Texas Hold’em hand rankings

The rank of hands remains the same no matter which type of poker game you play.

In a nutshell, a poker hand consists of five cards. Poker hands fall into one of several categories, such as flush, straight, or two pair. The player with the highest ranking hand is the winner.

Royal flush

A royal flush is an ace high straight flush.

Straight flush

A straight flush is a five-card straight, all in the same suit.

Four of a kind

Quads, or four of a kind, are four cards of equal rank.

Full house

A full house, or full boat, contains a set (three) of cards of one rank and a pair of another rank.


A flush is any five cards, all of the same suit.


Five cards of sequential rank. Every possible straight will contain either a 5 or a 10.

Three of a kind

Three cards of the same rank.

Two pairs

A two pair is two cards of one rank and another two cards of another rank.


One pair is two cards of the same rank.

High card

The hand with the highest card(s) wins.

Ties and kickers

Poker is all about making the best five-card hand from the seven available (five community cards and your own two hole cards). That means in the event of a tie with four of a kind, three of a kind, two pair one pair or high card, a side card, or 'kicker', comes into play to decide who wins the pot.

For example:

Player A's best five cards

Player B's best five cards

Player A wins the hand with Q kicker.

With a three of a kind, one pair or high card tie, a second, third or even fourth kicker could come into play to decide the pot. If the kickers can’t decide one overall winner, those players involved are just going to have to share the pot.

Click here to download a printable version of the hand rankings guide. You'll need Adobe Reader to view the guide, available here.