- Flush – 0.2%
- Full House – 0.14%
- Four of a Kind – 0.024%
- Straight Flush – 0.001%
- Royal Flush – 0.0002%
In terms of the most common odds in a poker game, they are the odds of being dealt with hole cards and the odds of flopping a made hand.
The list above shows that even though Royal Flushes are the most powerful winning combinations, they are the worst poker hands in terms of the frequency of landing. One and two-pair card combinations drop commonly.
It is worth noting that the probabilities of the types of hands in poker were calculated not by a random poker hand calculator, but based on the outcomes of 2,598,960 5-card hands that can be dealt with in this game.
Good poker hands will bring you a win, but you will likely have a hard time landing them.
Best Poker Starting Hands
Knowing the cheat sheets in poker is not enough. If you wish to better your poker skills, you also need to know which hands are the best starting hands. The highest card is not always a good starting one.
First off, having cards is by far the best way to start a game, especially if the cards are Royals. Why? Because you are already starting with a winning combination (one pair). Combinations of Royals, especially in the same suit are also very good. They can lead to either Flush or Royal Flush Wins. Some of the best combinations here are:
- A-K (same suit)
- A-Q (same suit)
Next up, if you have any combination of the same suit, it is a good starting hand. This leads to a potential flush win, which is a rather strong hand, according to the poker hands cheat sheet.
Best Poker Hands to Play
Whenever you play cash games, knowing which is the best combination to play with can make a difference. In poker, if you happen to have Wild cards, they can make a lot of difference. Other than that, some of the best hands to play with are:
- Pocket Royals (A-A, K-K, Q-Q, J-J, 10-10)
- Pocket 9s
- A-K (same or different suit)
- Same suit lower-value cards
What Hands to Fold in Poker
Regardless of the poker software, there are certain hands in poker that you need to fold. Their chances of winning are low and it’s much better not to take the risks. So, here are some hands that are worth throwing away:
- All cards with a 2, except a pair of 2s or A-2
- When you have a card lower than 7
- Any hand that contains 7 or 8, except for pairs of 7s or 8s
If you are wondering why you should fold these hands, the answer is that any card with a value lower than 7 has a low chance of winning because these cards are considered “weak.” They have no power over higher-value cards and in a situation of identical hands when a high card can decide the winner, they do not hold any weight.
Frequently asked questions
What are poker hands?
A poker hand is a poker slang used to describe the winning combinations in the said game. Since there’s a hierarchy of poker hands, some combinations are better than others.
What are the winning hands in poker?
Without listing the winning hands by rank, you can come up victorious in poker by having one or two pairs, straight flush, 3 of a kind, royal flush, straight, 4 of a kind, full house and flush. If you don’t have a winning combination, then the winner is decided by the highest card.
How to remember poker hands?
The best way to remember the poker hands and learn what hands beat what in poker, is to study the poker cheat sheet.
How are online poker hands generated?
In standard poker, all of the top poker hands are generated by a Random Number Generator, This is an AI tool that is in charge of creating random outcomes and thus, gives all players equal chances of winning.
What is 4-hand poker called?
A 4-hand poker is called four of a kind. It occurs when your hand, combined with the community section has 4 cards of the same value.
What’s the luckiest hand in poker?
According to the poker hands calculator, the luckiest winning hand in poker is the royal flush. Its probability of landing is 0.0002%. As for the luckiest hand that you can have, statistics show that it’s the black A-A hand.