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Mastering the Basics: A Comprehensive Guide to Poker Hands

If you’ve ever wondered about the different types of poker hands and how they rank, you’ve come to the right place. This manual will explain the fundamentals of online poker hands ranking, helping you understand the winning combinations that can lead you to victory at the poker table. Whether you’re a beginner or want to brush up on your knowledge, this tutorial is intended to be easy to follow and full of simple explanations. Let’s get started on your journey to becoming a poker hands expert!

poker hands

Understanding Poker Hands

In poker, a hand is a combination of cards a player holds during the game. The goal is to have the best hand compared to the other players to win the pot (the chips or money placed as a bet during the game). Here are the standard poker hands from highest to lowest rank:

Understanding Poker Hands

Royal Flush: The Ultimate Hand

A Royal Flush is the most coveted and prestigious poker hands, representing the pinnacle of card combinations. It consists of five cards of the same suit in sequential order: 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. When a player holds a Royal Flush, it is unbeatable and ensures victory in any poker variant. The odds of being dealt this extraordinary hand are exceedingly slim, making it a rare and exhilarating occurrence that often leads to heart-pounding moments of triumph at the poker table.

Straight Flush: A Strong Hand in Poker

A Straight Flush in poker refers to a rare and mighty hand consisting of five consecutive cards of the same suit. This exceptional combination combines the characteristics of straight (sequential cards) and a flush of the same case. A 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 in hearts, for instance, would form a Straight Flush. This hand ranks higher than regular poker hands, making it a highly coveted and formidable holding in any poker game. Due to its infrequency, landing a Straight Flush is often celebrated as a momentous achievement, and it can turn the tide of a poker match in favor of the fortunate player who possesses it.

Four of a Kind: Unbeatable Power

Four of a Kind is one of the most potent and rare hand combinations a player can achieve. This hand consists of four cards of the same rank and a fifth unrelated card, known as the “kicker.” For instance, players holding four Kings and a 9 have a Four of a Kind (Kings) hand. Four of a Kind ranks just below a Straight Flush and above a Full House in the poker hands hierarchy, making it highly valuable and often a winning hand in many game variations. Due to its infrequency, when a player is fortunate enough to obtain Four of a Kind, it is typically a cause for celebration and an excellent opportunity to capitalize on the hand’s strength during betting rounds.

Whole House: A Hand of Strength and Consistency

Whole House refers to a potent combination of cards characterized by having three cards of one rank and two cards of another class. This hand ranks higher than a simple three-of-a-kind and lower than a four-of-a-kind. For instance, if a player holds three 7s and two Kings, they would have a Full House, also known as “Sevens full of Kings.” Full Houses are considered solid hands and have significant winning potential in poker games, making them a sought-after combination among players.

Flush: All Cards in Harmony

Flush refers to a hand consisting of five cards of the same suit, regardless of their numerical value. For instance, a player with a needle containing five hearts or five spades is considered a flush. The ranking of flushes is determined by the highest Card within the writing. In cases with multiple flushes, the person with the highest Card wins. In their flush wins the pot. Compare the highest cards if equal second-highest until a winner is determined. A flush is a strong hand in poker, offering a good chance of winning the pot, especially when no other player has a higher-ranking hand, like an entire house or a straight flush.

Straight: Sequential Goodness

Straight is a specific hand ranking that consists of five consecutive cards of any suit. The order of the cards in a Straight is crucial, and any variation breaks the hand’s integrity. For example, a Straight may comprise cards like 5-6-7-8-9 or 10-Jack-Queen-King-Ace, but it cannot include pairs or cards that skip numbers. In the standard poker hands hierarchy, a Straight sits higher than Three of a Kind but lower than a Flush. Players aim to achieve a Straight during betting rounds, combining strategy and luck to construct a strong hand that can potentially lead to victory.

Three of a Kind: Tripling the Fun

Three of a Kind is a valuable hand comprising three cards of the same rank and two unrelated side cards. It ranks higher than Two Pair but lower than Straight. When two players have Three of a Kind, the value of their hand is determined by the rank of the triplet, with higher-ranked triplets taking precedence. For instance, three Jacks would beat three Nines. If two players have an identical triplet, the highest side card determines the winner. Having a Three of a Kind showcases a strong hand with a decent chance of winning the pot, making it compelling to play strategically during a poker game.

Two Pair: Doubling Your Chances

Two Pairs is a hand ranking. It comprises two cards of one rank, two of another Level, and one unrelated fifth Card. For example, having a pair of Jacks and a pair of Nines with a random fifth card would be considered Two Pairs. In the standard hand hierarchy, Two Pairs ranks higher than One Pairs but lower than Three of a Kind. If two players have Two Pairs of hands, the player with the highest number of Pairs wins. The second Pair determines the winner if their highest pairs are the same. If both pairs are identical, the fifth Card, the kicker, is used as a tiebreaker. Two Pairs is a relatively strong hand in Texas Hold’em and other poker variants, and skilled players often seek to maximize their value when they have this hand.

One Pair: A Modest Connection

One Pair is an essential poker hands ranking where a player holds two cards of the same rank and three unrelated cards. It means that two of the five cards in their hand have identical denominations (e.g., two Jacks), while the other three cards have different ranks. The strength of One Pair is determined by the value of the paired cards, with higher-ranked pairs, like a pair of Aces, being stronger than lower-ranked ones. If multiple players hold One Pair hands, the winner is determined based on the higher Pair first and, if necessary, the highest-ranking of the unrelated cards as a tiebreaker. While One Pair is not the most substantial hand, it still holds significant value and can lead to successful plays if used strategically in a poker game.

High Card: The Lowest of Hands

The high Card is the most straightforward and lowest-ranking hand among all possible combinations. When players do not form any other standard poker hand, such as a pair, two Pair, three-of-a-kind, straight, flush, full House, four-of-a-kind, or straight flush, they rely on the highest Card to determine the winner. The one with the highest-ranking Card receives the pot. Shared a high Card with another player, tiebreakers proceed to the next highest Card and continue until a winner is determined. Since it is the weakest poker hand, relying solely on a High Card often requires bluffing and strategy to deceive opponents into folding their hands.

Essential Tips for Poker Hand Selection

Hand selection is a critical aspect of poker in a live casino, and making good decisions in this area can significantly impact your overall success. Here are some essential tips for poker hands selection:

Essential Tips for Poker Hand Selection
  • Starting Hand Charts: Familiarize yourself with starting hand charts for different poker variants (e.g., Texas Hold’em, Omaha, etc.). These charts categorize hands into other groups based on their strength. Stick to these charts, especially as a beginner, to ensure you’re playing strong starting hands.
  • Position Matters: Consider your position at the table before playing a hand. In general, you can play a broader range of hands in a late place (near the dealer button) as you have more information about the actions of other players.
  • Play Tight-Aggressive: Adopt a tight-aggressive (TAG) playing style. It means playing a relatively tight range of solid hands but being aggressive when you do play them. This approach maximizes your chances of winning pots and puts your opponents under pressure.
  • Avoid Weak Hands: Avoid playing weak hands, especially hands that are easily dominated (e.g., low off-suit cards). Playing too many soft hands can lead to costly mistakes and unnecessary losses.
  • Adjust to Table Dynamics: Pay attention to how your opponents are playing. If they are loose and aggressive, tighten up your starting hand range. If they are tight and passive, you can widen your scope and steal more pots.
  • Suited Connectors and Gappers: Suited connectors (cards of the same suit in consecutive order) and gappers (cards with one gap in between, like 9-7) can be valuable in certain situations, especially in multi-way pots, as they can make strong hands like straights and flushes.
  • Pocket Pairs: Pocket pairs (two cards of the same rank) can be strong starting hands, especially when the board is favorable for making sets (three of a kind). Be cautious with low pocket pairs in early position, as they can be challenging to play profitably.
  • Consider Stack Sizes: Pay attention to the stack sizes of you and your opponents. When you have a short stack, you might be better off looking for opportunities to go all-in with premium hands.
  • Practice Bankroll Management: Even if you have strong starting hands, poker involves variance, and you can still lose. Practice proper bankroll management to ensure you can withstand the game’s highs and lows.
  • Stay Disciplined: Avoid playing too many hands out of boredom or impatience. Stick to your hand selection strategy, and avoid letting emotions dictate your decisions.

Poker is a game of skill, and hand selection is just one aspect of playing well. Keep learning, analyzing your play, and making adjustments to improve your poker game.


Knowing poker hands’ rankings is crucial because it helps you understand and make wise judgments during the game based on your hand’s strength compared to that of your opponents.

Memorize the hand rankings in order from the highest to the lowest. Play regularly and practice identifying different hands during games. Consider using flashcards or cheat sheets to help with initial memorization.

Improving poker hand reading skills comes with practice and experience. Study the different hand rankings and common hand combinations, observe opponents’ actions, and analyze hand ranges to enhance your skills.

The primary hand rankings are mostly the same across various poker variants, but some games have specific rules that alter the hierarchy of hands.

Understanding poker hand rankings allows you to bluff convincingly. Bluffing with a hand that could realistically beat your opponent’s likely holdings makes your bluffs more believable.


In conclusion, mastering Poker Hands is the key to success in this thrilling card game. Understanding the different hand rankings and strategies will significantly increase your likelihood of winning at the poker table. Ready to put your skills to the test? Join the action-packed poker world at 42Bet and experience the ultimate excitement of playing confidently. Take advantage of the opportunity to win real rewards while enjoying your favorite game!

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