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Best Poker Hands Ranked - List of Winning Hands In Order

Best Poker Hands Ranked - List of Winning Hands In Order

Understanding the ranking of poker hands is essential for any player, whether you're new to the game or have been playing for years. 

In poker, it's all about the cards you hold and how you play them; this is what makes the difference between winning and losing. This guide will show you the best poker hands in the order of their ranking. 

We'll start with the strongest hands and work our way down to the ones that don't match up as well against others. 

By knowing which hands are the best, you'll know what to look out for and be able to make better decisions, which could help you develop your strategy and possibly enjoy the game more. So, let's dive into the list of winning poker hands. 

Poker Hands Ranked

Let's take a look at the different hands you can form in poker and how they differ from one another. These hands are listed in order of strength from strongest to weakest. 

Royal Flush

A Royal Flush is the best hand in poker. It consists of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten, all of the same suit. This hand is unbeatable. 

Straight Flush

The Straight Flush is next in line. It includes five consecutive cards of the same suit, like 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of hearts. 

Four of a Kind

Also known as "Quads", Four of a Kind means you have four cards of the same rank, such as four Kings. 

Full House

A Full House combines three of a kind and a pair, such as three 8s and two 4s. 


A Flush contains any five cards of the same suit, like 2, 5, 7, 10, and King of clubs. The ranks don't need to be sequential. 


A Straight consists of five consecutive cards of different suits, such as 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. The combinations can be from any suit. 

Three of a Kind

Also called "Trips", Three of a Kind means you have three cards of the same rank, like three Jacks. 

Two Pair

Two Pair means you have two different sets of pairs, such as two 5s and two 9s. 


A Pair consists of two cards of the same rank, like two Aces. 

High Card

If no one has any of the above combinations, the High Card decides the winner. This is the highest-ranked card in your hand that you are pitting against the highest-ranked card in your opponent's hand. For example, if you have a Queen and a 6, the Queen is your High Card. 

Best Starting Hands In Poker

Let's explore some of the best-starting hands you can end up with in a poker game.

  • Pocket Aces (A♠ A♥): Pocket Aces are the best-starting hand in poker. They give you the highest chance of winning against any other hand. 
  • Pocket Kings (K♠ K♥): Pocket Kings, also known as "Cowboys", are the second-strongest starting hand. Only Aces can beat them. 
  • Pocket Queens (Q♠ Q♥): Pocket Queens, or "Ladies", are another powerful starting hand. They fare well against most hands except Aces and Kings. 
  • Ace-King Suited (A♠ K♠): Ace-King Suited, often called "Big Slick", can form strong hands like straights or flushes. 
  • Pocket Jacks (J♠ J♥): Pocket Jacks, or "Hooks", are a solid starting hand but can be tricky to play if higher cards appear on the board. 
  • Ten-Ten (10♠ 10♥): Pocket Tens are strong but are vulnerable to higher cards. Still, they're a good starting hand for many situations. 
  • Ace-Queen Suited (A♠ Q♠): Ace-Queen Suited is another excellent hand with potential for straights and flushes. It's versatile and strong. 
  • King-Queen Suited (K♠ Q♠): King-Queen Suited offers good chances for straights and flushes, making it a strong starting hand. 
  • Ace-Jack Suited (A♠ J♠): Ace-Jack Suited can also form strong hands like straights and flushes. It's a dependable starting hand. 
  • Ace-Ten Suited (A♠ 10♠): Ace-Ten Suited is a good starting hand with potential, but be cautious if higher cards appear on the board. 

What Poker Hands To Play?

In poker, one of the biggest decisions is deciding whether to play this hand after receiving your first two cards. There are no community cards on the table yet, so you can only go off your two hole cards to determine whether there is enough potential for a decent hand to be made. 

The flop is the point where the first lot of community cards are drawn, before this is when a player decides whether their hand has potential in any circumstance or not. Let's take a look at poker hands that are worth playing preflop. 

Poker Hands To Play Preflop

Knowing which hands to play before the community cards are revealed (preflop) is crucial for a good poker strategy. 

Premium Hands

Premium hands include Pocket Aces (A♠ A♥), Pocket Kings (K♠ K♥), and Pocket Queens (Q♠ Q♥). These are strong hands and can be played aggressively since they have the potential to form high-ranking hands. 

Strong Hands

Strong hands like Ace-King Suited (A♠ K♠) and Pocket Jacks (J♠ J♥) are also very good. They have the potential to build powerful combinations as the game progresses. 

Suited Connectors

Suited connectors like 9♠ 10♠ can form straights and flushes, making them valuable hands to play. While not as strong as premium hands, they still have the makings of a decent hand. 

Mid Pairs

Pairs like 8♠ 8♥ and 7♠ 7♥ are worth playing because they can form three of a kind or better. Be cautious, though, as they are vulnerable to higher pairs. 

High Cards

High cards like King-Queen Suited (K♠ Q♠) and Ace-Jack Suited (A♠ J♠) offer good potential for strong hands like straights and flushes. They're worth playing, especially from late positions. 

By understanding which hands to play preflop, you can make better-informed decisions and further develop your strategy. 

What Poker Hands To Fold?

Knowing which poker hands to fold can be useful so that you don't place bets that never had a good prospect of returns, so it can potentially save you some money. Let's look at some hands that are usually better left unplayed. 

Low Cards

Hands with low cards like 2♣ 7♠ and 3♦ 8♣ are generally weak. They have little chance of forming a strong combination. 

Unconnected Cards

Hands with cards that don't work together, such as 4♦ 9♠, are called unconnected hands. These hands have a low probability of forming straights or other strong combinations. 

Off-Suit Cards

Off-suit cards like 6♠ 10♦ don't help you build flushes. Unless they are high cards with potential, it's usually best to fold them. 

Low Pairs

Low pairs like 2♠ 2♦ and 4♣ 4♥ can be risky. They are easily beaten by higher pairs or better combinations. 

High Cards with Low Kickers

Hands like K♣ 6♦ or Q♥ 5♠ might seem tempting, but the low kicker (the second card) makes them weak. They often lose to higher kickers. 

Being selective about which hands you play can help to improve your game and make smarter decisions. Folding the right hands can help save you from losing more chips. 

What Beats What In Poker?

Knowing what beats what in poker is crucial for making the best decisions during the game. Here's a simple breakdown to help you understand the hierarchy of poker hands. 

Royal Flush

A Royal Flush is the highest hand, and it beats everything else. It's unbeatable. 

Straight Flush

A Straight Flush beats Four of a Kind. It consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit. 

Four of a Kind

Four of a Kind beats a Full House. It's made of four cards of the same rank. 

Full House

A Full House beats a Flush. It consists of three of a kind plus a pair. 


A Flush beats a Straight. It includes five cards of the same suit, not in sequence. 


A Straight beats Three of a Kind. It consists of five consecutive cards of different suits. 

Three of a Kind

Three of a Kind beats Two Pair. It's made of three cards of the same rank. 

Two Pair

Two Pair beats One Pair. It consists of two different pairs. 


A Pair beats High Card. It's made up of two cards of the same rank. 

High Card

If no hands are formed, the highest individual card wins. It's the weakest hand in poker. 

Understanding these rankings can help you evaluate the strength of your position by knowing how your hand can fair against others in the showdown. 

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