Frequently Asked Questions: How Do Poker Hand Rankings Work?

By Christine
October 12, 2022
hand histories

Poker hand rankings are probably the first thing you should learn about the game of poker.

Knowing the strength of your hand means you can figure out how to proceed in the game. In the most popular games, the aim is to make the strongest five-card hand. This will often be using some combination of your hole cards (the cards you’re dealt that only you can see and use) and the community cards (the cards everyone can use to make their best five-card hand).

These hand rankings remain the same, wherever in the world you’re playing and whether it’s online at bet365 (bonus code bet365, if you’re a newbie) or during your very own home poker night.

The hand rankings we’re going to be tackling are for Texas Hold’em and Omaha. However, for certain other more niche variants, there might be a little twist on these rankings.

Frequently asked questions: poker hand rankings

What is the strongest hand in poker?

The royal flush is the strongest hand in poker. It is an A, K, Q, J and 10 all of the same suit.

What is the lowest ranking hand in poker?

The weakest poker hand ranking is a high card. That means you’ve got no flushes, straights or sets. More on that below…

What are the other poker hand rankings, from strongest to weakest?

Now that you know about the royal flush, let’s get to know the other hands. In order of strongest to weakest, we’ve got:

  • Straight flush: five cards in sequence of one suit
  • Four of a kind: four of the same value of card
  • Full house: three cards of the same value plus two cards of the same value
  • Flush: five cards of the same suit any value
  • Straight: five cards of any suit in sequence
  • Three of a kind: three cards of the same value
  • Two pair: Two sets of two cards of the same value
  • Pair: One set of two cards of the same value

What happens to hand ranking if you’re playing hi poker games vs lo poker games vs hi lo poker?

The rankings we were discussing about are based on hi or high hand poker games. That includes games like Texas Hold’em.

However, in the likes of Razz, the exact opposite is true. The weaker hand wins the pots. Those games are called lo, low-hand or lowball poker.

There are also tricky little games called hi-lo or high-low split poker. This is when the pot is split in two and the players with the highest and lowest ranking hand wins. One well known versions of this poker game type is Omaha Hi-Lo.

Exceptions to the rule…

There are some games that operate outside the regular hand ranking rules you can see here. One big example of that is Six Plus Hold’em. As Six Plus is played with a smaller deck (36 cards instead of 52), the probabilities are shaken up a bit.

And because of that the poker hand rankings in Six Plus Hold’em get a shake up too. So in that game, a flush beats a full house. It certainly makes things interesting…

Looking for some more poker basics?

We’ve got lots of articles you might be interested in, especially if you’re a new player…

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