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Winning Hands in Texas Holdem Poker

Hand Rankings

One of the most important things you must do before going into a game poker is to make sure you know your hands! New players often get confused as to whether 2 pair is better or worse than 3 of a kind. Or if a flush beats a straight, and is either of those hands better than a full house? If any of the tems used below confuse you, be sure to check out our poker terms and lingo article. Below we have a list of poker hands and their ranking for Texas Holdem, starting with the strongest hand possible, and working our way down to the weakest of hands:

spades royal flush

A Royal flush is 10, J, Q, K, A of the same suit, this is the strongest hand in poker.

The example shows the royal flush in the suit of spades, but a royal flush is just as special in any suit, hearts, diamonds and clubs are also killer ultra rare hands.

Odds against getting a Royal Flush? 30,939 to 1


 straight flushes are the best hands possible in Holdem

A series of 5 consecutive cards of the same suit.

The example shows a mid ranking straight flush in the suit of diamonds, the hand shown, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 would lose to a straight flush of K, Q, J, 10, 9 but in turn would beat 5, 4, 3, 2, A.

Odds against getting a straight flush? 3,590 to 1


four of a kind or quads is the 2nd best hand in texas holdem

Four cards of the same rank. The fifth card is discounted.

The example shows four Aces and a 9 which is not taken into account

Odds against getting four of a kind? 594 to 1


full houses are very strong hands and rarely lose

Three cards of the same rank and two other cards of the same rank or a full house can be seen as three-of-a-kind with a pair.

In the example to the cards used are J, J, Q, Q, Q this would outrank a full house of 10, 10, 6, 6, 6 etc.

Odds against getting a full house? 37.5 to 1


Flushes win hands more often than not, especially nut flushes as shown here.

When the hand has five cards of the same suit. The rank of the cards doesn't matter, as long as they are all of the same suit like Spades or Diamonds. If two players have a flush, then the player with the highest card of that suit wins the hand. If the highest cards are equal, move to the second, then to the third, etc. The hand shown is a "nut flush" because it is an Ace high flush and could only be beaten by another flush if that flush was a straight flush.

Odds against getting a flush? 32.1 to 1


straights are solid medium strength hands

Five sequential cards of any suit. If two players a straight, the straight with the highest card wins. In the example to the right the cards shown are 9, 8, 7, 6, 5. If the cards had been A, 2, 3, 4, 5 it would be called a wheel, a wheel being the weakest straight possible, as the Ace is used as a low card. If there were another straight at the table of 8, 9, 10, J, Q that would beat the low straight.

Odds against getting a straight? 20.6 to 1


three of a kind, or trips, is a solid medium strength hand that wins more often than not!


Three cards of equal rank. Example: 7, 7, 7 or 4, 4, 4. The example shows three 2's, if another player were also to have a hand with 3 of a kind it would beat this hand if the 3 cards were higher than 2's for example 10, 10, 10.

Odds against getting three of a kind? 19.7 to 1


Two pair can be a sneaky winning hand!


Two pairs of cards of equal rank. In the example the two pairs are two Kings and two Aces, if another player also had these 2 pairs (v.unlikely) the winner would be decided by highest of the remaining cards that each player holds. In this case, the 9, and that 9 would be called a "kicker" card.

Odds against getting two pairs? 3.26 to 1


This is the most common winning hand in Texas Holdem in 6max games.


Two cards of equal rank. In the example the cards shown are a pair of Aces. Any pair of cards up to the value of 6 are known as a baby pair. A pair can be beaten by a pair of higher value.

Odds against getting one pair? 1.28 to 1


Players fail to make any hand better than high card 2/3rds of the time playing Texas Holdem.


If none of the hands form any of the combinations above, compare the hands and the hand with the highest card wins. In the example an Ace is shown, as a high card, an Ace, cannot be beaten by any other high card. If two players have high card hands and both contain an Ace, the 2nd highest card breaks the tie. If the second highest cards are the same, then it goes down the line until a higher card is found, and that hand wins.