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Poker Hands Rankings: Know Which Hands Prevail Over Others

By August 2, 2023August 25th, 2023No Comments

Have you ever found yourself in a strange situation where your poker hand seemed strong, but your opponent placed higher bets? If this has happened to you, don’t worry. It’s important to grasp the ranking of poker hands to make sense of these situations. Whether you’re an experienced player or a beginner, understanding hand rankings is the key to comprehending the game. It’s the most essential step you can take to enhance your poker game knowledge and skills.

Why did my 4-4-4-T-T lose to my opponent’s 7-7-7-8-8?

The question of why a seemingly weaker hand succumbed to another is a common puzzle among poker players. The answer lies in comprehending the ranking of poker hands, a fundamental aspect that separates novices from skilled players. Whether you’re engaged in a live poker match at your local casino, hosting a thrilling game night, or diving into the realm of online poker, having a solid grasp of hand rankings is indispensable.

Poker Hands Rankings: Deciphering the Poker Hierarchy

Poker is a multi-layered game that combines strategy, psychology, and a hint of luck. But at its core, it’s a showdown of hands, where the mightier hand prevails. One must understand which hands reign supreme to successfully maneuver through this intricate terrain. Join us on an exploration through the world of poker hands, ranging from the majestic to the modest:

Royal Flush

A, K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit

The epitome of poker excellence

Straight Flush

Five consecutive cards of the same suit

For instance, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of Spades

Four of a Kind

Four cards of the same rank

Example: Four Jacks and a 7

Full House

Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank

Example: Three Queens and two 5s


Five cards of the same suit, not in sequence

Example: Any five diamonds


Five consecutive cards of any suit

Example: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 of mixed suits

Three of a Kind

Three cards of the same rank

Example: Three 7s and two other cards

Two Pair

Two sets of two cards of the same rank

Example: Two Queens and two 10s

One Pair

Two cards of the same rank

Example: A pair of Kings

High Card

The highest card in your hand, with Ace being the highest and Two being the lowest.

Understanding the Dynamics of Winning Poker Hands

Creating a formidable hand in poker is akin to crafting a masterpiece. Some hands are like rare gems, while others are more commonplace. A Royal Flush is the unicorn of poker, appearing only on rare occasions, while a High Card is the simplest of hands. Fathoming these hands is vital for optimizing your poker journey.

However, it’s important to note that a hand’s value isn’t etched in stone. The context can alter a hand’s significance. When confronted with specific community cards or an opponent’s strategic moves, a seemingly potent hand might lose its edge. Conversely, a seemingly humble hand can surge in value under the right circumstances.

Poker Hands Probability: The Game of Numbers

Poker operates within the realm of probabilities. Some players could go their entire lives without catching a glimpse of the elusive Royal Flush. The likelihood of obtaining certain hands from a standard 52-card deck is intriguingly low. To compute the probability of specific hands, divide the possible combinations for that hand by the total number of poker hands. But easier said than done, it’s definitely an extremely complex calculation. Jeff Duda wrote an entire paper on this; if numbers are your thing, do check this paper.

Absolute Value vs. Relative Value of Poker Hands

While the hierarchy of hand rankings remains constant, their value can fluctuate in poker. Your strategy must adapt to scenarios where a strong hand loses its potency or a seemingly weak hand gains unexpected value due to the evolving nature of the game.

Two Scenarios to Illuminate Rankings

Scenario 1: Full House vs Flush

Player A: 6♠ 6♦ 6♣ 9♣ 9♦ (Full House – Three of a Kind with a Pair)

Player B: 2♣ 4♣ 7♣ 9♣ K♣ (Flush – Five cards of the same suit)

In this scenario, Player A’s Full House (three sixes and two nines) trumps Player B’s Flush (five clubs). The Full House prevails as the stronger hand.

Scenario 2: Straight vs Two Pair

Player A: 7♠ 8♦ 9♣ 10♠ J♣ (Straight – Five consecutive cards)

Player B: Q♦ Q♠ K♦ K♠ 7♣ (Two Pair – Two sets of pairs)

Player A’s Straight (7 to Jack) surpasses Player B’s Two Pair (Queens and Kings). The Straight emerges victorious.


As you sit at the poker table, armed with the awareness of how hands are ranked, you’ll find yourself making more informed decisions. From the thrill of a Royal Flush to the calculated moves of a Full House, each hand has its place in the grand mosaic of poker. With every round you play, you’ll embody the essence of the poker game itself—skill, strategy, and the pursuit of victory. To elevate your poker game experience and play your best hand, get in touch with Toronto Poker Syndicate.