Poker Hands Rankings From Strongest to Weakest

When considering the best hands in poker it is important to determine what exactly is meant by the best hand. Essentially the best hand in each specific game is the one that wins the pot - even if it's a humble pair of deuces. The best starting cards are AA, but as the outcome of a poker game is based on a total of five cards it doesn't always guarantee a win. What most beginners want to know however, is the hand rankings from the strongest to the weakest.

Best Hands in Poker Ranked

Royal Flush This is a rare and beautiful hand to behold and consists of A K Q J and 10 all of the same suit..

Straight Flush Any other sequence of cards of the same suit, for example the 6 7 8 9 10 of hearts. If two players have a Straight Flush, the player with the highest card wins.

Four of a Kind This hand made up of four of the same cards such as four Queens.

Full House Three of one card and two of another for instance 3 Jacks and 2 fives. If there are two houses on the table, the player with the higher 3 cards takes the pot.

Lower Poker Rankings

Flush Any sequence of cards in the same suit, such as 2 5 9 J K of spades. As with the Straight Flush if two players makes a Flush, the one with the highest card wins.

Straight Also known as a Run, this consists of series of cards in sequence with mixed suits such as 2c 4h 8c 10d Kd. In the situation of several players having a straight, the hand with the highest card wins the chips.

Three of a Kind Three cards of the same value for example 3 Aces.

Two Pair Two sets of cards of the same value such as a pair of fives and a pair of tens.

One Pair Two card of the same value such as a pair of Aces.

High Card This is when no one in the game has any of the hands listed so the person with the highest card wins. High cards, or kickers are important if two or more player hold the same hand as outlined in the examples above.

The Best Poker Starting Hands

In Texan Hold'em the best winning hands in poker to be dealt are a pair of Aces followed by KK, QQ, JJ, two tens or a pair of nines. Suited high cards such AK, AQ and AJ also feature strongly in the best hole cards list. Many poker sites provide downloadable cheat sheets and graphs which outline the probability of winning a hand based on your starting cards. These can be studied and memorized but it's important to remember that the final outcome of the game will be determined by a variety of other factors such as the flop/turn/river, your seat position, your opponents' style of play - not to mention poker variance also known as sheer luck.