If you want to know what beats what in poker, read on to learn about the poker hand rankings from strongest to weakest:
1. Royal Flush
The Royal Flush is the highest-ranking hand in poker. It consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit, from 10 to Ace.
2. Straight Flush
Any five consecutive cards of the same suit that are not a Royal Flush form a Straight Flush.
3. Four of a Kind
Four of a Kind, also known as quads, consists of four cards of the same rank and one additional card of another rank, for example, 9♣ 9♠ 9♦ 9♥ J♥ (“quad nines”). This poker hand ranks below a Straight Flush and above a Full House.
4. Full House
A Full House is a combination of three cards of the same rank in one suit (three of a kind) and a pair of cards of the same rank in another suit. When multiple players have a full house, the winning hand is determined by the higher or highest three of a kind.
A Flush consists of any five cards of the same suit in no particular order. When two players have a flush, the hand with the highest-ranking card wins.
A Straight is formed by five consecutive cards of different suits. The Ace can be high (above a King) or low (below a 2), but it cannot wrap around in the same hand.
7. Three of a Kind
Three of a Kind is a poker hand that contains three cards of the same rank and two cards of different ranks. The remaining two highest cards complete the hand.
8. Two Pairs
Two Pair consists of two sets of two cards of the same rank and one additional card. The highest-ranking fifth card determines the winning hand.
9. One Pair
One Pair is formed by two cards of the same rank and three cards of different ranks. The remaining three highest cards make up the hand.
10. High Card
High Card is the lowest-ranking hand of all. It is determined by the highest single card in the hand.
Poker Hand Rankings: Hi, Lo, and Hi-Lo Games
It’s important to note that not all poker games determine the best hand based on the highest-ranked combination in the poker hand rankings. In most types of poker games, the best hand is determined in one of three ways:
Hi or High-Hand Poker
The simplest use of rankings is in Hi games, where the best hand is determined by the highest-ranked hand on the table as shown in the above table.
Lo, Low Hand, or Lowball Poker
In Lowball poker, the hand rankings are reversed so that the lowest-ranking hand becomes the best possible hand. The variations of Low Hand poker can differ based on whether the Ace is considered high or low and whether straights and flushes are counted.
Hi-Lo or High-Low Split Poker
The third method of hand ranking is used in high-low split games, where the pot is divided between the player with the highest-ranking hand and the player with the lowest-ranking hand.