Table of contents

Poker Hierarchy Chart

From its humble origins in the early nineteenth century to its current cultural dominance, the game of poker has evolved over time to encompass a plethora of various versions in tournaments and online cash poker—Seven-Card Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo, and, most notably, Texas Hold'em poker. While each poker variant has its unique set of rules, they all have one thing in common: the purpose of the poker game is to build the best five-card combination, or the best hand, possible. 

Among the over 2.5 million conceivable five-card hands, there are nine major hierarchies of hands. The best Hand ranks are so-called because they may be viewed as a hierarchy—in most poker versions, you win the pot if your collection of five cards includes the highest-ranking cards.

Poker hand Rankings - Poker Hierarchy


High card

Drawing odds: 1 in 2

This is the rung at the absolute bottom of the ladder of poker hierarchy. A high card hand, also known as a no pair hand, is one in which each of the five cards has a separate card rank (such as), does not share the same suit, and is not consecutive. This may appear to be a lot to learn, but the core notion is simple: a high card hand is the least coordinated of the hand ranks, and hence has the lowest value since it is weaker than every other hand rank. 

How can a winner be determined if two players both have high hands? To select a winner, compare their highest-ranking card: if someone holds an Ace, as in the example above, and their opponent's top card is a Queen, the first person wins with what we call "Ace high." If both hands are identical, no winner is determined, and the pot is divided among the players.

One pair

Drawing odds: 1 in 2

The one-pair hand comes next in the poker hierarchy. One pair poker hand has a single pair and three additional unpaired cards, such as, and account for 42 percent of all conceivable hand combinations. If both players have one pair in a showdown, the winner is the hand with the higher pair, or the highest non-paired card if both hands have the same pair. 

Two pair

Drawing odds: 1 in 21

What's better than one pair? Of course, two pairs. The winning two pair poker hand is the one with the higher pair, therefore a hand like KKQQT will take down QQJJ9 in a showdown. In poker, the first hand is frequently referred to as "Kings Up," which in our case beats "Queens up."

Three of a kind

Drawing odds: 1 in 47

We're now entering the region of rather unusual hands in the poker hierarchy. A three of a kind happens just once every 47 times when picked at random from a standard deck. You might have realised that these hands consist of three cards of the same rank plus two extra unpaired cards— let's consider the hand QQQ59, this hand is frequently referred to as "trip Queens'' or "a set of Queens''), and it defeats JJJA2 ("trip Jacks" or "a set of Jacks") because Queens have a higher rank than Jacks. It is critical to remember that the other two cards in the hand must be unpaired, or else the hand becomes a full house.


Drawing odds: 1 in 132

Straights are the first hand combination that necessitates the use of all five cards. A straight is formed when all five cards in a hand are different and consecutive in rank, with the caveat that they cannot also be of the same suit. Let's consider the hand 5-6-7-8-9 "a straight to 9." The worst conceivable straight is A2345, a straight to the 5 also known as "the wheel," while the finest possible straight is TJQKA, a straight to the Ace also known as "Broadway." Remember that aces may only be part of a straight if they operate as a bookend in the hand—wrap-around straights like KQA23 are not valid in poker. Here's an interesting fact: removing all 5's and T's from a deck makes it impossible to create a straight with the remaining cards!


Drawing odds: 1 in 509

A flush, like a straight, is a five-card combination in which all of the cards are of the same suit but do not also make a straight. Let's consider A6TJQ of the same suit, this is referred to as an Ace-high flush, whereas J7832 (same suit) represents a Jack-high flush. 

Full house

Drawing odds: 1 in 694

A full house poker hand, also called boat sometimes, is a hand made up of three of a kind and a pair. Let's consider QQQAA, this is also sometimes referred to as "full house, Queens full of Aces." The full house with the higher-ranking three of a kind always beats the full house with the lower-ranking three of a kind, regardless of the rank of the paired component, hence Queens full of Aces will take down a hand like Jacks full of kings (JJJKK).

Four of a kind

Drawing odds: 1 in 4,167

These latter two hand kinds are quite unusual, so don't expect to see them too frequently and these hands are often placed at the top of the poker hierarchy. With just four of each card rank in a deck, the chances of drawing a four of a kind in a five-card draw are 0.026 percent. Let's consider the hand TTTT2, this sometimes referred to as "quad tens," defeats every hand in poker except higher four of a kind cards and, of course, straight flush.

Straight flush

Drawing odds: 1 in 64,767

The straight flush is a famous poker hand that appears significantly more frequently in films and literature than in real life and it keeps its position at the top of the poker hierarchy. Many poker players go through their careers without ever witnessing something like this. It is rather self-explanatory: for a hand to qualify as a straight flush, it must be both a straight and a flush. The Royal Flush is a straight flush to an Ace (TJQKA), is at the summit of the poker food chain. If you find yourself with a royal flush, realise that no other hand can beat yours, and bet aggressively!

Starting hands in Poker

One of the most important decisions in Hold'em is whether or not to play the flop. 

In Hold'em poker, there are 169 possible two-card starting hand possibilities. For the purpose of argument, this value assumes that AK of clubs is the same as AK of hearts, or any other suitable combination. If you are not dealt a pair, your opening hand will be either suited or unsuited, and connected or disconnected (gapped). This indicates that your beginning hand will fall into one of the five categories listed below:

Pairs: For instance KK, 88, 22

Suited connectors – For instance QJ (of diamonds), 89 (of clubs), A2 (of hearts)

Connecting cards – For instance QK (offsuite), 45 (offsuite), 78 (offsuite)

Suited unconnected cards – For instance A5 (of hearts), KT (of clubs), 47 (of spades)

Unconnected cards – For instance A7 (offsuite), Q8 (offsuite), 27 (offsuite)

Unconnected cards might have one, two, three, or more gaps. The greater the space, the less likely you are to hit a straight. 

The Best Texas Hold'em Starting Hands 

Let's begin by discussing the finest beginning hands, sometimes known as 'premium hands.' There is some debate among poker players over which poker starting hands are the greatest, but few would argue against the worth of the first of our three primary categories.

Group 1: AA, KK

These two starting hands are the most important in hold'em. It's not every day that you're dealt Aces or Kings. In reality, you only receive Aces or Kings once every 110 hands, which isn't nearly as frequently as we'd want. Aces are by far the finest beginning hand in hold'em, followed closely by Kings. You should be aware, though, that even Aces and Kings may be broken, and they don't do well against numerous opponents. This suggests that you should absolutely raise before the flop to restrict the field. When playing Kings, you must exercise extreme caution since if an Ace falls on the flip, you will lose against anyone who has a single Ace in their beginning hand. While they are exceptionally good hands that most players would like to have, they are far from invincible.

Group 2: QQ, JJ, AKs

Queens and Jacks are excellent starting hands, and you can typically be certain that you have the best starting hand. They are, of course, topped by Aces and Kings, but they are favoured over all other beginning hands. While Queens and Jacks will occasionally come across a player holding Aces or Kings, this does not happen very often. Play these cards aggressively and always try to raise with them.

Ace-King is known as Big Slick in the poker world, and when suited, it is known as Super Slick. While it isn't a'made hand,' unlike a pair, it has a lot of promise. Aces and Kings are a significant underdog, and even pairings like Queens and Jacks are just tiny favourites. The brilliance of AK (suited or unsuited) is that it dominates a wide range of hands like AQ, AJ, AT, and so on. These are the hands that most players end up pushing all-in with late in a game.

Group 3: TT, AK, AQs, AJs, KQs

This following batch of beginning hands is likewise a formidable one. With any of these cards, you should absolutely consider raising pre-flop. We've already discussed the strength of AK, but starting hands such as AQs and AJs are also highly powerful and frequently run into weaker Ace-X combinations. Even though they are all excellent beginning hands, and you'll win most of the time before the flop, you must be cautious – especially with a hand like KQs, which you may easily fold to a re-raise. 

Suited Cards

When asked why they played a specific opening hand, rookie players frequently answer with the phrase "oh, since they're suited." Very few suited combinations of cards are worth playing, and it is always preferable to begin with suited cards rather than unsuited ones. However, the odds of flopping a flush with two suited cards are 1 in 118 hands (0.8 percent), and you'll only make a flush after the river around 6.5 percent (depending on the odds). Don't fall into prey to playing any two cards simply because they happen to be suited — the difference isn't significant enough to make rubbish hands attractive. 

Kicker Issues

The smaller of your two cards is referred to as the 'kicker.' Some players play a hand if it comprises an Ace and any other card (for example, an Ace with a 3 kicker), and this style of play costs players money and tournaments. Assume a player calls with A6 and the flip comes A83. What action does the player take? bet? call? raise? What about a hefty raise? to go all-in? What if J62 is a flop? The player is dealt a middle pair, which is extremely difficult to play. Hey, the flip may be A6X – the player has two pairs, Aces and sixes – but this happens just once in 49 hands (2 percent ). Slow down until you learn when and how to play Ace trash (AX). One advantage of A-TRASH hands is that you don't have to play these hands to discover when they can be successful. Allow other people's experience and studies to be your teachers.

Table Conditions

Because every circumstance is distinct, beginning hands in Hold'em may be a complicated issue. If you asked a professional poker player, "should I call, raise, or fold this hand before the flop?" "It depends!" he would almost definitely say. Here are some of the most important reasons why it depends: 

Table Size

The value of specific opening hands is heavily influenced by the number of players at the table. Certain opening hands are always vulnerable against a table of nine or ten players, but their worth improves when there are less players. A beginning hand like KJ may be weak against a full table of players, but it is regarded as a good hand when just a few other players are present.


Your location at the poker table will play a significant role in determining which opening hands you should play. The later you are in the betting sequence, the better, since you get to determine what to do after the majority of your opponents have acted. Playing position may first elude us since it is a feature of poker that lends itself to being exploited via expertise. However, you must quickly realise that your table position should heavily influence the starting hands you play. Just believe and follow some of the advice on the matter until a player develops a feel or grip for positional play.

Raised Equity

A raised hand should be a major consideration when deciding whether or not to play a certain opening hand. When a respectable player raises the pot, your beginning hand selection should alter. If there has been a raise and a re-raise before your turn, you should only play with a very good hand. Of course, this will also rely on the other players' personalities and if the game is really loose or passive.


What is the hierarchy in poker?

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Is there a hierarchy of suits in poker?

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