Know your poker

Ranked Poker Hands

Detailed list of Texas Hold ‘Em poker hands ranked, with printable cheat sheets and equity charts

With a game as intricate as poker, players need to know cards are dealt and which hands are suitable. Poker is both a game of luck and strategy. In order to take your game to the next level, you must know the hands and their rankings. By reading this in-depth guide, you will be one step ahead of your opponents.

Poker Hand Rankings Chart

RankHandExample
1Royal FlushA♠ K♠ Q♠ J♠ 10♠
2Straight Flush9♥ 8♥ 7♥ 6♥ 5♥
3Four of a KindJ♣ J♦ J♥ J♠ 5♣
4Full House10♦ 10♠ 10♣ 6♥ 6♠
5FlushA♥ J♥ 8♥ 5♥ 2♥
6Straight8♣ 7♠ 6♦ 5♥ 4♥
7Three of a Kind7♦ 7♥ 7♠ K♣ 2♦
8Two PairQ♣ Q♠ 9♥ 9♦ 4♣
9One Pair10♥ 10♣ A♠ 8♦ 4♠
10High CardA♠ J♦ 9♣ 7♥ 4♦
 

Order of Poker Hands

The hand rank chart on the left side shows the different hand categories in order to strength from stronger to weakest. You will need to remember this list in order to have the ability to see how strong your hand is during the gameplay.

 

 

Having knowledge of this list is going to be vital to determining the true strength of the hand you have in relation to the hands of your opponents. 

 

Basically, if you have a straight flush and your opponent has a four of a kind, you won. 

 

When it comes to the hand rank on poker a straight flush is higher up in the order than a four of a kind.

*A Royal Flush is the strongest possible hand in poker, consisting of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suit.

*The smallest straight in poker is the Ace-to-Five straight (A-2-3-4-5), also known as the “Wheel” or “Bicycle.”
*In poker, a “one-outer” refers to a situation where a player has only one card left in the deck that can help them win the hand, making it a highly unlikely outcome.

*In poker, a “one-outer” refers to a situation where a player has only one card left in the deck that can help them win the hand, making it a highly unlikely outcome.

Detailed Explanation of Poker Hands

Four of a Kind: A Powerhouse Hand

Four of a kind, which is also known as quads, is a hand that consists of four cards of the same rank and one card of a different rank (known as the “kicker”). For example, J♣ J♦ J♥ J♠ 5♣ is a four-of-a-kind hand, which consists of four jacks and a five as the kicker. This is an extremely strong hand that will often win you the pot, especially if the four cards are of a high rank. 

Getting dealt four of a kind is about 1 in 4,165, making it more frequent than a straight flush but still quite unlikely.

Real-World Example

A memorable hand from the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event showed professional poker player Raymond Rahme draw four queens, which defeated the full house of his opponent. This major hand helped Rahme take 3rd place during the tournament, which gave him $3,048,025 reward.

Full House: Three of a Kind and a Pair

In poker, a full house is a hand consisting of three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. For example, 10♦ 10♠ 10♣ 6♥ 6♠ would be a full house, tens full of sixes. The hand, also known as a “boat,” is a strong drawing hand that can often win the pot. This is especially true if the three of a kind is ranked highly.

 

The probability of being dealt a full house is approximately 1 in 694, making it a relatively common hand compared to the higher-ranking hands.

Interesting Story

Amateur player Chris Moneymaker made a famously successful bluff in the Main Event of the 2003 World Series of Poker when he raised professional poker player Sammy Farha all-in with a full house, three 9s and two 6s. This daring move helped Moneymaker win the tournament and ignited a poker boom, as it proved that even amateur players could prevail over seasoned professionals.

Flush: Five Cards of the Same Suit

In poker, a flush is a hand that contains five cards of the same suit, not in a sequence. For example, A♥ J♥ 8♥ 5♥ 2♥ is an Ace-high flush. A flush is ranked sixth in modern poker and is the weakest hand that you shouldn’t fold, more specifically, the sixth-weakest poker hand you shouldn’t fold. A flush ranks directly above a straight and below a full house. When comparing two flushes, the highest card determines which is higher. If the highest card is the same, the second highest card determines which is higher and so on.

 

The probability of being dealt a flush is approximately 1 in 509, making it a relatively common hand in poker.

Real-World Example

At the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event, poker pro Dario Sammartino made a multi-million dollar flush, ace-high, against an opponent’s two pair. This hand helped propel Sammartino to second place and a payout of $6 million.

Straight: Five Consecutive Cards

A straight is a five-card hand that contains five cards of any suit in sequential rank. For example, a seven, eight, nine, ten, and jack of hearts form a straight. The rank of a straight is determined by its highest ranking card. For example, a straight containing a ten, jack, queen, king and ace; a king, queen, jack, ten and nine; and an five, four, three, two, and ace respectively. Two straights with the same rank tie-splits the pot. 

 

The probability of being dealt a straight is approximately 1 in 255, making it a relatively common hand in poker.

Interesting Fact

In 2010, Phil Ivey, a pro poker player, got involved in a high-stakes cash game and took down a huge pot with a 10-high straight versus his opponent’s two pair. 

 
 

Three of a Kind: Three Cards of the Same Rank

A set is a hand that includes three cards of the same rank and two unrelated cards. This is a very strong hand. For example, three jacks is a set. The higher the rank of the three matching cards, the better the hand is. Therefore three jacks is a better hand than three sevens. When comparing two sets, the rank of the set of three cards determines which is higher.

A three of a kind hand is considered common in poker as the chances of getting one are approximately 1 in 47.

Real-World Example

Professional poker player Greg Raymer became champion of the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event when his three kings hand beat an opponent’s pair of 8s. This win put him in the winner’s bracket for the $5,000,000 first-place prize.

Two Pair: Two Sets of Two Cards of the Same Rank

Two Pair means that a poker player has two sets of two cards of the same rank. You might hold 10-10 on a board of 10-7-5-4. In this situation you have Two Pair, tens and fives. A common additional condition is that the pairs must be made out of different rank cards. Thus, the hand containing 10-10-5-5-4 is better than the hand containing 10-10-3-3-2. As always, suits have no bearing on whether a hand is considered good or bad. You simply count the number of sets of two matching cards. Again, this assumes that the counting methodologies in question are equal iv. and that the whole hand of five cards is visible.

 

The probability of being dealt two pair is approximately 1 in 21, making it a very common hand in poker.

Interesting Story

In a famous hand during the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event, professional poker player Jamie Gold overcame his opponent’s two pair, kings and 7s, with two pair, queens and 9s. This hand was instrumental in helping Gold win the tournament and take the $12,000,000 first-place prize, which still stands as the biggest single payday in WSOP Main Event history.

One Pair: Two Cards of the Same Rank

One pair is a hand that contains two cards of the same rank and three unrelated cards. For example, 10♥ 10♣ A♠ 8♦ 4♠ is one pair, with two tens. This hand is stronger than a high card but weaker than two pair. When comparing two hands with one pair, the hand with the higher pair wins. If both hands have the same pair, the kickers are compared, starting with the highest.

 

The probability of being dealt one pair is approximately 1 in 2, making it the most common hand in poker.

Real-World Example

In the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event, amateur player Pius Heinz won a crucial hand with one pair, ace-high, against his opponent’s king-high. This hand helped Heinz go on to win the tournament, earning him the $8,715,638 first-place prize.

High Card: The Weakest Poker Hand

If a hand does not fit any of the groups above, its rank is determined by the highest card in the hand. This is A-K-Q-J-10 of a suit, the best hand possible in standard poker. When comparing hands with two pairs, the hand with the highest pair wins, irrespective of the rank of the other cards – so J-J-2-2-4 beats 10-10-9-9-8 because the jacks beat the tens. If the higher pairs are equal, the lower pairs are compared, so that for example 8-8-6-6-3 beats 8-8-5-5-K. Finally, if both pairs are the same, the kicker determines the winner – so 10-8-6-5-Q beats 10-8-6-5-4.

 

For example, A♠ J♦ 9♣ 7♥ 4♦ is a high card hand, with an ace as the highest card. When comparing two high card hands, the hand with the highest card wins. If the highest cards are the same, the second-highest card is compared, and so on.

 

Being dealt a high card hand is the most common hand in poker, tied with one pair, due to the fact that the probability is about 1 in 2.

Interesting Fact

During a cash game in 2008 where significant amounts of money were won on the player’s next hand, professional poker player Tom Dwan took down a large pot with ace-high, the low-high, against his adversary’s king-high hand. 

 

That hand put on display Dwan’s aggressive playing style, and his procliveness to bluff with poor cards.

 

2-7 (offsuit): The Words Hand

In Texas Hold ‘Em poker, the worst hand to start with is a 2-7 offsuit. This hand is quite easily proved as anything but optimal. 

The cards are void of any straight draw or flush draw, and the prospects of winding up with the best hand even if a pair is landed are especially unlikely.

 
 

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Texas Hold 'Em Poker Table Positions, Cheat Sheets and How-To

Understanding Poker Table Positions

At a poker table, the dealer position is a compulsory role often played by one of the participants. This position is responsible for distributing, gathering, and shuffling the cards among the players. Directly to the left of the dealer is the Small Blind (SB), who is required to make a smaller mandatory bet. To the left of the SB, the Big Blind (BB) is positioned, making a larger mandatory bet.

 

The next seat to the left is known as Under the Gun (UTG), where the player is the first to act in each betting round. Following UTG is the Hi-Jack, then the Cutoff (CO), and finally the remaining positions known collectively as the blinds.

Key Positions in a 6-Max Game

  • BB (Big Blind): Posts the larger of two required bets and acts last in the initial betting round but first in subsequent rounds.

  • SB (Small Blind): Places the smaller mandatory bet and acts before the BB initially but after in later rounds.

  • BTN (Button or Dealer): Known as the dealer, acting last in all betting rounds except pre-flop, making it the most advantageous position.

  • CO (Cutoff): Positioned right of the BTN, acting third-to-last before the flop and third thereafter.

  • MP (Middle Position): Located between CO and the early positions, typically one player in 6-max games.

  • UTG (Under the Gun): Acts first pre-flop and is considered challenging due to the need for strong hands.

 

Understanding these positions is critical for developing strategic advantages and making informed decisions.

Variations of Poker: Hi, Lo, and Hi-Lo Games

Poker features different versions based on the winning hand determination:

  1. High-hand (Hi) Poker: The highest-ranking hand wins, as seen in Texas Hold’em and Seven-Card Stud.

  2. Low-hand (Lo) Poker: Known as lowball, where the lowest-ranking hand wins. Razz is a popular example.

  3. High-Low Split (Hi-Lo) Poker: The pot is split between the highest and lowest hands, like in Omaha Hi-Lo. An “eight or better” is often required to qualify for the low portion.

Hand Rankings and Rules:

  • High-Hand Poker: Uses standard poker rankings with the royal flush at the top.

  • Low-Hand Poker: Rankings are inverted; the lowest hand (e.g., 5-4-3-2-A) is the highest. Aces may be high or low.

  • High-Low Split Poker: Both the highest and lowest ranked hands (based on the poker game rules) share the pot. If no low hand qualifies, the high hand wins it all.

Strategic Approaches to Poker

Game-Theory Optimal (GTO) Strategy:

  • Aims for unexploitability, focusing on mathematically optimal decisions irrespective of opponent tendencies. Ideal against strong, observant opponents.

 

Exploitative Strategy:

  • Adapts to and exploits opponents’ tendencies and errors. Most effective against predictable, weaker players.

Enhancing Strategy with Charts:

  • GTO Pre-flop Ranges for 6-max

  • Full Preflop Charts

  • Exploitative Post-flop Play

  • Chart of Opponent Tendencies and Counter Strategies

 

These tools are invaluable for players looking to enhance their decision-making skills at the poker table.

 

Poker Hand Odds and Probabilities

Recognizing the odds of being dealt particular hands or improving your hand on the flop, turn, or river is important for making educated decisions in poker. Here are a few crucial poker hand odds and probabilities:

 

– Probability of being dealt a specific hand:

  – Royal flush: 0.000154% (1 in 649,739)

  – Straight flush: 0.00139% (1 in 72,192)

  – Four of a kind: 0.0240% (1 in 4,164)

  – Full house: 0.1441% (1 in 693)

  – Flush: 0.1965% (1 in 508)

  – Straight: 0.3925% (1 in 254)

  – Three of a kind: 2.1128% (1 in 47)

  – Two pair: 4.7539% (1 in 21)

  – One pair: 42.2569% (1 in 2.36)

  – High card: 50.1177% (1 in 1.99)

 

– Probability of improving your hand on the flop, turn, or river:

  – Hitting a set (3 of a kind) with a pocket pair on the flop: 11.8%

  – Completing a flush draw by the river (9 outs): 35%

  – Completing an open-ended straight draw by the river (8 outs): 31.5%

  – Hitting an overcard to make a higher pair (6 outs): 24%

 

Knowing these odds and probabilities will help you make better assessments of your hand strength and potential improvement. This enables you to make better choices in betting, calling, or folding.

 

Royal Flush: The Ultimate Poker Hand

The ace, the king, the queen, the jack, and the ten of a single suit form the strongest possible poker hand, called a royal flush. No other hand is superior to a royal flush, an unbeatable combination that players spend their lives dreaming of being dealt. As anyone with a royal flush can tell you, there is no hesitation in your moves once you have been again dealt the best possible hand: you bet and you raise and you sit back, confident that no other hand on earth can defeat you.

Ranking
Hands are ranked in poker, and the royal flush sits atop all other hands. When two players hold a royal flush, however, the pot is split. The cards in poker are ranked, from highest to lowest: A, K, Q, J, 10. Rank of the flush, suit of highest card in the royal flush, suit of second-highest card, etc., all irrelevant. In poker, all the suits are considered equal.

Odds of Being Dealt a Royal Flush
The probability of being dealt a royal flush is 1 in 649,740 hands. A player with a royal flush will suddenly have a very good day- and a player who just lost to a royal flush? One imagines he will be outside, throwing rocks at the moon.

A Memorable Royal Flush
In the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event, professional poker player Justin Phillips was dealt a royal flush in spades. This is the single strongest hand possible in poker. In a pivotal hand, the 45th-place finisher won a $154,664 payout. Tablemates watched on, flabbergasted, calling over other players just to actually verify that what they were seeing was really happening.

Royal Flush Poker Hand

Poker Hand Strength and Strategy

Comprehending the order of poker hands is vital, but it’s just as important to evaluate it in relation to others and to consider where it fits into the overall winning strategy. As a general rule of thumb, less-tested hands are stronger than the hands that show up. Nonetheless, always measure the hand in terms of what the other guy can have as well as what the future cards might bring.

As an illustration, possibly a flush is an effective hand, yet it might be conquered by a full house or four of a kind. Akin, perchance two aces are a tremendously powerful set of cards at the start of a round. By contrast, if the cards laid out gonna line up with what you have, you could still be bettered by two kings.

Latest Poker Insights and Guides

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