Poker Hands: Values, Hierarchy, And Rankings

Online poker is one of the most popular games in online casinos and its worldwide popularity is unbeatable. However, when played for real money, poker is more difficult than online pokies or keno as there are several rules to memorise. Other aspects that many beginners find scary are the different poker variations that exist and the types of poker hands since they have slightly different orders and values for some games.

The key point of any poker game is to learn the hands and understand the beating hierarchy.  Top variations such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha, or Seven Card Stud, use the Traditional High Poker rankings. However, some other variations such as Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, and Stud Hi/Lo use the so-called Ace to Five low hand rankings for low hands. The third category, including less-popular variations such as 2-7 Single Draw and 2-7 Triple Draw, uses the Deuce to Seven (Kansas City) lowball rankings for low hands.

Traditional High Poker Hands

These traditional poker hands are is used in massively popular variations such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha poker, or poker-based casino games. The values of cards are based on the hierarchy, so it is always clear which hand beats other hands. Knowing and memorising these combinations is an essential step for everyone who wants to play poker and win.

Straight Flush

Straight Flush

A combination of any five cards in numerical order, all of the identical suit.

If there is a tie, then the highest rank at the top of the sequence wins. The straight flush not necessary should be made of numerical cards.

The best possible straight flush is known as a Royal Flush made of an ace, king, queen, jack, and ten of the same suit. A royal flush is considered the most powerful hand.

Four of a Kind

Four of A Kind

Four cards of the same rank and one additional card is known as a Kicker.

If there is a tie, the highest four of a kind win. When the variation with community cards is played and two players have identical four of a kind hands, the winner is determined by the kicker side card.

Full House

Full House

Three cards of the same rank and two cards of different but matching ranks.

If there is a tie, the three highest matching cards are considered the winner. When the variation with community cards is played and two players get the same hands, the highest value of the two matching cards get the pot.

Flush

Flush

Five cards of the same suit.

If there is a tie, the hand with the highest ranked card of the same suit wins the pot. In case two players have an identical flush, the pot is divided into two.

Straight

Straight

Five cards in ranking order, but not of the same suit.

If there is a tie, the highest ranked card at the top of the sequence determines the winner. Usually, a straight is made out of numerical cards, but sometimes aces could also be included – it depends on the prior agreement of players. Aces can be counted as the lowest or as the highest ranked card.

Three of a Kind

Three of A Kind

Three cards of the same rank and two unrelated side cards.

If there is a tie, the winner is determined by the three highest-ranked cards. When the variation with community cards is played and two players get the same three high ranked cards, the winner is determined by the two side cards.

Two Pair

Two Pair

Two cards of a matching rank, two cards of a different matching rank, and one side card.

If there is a tie, the winner is determined by the highest ranked pair. If two players have the exact same pair, then the second highest-ranked pair wins the pot. If the second highest pairs are also the same, then the highest side card decides the game.

One Pair

One Pair

Two cards of a matching rank and three random side cards.

If there is a tie, the highest pair wins. In case that two players have the same ranked pair, then the highest value of any side card determines the winner.

High Card

High Card

Any hand that does not qualify under the category listed above.

If there is a tie, the hand with the highest individual value of any card wins. The smallest card can be used to break the tie.

Deuce to Seven

Deuces Wild is a popular variation of draw poker. The most significant differences to traditional poker are the following: all kinds of twos are called the ‘wild’ cards; sometimes Jokers are also included as a wild card; the wild cards aren’t lowering the total value of a hand.

The Deuce to Seven Lowball hand rankings are the exact opposite of the traditional ‘high’ hand rankings. Therefore, the worst possible hand in traditional high poker (seven-five high, with different suits), becomes the best possible hand in deuce to seven lowball (a ‘perfect seven’ low or ‘wheel’). Also, aces always play as a high card.

However, there are no qualifier cards or hands for low in Deuce to Seven poker variations. Here’s an example, if a player somehow gets lower cards, then such a hand is considered a winning one.

Seven Low

Seven Low

A hand with seven and four other unpaired cards with a value lower than 7.
light If there is a tie,, the second lowest card is considered as winner. Thus, 7-5-4-3-2 beats 7-6-5-3-2 (a ‘Seven-Five low’ is better than a ‘Seven-Six low’).
Eight Low

Eight Low

A hand with eight and four other unpaired cards with the value lower than 8.
light If there is a tie,, the second lowest card wins the pot. When players have the same second lowest cards, then the value of other cards is considered to break the tie.
Nine Low

Nine Low

A hand with nine and four other unpaired cards with the value lower than 9.
light If there is a tie,, the second lowest card wins the pot. When players have the same second lowest cards, then the value of other cards is considered to break the tie.
Ten Low

Ten Low

A hand with ten and four other unpaired cards with the value lower than 10.
light If there is a tie,, the second lowest card wins the pot. When players have the same second lowest cards, then the value of other cards is considered to break the tie.

Guidelines For Playing Traditional Hands: What Beats What In Poker

Poker is considered more as a game of skills than a game of luck, as a result, a key point of winning is to learn rules and memorise hands.

Honestly, it’s not enough to just remember the hands because the scheme of what combination can beat other combinations is quite tricky. Whether you will play real or online poker, the first step towards learning how to play this card game is to learn the poker hand rankings. The most common poker variations are based on the traditional poker hands, so once you’ll learn the hierarchy, you are off to play in different online casinos and try different poker games.

Hand rankings in poker correspond to the likelihood of making such hands.

  • A royal flush is a rare hand and it’s difficult to form, so there is no doubt that it beats the hands made of more common combinations.
  • A regular straight flush with any five consecutive cards of the same suit is a little less rare, four of a kind occurs slightly more frequently, and so on.
  • A full house hand is always ranked higher than a flush. That’s because this hand comes just a little less frequently than a flush.

However, poker is also a game of luck. That means you can win even if you have a bad hand. The way to stay in a game for a longer time is bluffing while making your opponent fold before the river. Bluffing strategies are extremely important for the variations with community cards.

Odds of Poker Hands

As always in betting – the highest odds are given for the least possible outcomes, that’s why really big winnings are quite a rare thing.

Basically, there are 52 cards in a poker game and 2,598,960 possible combinations, so the calculation is easy. The number of possibilities to build a specific poker hand is divided by the number of total poker hands – so the odds are not a secret.

Poker Hands

No. of Ways

Probability

Royal Flush

4

0.000154%

Straight Flush

36

0.00139%

4-of-a-Kind

624

0.0240%

Full House

3,744

0.1441%

Flush

5,108

0.1965%

Straight

10,200

0.3925%

3-of-a-Kind

54,912

2.1128%

Two Pair

123,552

4.7539%

One Pair

1,098,240

42.2569%

High Card

1,302, 540

50.1177%

Relative Value And Absolute Value

Although the hierarchy of traditional poker hands is fixed and can’t be changed, the actual value of a hand varies according to the game flow. The correlation between game and dealt can be perceived in two ways: absolute value (traditional value of poker hands) or a relative value (the value of the hand in particular moment of the game). Under some circumstances, the absolute value of your hand may not be great but its relative value may be.

For example, you have two pairs that are considered a good and valuable hand itself. However, if your opponent has a flush, the value of your two pairs decreases.

Four Suits

Poker Hands Glossary

Community cards
Cards placed face-up on the poker table and shared by all players.
Flop
The first three community cards dealt face-up in certain poker games.
River
The fifth and final community card dealt in certain poker games.
Turn
The fourth community card dealt in certain poker games.
Hole cards
The private cards dealt face-down to each player in a game of poker.
Showdown
The final phase of a poker hand where players reveal their cards to determine the winner.
Pot
The total amount of money or chips wagered by players in a poker hand.
Pot odds
The ratio of the current bet to the potential winnings from the pot, used to make informed betting decisions.
Hand strength
The relative value or potential of a player's hand based on the combination of cards.
Raise
Increasing the current bet by adding more chips to the pot.
Ante
A small mandatory bet that all players must contribute before each hand.
Betting rounds
The phases in a poker hand where players can bet, check, raise, or fold.
All in
Betting all of one's chips or money in a single bet.
Call
Matching the current bet to stay in the hand.
Blinds
Mandatory bets placed by players before the cards are dealt, typically the small blind and big blind.
Position
A player's location at the poker table relative to the dealer, influencing the order of betting.
Positional Awareness
The ability to make strategic decisions based on one's position at the poker table.
Check
Declining to bet while retaining the right to call or raise later in the betting round.
Fold
Discarding one's hand and forfeiting any further participation in the current hand.
Tells
Subtle physical or behavioural cues that may reveal information about a player's hand or intentions.

Faqs

Jamie Bungaree avatar
Jamie Bungaree
Head of Casino Games

Hi, I’m Jamie, the Head of Casino Games at CasinoAus. For over eight years, I’ve been exploring the exciting universe of iGaming, from pokies to table games. My experience isn’t just about playing; it’s about understanding the mechanics and delivering quality content. My background in journalism equips me to provide you with insights that go beyond the surface. I’m here to make sure you have an engaging and informative experience.

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