If you’re a beginning poker player and want to learn not only
which hands beat which hands, but how to read the board and
possible hands while playing Texas holdem, you’ve found the best
page available to help.
- Hands Of Texas Holdem
- Five Card Texas Holdem
- 5 Card Texas Holdem Handset
- Texas Holdem Cards
- Texas Hold'em Hands Wiki
- List Of Texas Holdem Hands
- Printable Texas Hold'em Hands
While it’s important to understand how each hand ranks in
comparison to others hands it’s equally important to understand
how to read the board of community cards, how to read possible
draws, and how to read what hands your opponents may be holding.
Each of these subjects is covered below.
New players should make sure to read each section in order
below. But if you already know how to play poker and are
familiar with the rank of poker hands you can skip to the
sections following the hand rankings section. But it’s never a
bad idea to refresh your knowledge and it only takes a couple
minutes to read the extra sections.
Next in the poker hands list is a straight, consisting of a run of five cards of consecutive values, such as 4-5-6-7-8. Aces count as high or low, so you can make a 10-J-Q-K-A straight, the highest, or an A-2-3-4-5 straight, which is the lowest and sometimes called a “wheel”. There is then one more round of betting, and the best five-card hand wins. That hand may or may not contain the hole cards. Some starting two-card hands are more likely to work well with the other cards in the deck than others. Of all the possible starting hands you can be dealt in Texas Hold 'Em, the following five hands are the least welcome.
Texas Holdem Hand Rankings
The following list is ranked from highest five card hand to
lowest five card hand. Start reading from the top down and the
first hand you find that a player holds is the winning hand. See
how to break ties below the hand rankings.
Remember that you always make your best five card hand out of
the two hole cards and five community cards. You can use both of
your hole cards and three community cards, one hole card and
four community cards, or just the five community cards, but you
always use exactly five cards to make a hand.
- Royal Flush
A royal flush consists of an ace, king,
queen, jack, and ten of all the same suit. In other words,
an ace high straight that’s also a flush is a royal flush.
An example of a royal flush is the ace of clubs, king of
clubs, queen of clubs, jack of clubs, and ten of clubs.
- Straight Flush
A straight flush is a straight and a
flush that isn’t ace high. Straight flushes can be anywhere
from king high down to five high. Two examples of straight
flushes are king of spades, queen of spades, jack of spades,
ten of spades, and nine of spades or the five of hearts,
four of hearts, three of hearts, two of hearts, and ace of
hearts. In the case of the second example, the ace is
counted as a one, or the lowest card in the deck. So if a
straight using an ace as a one is in a tie the ace is always
used as a low card for tie purposes, not high.
- Four of a Kind
A four of a kind includes all four
cards of the same rank in the deck. The fifth card doesn’t
matter. An example of four of a kind is eight of spades,
eight of hearts, eight of clubs, and eight of diamonds.
- Full House
A full house consists of three of a kind
and two of a kind. An example of a full house is the jack of
clubs, jack of diamonds, jack of spades, seven of hearts,
and seven of spades.
A flush has all five cards the same suit. The
rank of the cards doesn’t matter as long as all five cards
are the same suit. Any five hearts is a flush or any five
A straight has five cards in sequential
order. The suits don’t matter in a straight.
- Three of a Kind
Three of a kind consists of three
cards of the same rank. Example of three of a kind hands
include a hand with three jacks or a hand with three sevens.
Other names for three of a kind include trips or a set. When
the word set is used it usually means a hand with a pocket
pair and one matching card on the board making three of a
- Two Pair
Two pair consists of two different pairs of
matching ranks. Two sixes and two eights is an example of a
two pair hand.
- One Pair
One pair is simply two cards of the same
rank. Two nines or two aces are examples of a pair.
- High Card
A high card hand is one that doesn’t have
any of the hands listed above. The highest ranked card is
designated as the high card for the hand. If the highest
card you have is a king you have a king high hand.
How to Break Ties
When two or more hands are tied for the highest hand one of
two things must happen. The first thing is you must decide if
one hand is actually higher than the other / s based on a few
simple rules that we cover next.
Moving from the top of the hand rankings above down, in a
Texas holdem game it’s impossible for more than one player to
have a royal flush unless the royal flush has all five cards on
the board. If all five cards on the board are used in this way
by every player remaining in the hand, all of the players tie.
It’s possible for two players to have straight flushes. In
the case of two or more straight flushes, straights, or flushes,
the player with the highest card in her straight or flush has
the highest hand. If one player has a queen high straight and
another has a nine high straight, the player with the queen high
In the event of two or more players holding a full house, the
player with the highest three of a kind has the better hand. If
two or more players hold two pair hands, the player with the
highest pair wins. If each player has the same high pair the
player with the highest second pair wins.
When two or more players have the same high hand of a pair,
or three of a kind, or something similar, the rest of each
player’s hand is considered.
Two players each have a pair of aces for their high hand.
Player A has A A K J 5 and player B has A A J 7 4. Player A wins
the hand because her next highest card after the tied pair of
aces is a king and player B only has a jack. In the event the
third card is the same you then compare the fourth card.
If two or more hands have the exact same five card hand then
the pot is split between the winning hands. The suits all have
the same rank as far as value is concerned. Hearts is not worth
more or less than spades, etc.
How to Read the Board
When you start playing Texas holdem it’s important to learn
how to read the board not only to determine what you hold but
also what your opponent could possibly have. This is important
because you don’t want to be caught by surprise when you think
you have the best hand and commit a large amount of money to the
pot when another player actually has a better hand.
You start the hand with the ace of clubs and the jack of
clubs and the flop has the queen of clubs, nine of clubs, and
ace of diamonds. This looks like a good flop for you because you
have a pair of aces and a chance to hit an ace high flush. The
turn is the two of clubs, completing the best possible flush.
The river is the queen of hearts.
While you still have the best possible flush, when the board
paired on the river it means you no longer have the best
possible hand. Whenever the board pairs it means there’s a
possibility that one of your opponents may have a full house.
In the example we just used a player starting the hand with
an ace and queen would have hit the full house on the river. The
same is true for a player starting with pocket nines.
Most of the time in Texas holdem you’ll still have the best
hand with a flush in these situations, but you always need to
know what the best possible hand is before deciding how much to
risk in the pot.
Other hands to watch out for include possible straights and
boards that have a high likelihood of having two pair.
Good starting hands often have two high cards, so any flop
that holds two or three high cards has a chance to create pairs
or straight possibilities for your opponents who hold high card
Even flops with middle and smaller cards may offer straight
possibilities, especially in unraised pots. In an unraised pot
the blinds get to see the flop for free or a half bet, so even
on a flop with lower cards they may have hit two pair or a
One of the best ways to practice reading the board is by
dealing out hands at home and figuring out every possible hand.
Then start dealing pocket cards for multiple players and play
each one independently in your mind. This way you see many
different pocket cards in combination with the board cards.
If you’re still struggling to see all of the possibilities
and hands ask a more experienced player to work with you as you
practice to point out things you may be missing.
How to Read Draws
Reading draws kind of goes hand in hand with the last section
about reading the board, but you also need to learn how to
factor in the chances of hitting your draws.
If you have four cards to a straight after the turn there’s
only a few cards left in the deck that can complete your
straight. If your straight draw is open ended, meaning you can
hit a card on either end to complete it, you have eight cards
left in the deck that can help you.
A hand of seven, eight, nine, ten will complete with any six
or jack. You’ve seen your two hole cards and four board cards,
so the deck still has 46 unseen cards. Eight of these cards
complete your straight and 38 of them don’t. So the odds of you
completing your straight are 38 to 8. This reduces to 4.75 to 1.
In more simple terms this means that on average if you played
the exact same situation 46 times you’d complete your straight
eight times and miss it 38 times.
Of course the actual deck of remaining cards doesn’t have 46
cards because the other players have cards, but you haven’t seen
them so you have to include them as unseen cards in the deck for
You use the odds in combination with your possible draws to
determine if it’s profitable to bet, raise, check, or fold.
This can become somewhat complicated when you have multiple
ways to make a hand. Usually each possible draw has a different
chance of winning if you hit it. In the example above you stand
a good chance of winning the hand when you hit your straight,
but if you miss your straight but pair one of your cards on the
river you’ll have a pair, but the odds of it being good are
Learn how to read all of your possible draws and how to
determine the odds of each draw being successful and winning if
you hit it. This will help you win more often playing Texas
Reading Your Opponents Possible Hands
Continuing the discussion from the last two sections, once
you learn all there is to know about your possible hands and
draws and the odds you can start using the same things to
determine what hands your opponents can possibly hold and their
chance of completing hands that may be able to beat your hand.
You’ll need to learn what hands your opponents like to play
and which ones they don’t play if you want to get the best
possible reads, but even if you don’t know anything about your
opponents you can still make educated guesses based on the
board, what you hold, and the betting action throughout the
Remember in an earlier section we mentioned that many good
starting hands have high cards. Other popular starting hands
include pocket pairs and suited hands including an ace. As the
level of competition improves the starting hand possibilities
tend to change. Staring hands with an ace and suited small card
are more likely at the lower levels than at the higher levels of
Look at the list of good starting hands included in the next
section and then compare them with the current board. Which
hands fit with the way your opponent is playing the hand? Don’t
forget that not every player will follow the guidelines listed
Some players, especially at the lower levels, play any ace or
any hand with an ace and any card the same suit as the ace.
At lower levels you’ll often see hands where a player with an
ace and a small off card hit two pair and beat a hand with a
pair of aces and a large second hole card that doesn’t pair up.
This may seem like playing better starting hands doesn’t pay
off, but in the long run the player starting with ace queen is
going to win more hands than the player starting with ace three.
It’s also important to always consider the players in the
blinds. If they get in for free or half a bet they could have
any two cards. Even for a small raise many players won’t fold
anything from the blinds because they’re already invested in the
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You need to consider a wide range of things when trying to
guess what your opponents hold, but with practice you can start
narrowing down their possible hands quickly. As you gain more
experience you can get to the point where you’ll often have a
good idea where your opponents stand in a hand. You’ll still be
surprised sometimes because players do all kinds of crazy things
at the holdem table, but the more you know the better you’ll be
in the long run.
Another big part of reading your opponent’s possible hands is
watching them play, even when you aren’t in the hand, and
remembering everything they do. If they have a big pocket pair
do they always raise before the flop? Do they ever bet into a
draw or do they always check and call? Thinking about these
questions and learning the answers to them and others will make
your play more profitable over time.
Best Starting Hands
Here’s a list of the best starting hands in Texas holdem. The
list is roughly listed from best to worst, but hand values
change somewhat based on the level of competition, the makeup of
the game, and your ability to play well after the flop.
Not all of these hands can be played from every position or
in every game. But if a hand isn’t listed here you should avoid
playing it in any Texas holdem game.
Two card hands followed by a small “s” means suited. For
example, K Q s means a king and queen of the same suit.
As you become a long term profitable Texas Holdem player
you’ll find situations where you may be able to play a few hands
profitably that aren’t on the list. You may be able to play 10 9
s or 4 4 from late position profitably in a few games, but don’t
even think about trying it until you’re already a profitable
On the other hand you’ll find many games where hands like K J
and below on the list can’t be played profitably. As a rule of
thumb, while you’re learning how to be a better player, it’s
always better to be tight than loose. So only play the best
hands while learning how to play.
You also need to understand how position relative to the
dealer button changes the value of starting hands and what you
can and can’t play for a profit. We have an entire page
dedicated to position so you should study it to make sure you
completely understand how to use it.
Even experienced Texas holdem players make mistakes when it
comes to reading the board of community cards and trying to
determine what their opponents hold. Once you learn what beats
what, you still have a great deal to learn if you want to be a
Start by making sure you know the ranking of all of the
possible hands, and then learn how to read the board. Use your
hole cards with the board to determine not only the best hand
you can form, but also the best hand your opponents could
The next step is learning the odds of you hitting your hands
and using this information to determine the best way to play the
rest of the hand. Finally, you can start using all of the things
you’ve learned to start making educated guesses about what your
opponents have and are drawing to.
Winning Texas holdem players use all of these things and more
on every hand to give themselves the best chance to win. But
don’t panic if this seems like a lot to take in at once. You
don’t have to learn it all in one sitting. Bookmark or print out
this page and go over it often while you’re learning to be a
practice for free or start at the low levels so you don’t risk
much money while you’re learning.
Win More Games With This Guide - Recommended by Professional Poker Players
Download and print out our poker hands ranking chart, or save it to your phone.Keep it nearby when playing so that you always know the ranking of hands frombest to worst.
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Official Poker Hands Ranked From Highest to Lowest
Learn the order of poker hand rankings quickly so you can improve your game
|Rank||Hand Name||Hand Description||Example||Probability||Combinations|
probability: 1 in 649,737
Five cards in a row, all in the same suit.
|3||3.Four of a Kind|
probability: 1 in 4,164
A pair plus three of a kind in the same hand.
Five cards, all in one suit, but not in numerical order.
Five cards in numerical order, but not of the same suit.
|7||7.Three of a Kind|
probability: 1 in 46
Two different pairings or sets of the same card in one hand.
probability: 1 in 1.36
No matching cards.
Poker Hand Combinations Explained
Poker hands fall into one of ten categories. The highest is a royal flush, followed by a straight flush, then four of a kind, a full house, a flush, a straight, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, and finally a high card.
The highest hands are the least common, with a royal flush and straight flush with the highest value cards, being exceedingly rare.
What Are Poker Suits?
A deck of cards is divided into four suits. All card suits have the same value in most poker games, but there are rare exceptions. For example, if you’re splitting an uneven pot in a high-low game where you tied your hand with another player, the remaining chip can be given to the player whose suit ranks higher. Usually spades ♠ rank highest and clubs ♣ rank lowest.
The four suits can vary from country to country - German decks contains bells instead of diamonds ♦, for example - but traditionally the four suits are as follows (in descending order of usual value for games that rank suits):Spades
Black suit, depicting a medieval weapon.Hearts
Red suit, showing a heart.Diamonds
Red suit, represented by a geometric diamond shape.Clubs
Black suit, represented by a three-leaf symbol.
Video Tutorial: Poker Hand Rankings
Top 10 Best Starting Hands In Texas Hold'em Poker
The key to being good at Texas Hold'em is knowing your hands and knowing what's playable.
Top 10 Best Starting Hands
In Texas Hold'em Poker
This one is a poker classic. The strongest starting hand in poker, pocket aces are a strong pre-flop favorite over any other two cards and a 4:1 favorite over almost any hand. You will be dealt 'pocket rockets', as they are also known, on average once every 221 hands, so it makes sense to get excited about them pre-flop. However, it's worth remembering that their likelihood of winning goes down as more players enter the pot, so the fewer opponents you're up against the better.
Other Nicknames: Pocket Rockets, Bullets, American Airlines, Snake Eyes, Batteries, Needles, Two Pips
Pocket Kings, also known as 'cowboys', are a favorite against any hand (except aces). There are not many flops that should make you too worried - however, it is worth remembering that kings will only win against a hand with one ace just over two thirds of the time. You will almost always be happy to get your money in pre-flop with pocket kings.
Other Nicknames: Cowboys, King Kong, Kevin Keegan, Krispy Kreme, Ace Magnets, Elvis Presley
If you get dealt pocket queens, you are safe in the knowledge that only eight overcards are left in the deck, or even fewer if you get your money in against an opponent with an ace, a king, or ace king. You will want to play this hand strongly before the flop, raising or re-raising from any position almost all of the time, and you will still frequently run into plenty of opponents prepared to commit their money with weaker hands.
This hand is often nicknamed 'Anna Kournikova' by recreational players - it's pretty to look at, but doesn't win as much as you think it should. It is easy to fall in love with ace-king suited, and it is by no means a weak hand, winning against all pocket pairs half of the time (except for pocket aces and pocket kings). However, it is also worth bearing in mind that if you don't connect with the flop, then you just have ace-high.
Other Nicknames: Big Slick, Santa Barbara, Anna Kournikova, Big Ugly, King Arthur, Korean Airlines, Mike Haven, Walking Back To Houston
It's a classic poker saying that there are three ways to play pocket jacks, and all of them are wrong. However, this is a bit of a cliché, and the hand is a favorite or coin-flip (50:50) against any unpaired hand and a strong pre-flop favorite over any lower pocket pair. It is still a very strong hand, particularly if the pot is unraised and you look down at jacks in late-position, though you can be a little more careful if an opponent has come in for an early-position raise.
Other Nicknames: Fishhooks, Brothers, Jaybirds, Kid Dy-No-Mite, The Two Jakes, Suckers
Pocket tens are a strong starting hand and a real poker classic. They're strong enough that you don't need to hit a third ten on the flop to continue. They will still win against overcards every other time, though there are far more combinations where it is not as strong a favorite as pocket jacks. If there is a lot of action before you, it is sometimes easy to fold tens before the flop.
While this hand is an underdog against an offsuit Ace-King, it ranks higher due to its relative strength against other starting hands. Sometimes, you will find yourself in a spot where you need to fold, even after hitting a pair on the flop. However, if you completely miss the flop, it's easier to stay out of trouble with an Ace-Queen.
Other Nicknames: Big Chick, Little Slick, Mrs. Click, Antony & Cleopatra, Mrs. Slick, Rocket Queen
Weaker than its suited counterpart due to its decreased likelihood of hitting a flush, an offsuit ace-king will still win at least 40% of the time against any hand other than aces or kings. Sometimes, it is worth calling in position with this hand before the flop to keep the pot small and still get paid if you pair one of your two hole cards.
Other Nicknames: Big Slick, Santa Barbara, Anna Kournikova, Big Ugly, King Arthur, Korean Airlines, Mike Haven, Walking Back To Houston
Like a suited ace-king or ace-queen, this hand can make a royal flush. However, it is one that is worth playing more carefully; especially if a player has raised from early position. Any ace-king or ace-queen combination still has you beat if you pair your ace, so you don't want to fall in love with an ace-jack.
Other Nicknames: Ajax, Armani Jeans, Hijack, Jackass, Apple Jacks, Blackjack
Just edging out ace-ten suited and pocket nines, king-queen suited is a hand that is said to 'flop well'. It can make a large number of straights and flushes, while just hitting one pair will sometimes give you the best hand. However, you should be able to fold this hand fairly easily if the action before you suggests other players are entering the pot with a strong hand.
Poker Hands Explained
This is the best hand in poker. It's always A♥ K♥ Q♥ J♥ 10♥. It doesn't matter what suit it is, but all cards must be of the same suit. It's basically an ace-high straight flush.
A straight flush is any other hand made up of five cards of sequential rank in the same suit, such as 7♠ 6♠ 5♠ 4♠ 3♠ or Q♥ J♥ 10♥ 9♥ 8♥. If two players get a straight flush, the hand with the highest-ranking card wins. A straight flush beats four of a kind.
Four of a kind
A four of a kind is made up of four cards in one rank, and the last card (or 'kicker') in another rank, such as 3♣ 3♠ 3♦ 3♥ 8♥. If two players have a four of a kind, the hand with the highest-ranking four of a kind wins. If two players have the same four of a kind, the winner will be the player with the highest kicker card. A four of a kind beats a full house.
A full house consists of three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, such as 9♣ 9♠ 9♦ 5♣ 5♠ (nines over fives) or Q♦ Q♠ Q♣ 2♣ 2♦ (queens over twos). If two players have a full house, the person with the highest triplet wins. If the triplet is the same, the person with the highest pair wins. A full house beats a flush.
Also called a full boat, a flush is any hand where all five cards are of the same suit. They do not need to be in sequential order. For example, K♣ 9♣ 4♣ A♣ 2♣ or 5♦ J♦ 3♦ K♦ 4♦. A flush is ranked first by the highest card, then by the second highest card, and so on. A flush beats a straight.
A straight is a hand that contains five cards in sequential rank, but they can be of any suit. For example, Q♦ J♦ 10♣ 9♠ 8♥ is a straight, as is 5♣ 4♠ 3♠ 2♥ A♦. If two players have a straight, the player with the highest-ranking card wins. A straight beats a three of a kind.
Three of a kind
Sometimes called trips or a set, a three of a kind is a hand consisting of three cards of the same rank, such as 8♦ 8♠ 8♣ K♠ A♠ or Q♥ Q♠ Q♦ 2♥ 8♥. If two players have a three of a kind, the player with the highest-ranking three of a kind wins. A three of a kind beats a two pair.
Hands Of Texas Holdem
A two pair is a hand consisting of two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank, and the last card of another rank, such as 9♠ 9♥ 5♦ 5♥ A♠. If two players have a two-pair, the player with the highest-ranking pairs win. For example, a pair of queens and a pair of fives would beat a pair of threes and a pair of fives. If one pair is the same, the winner is determined by the second pair. If both pairs are the same, the winner of the hand is determined by the kicker. A two pair beats a one pair.
A one pair is simply a hand that contains two cards of the same rank, such as 6♦ 6♥ 2♥ 5♠ K♣. If both players have a one pair, the player with the highest-ranking pair wins. If both pairs are the same, the player with the highest-ranking kicker wins. A one pair only beats a high card.
A high card means you haven't got any of the previous hands, and so your hand will be determined by the single highest-ranking card you have. For example, if you had Q♠ 5♣ 4♦ 3♦ 2♣, you would be betting with a queen-high.
Ties And kickers
With only ten possible outcomes for a poker hand, it is of course possible that the best hand at the table (a pair of 9s, for example) will be held by more than one player. In this case, the tie is broken using a kicker.
Let's say two players at a five-card poker game have a pair of 9s, and this is the best hand of the round.
Five Card Texas Holdem
The hand goes to Player A, who has a pair of 9s with an A kicker (kicker meaning the highest card not involved in the pair), which beats player B's pair of 9s with a J kicker.
In the rare event that both players have the exact same hand, 9, 9, A, 7, 5 for example, the pot would be split.
Poker Hand Trainer
Use our brand new poker hand training tool to go from fish to shark in no time!Want to know what to do in every poker situation? Not sure how to strengthen your poker hand knowledge? That's where our training tool comes in.
- Hit the 'Deal' button to get started
- Rank each of the hands, from strongest to weakest, by clicking on the + icon next to each player
- Hit 'Check Order' to see if you were correct
In the event that you're wrong, you can choose to either try again or see the correct rankings
- Hit 'Deal' again and you'll see the next round of cards and repeat the ranking process
- Once the hand is complete you can start again with another hand
Happy ranking and good luck!
5 Card Texas Holdem Handset
Poker Hand Rankings FAQ
The best hand in poker is a Royal Flush.It's made up of an ace, king, queen, jack and 10 in the same suit.
You can see the poker hand rankingsabove. A one pair beats a high card, a two pair beats a one pair, a three of akind beats a two pair, a straight beats a three of a kind, a flush beats astraight, a full house beats a flush, a four of a kind beats a full house, astraight flush beats a four or a kind, a royal flush beats a straight flush.Nothing beats a royal flush.
You can beat a straight with aflush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush and royal flush.
Texas Holdem Cards
A full house is a strong hand,but you can beat it with a four of a kind, straight flush and royal flush.
A full house, four of a kind, straight flush and royal flush all beat a flush.
Texas Hold'em Hands Wiki
There is no highest suit in poker. They are all ranked equally.
There are 10 possible poker hands. The most valuable hand is a Royal Flush, a Straight Flush made of the highest value cards in the game.
List Of Texas Holdem Hands
The highest value poker hand is a Royal Flush, while the lowest is a high card. The full ranking order is royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, a full house, a flush, a straight, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, high card.
The ranking order of suits is spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. In popular poker games such as Texas Hold'em, there is no ranking of card suits, however suits are sometimes ranked in other games like Bridge.
The best hand in poker is a Royal Flush, which is the highest value straight flush. The worst hand in poker is a high card. The lowest possible high card five-card poker hand (if Aces are high) is 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 with no flush present.
Printable Texas Hold'em Hands
If two poker hands are the same, the winner is decided by a kicker. A kicker is the highest value card outside of the pair/three-of-a-kind etc. For example, a pair of 8s with a K kicker beats a pair of 8s with a 10 kicker. If two hands are identical, the pot is split.