Poker Tips

Guide to Poker Hand Rankings and the Advantages of Learning Them

Learning poker hand rankings can be initially overwhelming, but it is an essential skill and strategy to know when trying to master the game of poker.

The first thing to understand is that there are a lot of different poker games, and each has its own set of rules. While the practices for each game may differ slightly, the poker rankings are generally the same.

This guide will give you a rundown of all the different poker hands, from weakest to strongest, and explain the advantages of learning them.

What are Poker Rankings?

Poker hand rankings are the order of strength in which poker hands are ranked. The rankings go from the weakest hand, the high card, all the way up to the most substantial hand, which is a royal flush.

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The rankings are essential to understand as they directly impact the strategy you should use when playing poker. For example, if you have a 2-7 offsuit hand, your chances of winning are slim against someone with four kings or a royal flush.

Therefore, by knowing the order of poker hand rankings, you can make more informed decisions while playing and have a better chance of coming out on top.

The Advantages of Learning the Poker Hand Chart

One of the main advantages of learning poker hands in order is that it enables you to make better decisions when playing the game.

If you know that your opponent has a weaker hand than you, you can be more aggressive in your betting. Conversely, if you know that your opponent has a more substantial hand, you can either fold or call their bet and hope to get lucky on the river (the last card dealt).

Another advantage of knowing poker hand rankings is that they can help you determine the odds of winning a particular hand. Memorizing it will help you quickly and accurately calculate your odds in any given situation because you can quickly scan the cards on the table and deduce what your opponents may have.

Poker hand rankings are also important when it comes to understanding pot odds. Pot odds are the ratio of the bet’s size to the pot’s size. For example, if the pot is $100 and your opponent bets $10, their pot odds are 10 to 1. If you know their chance of winning the hand is less than 10 to 1, then you should call their bet, as it is mathematically profitable in the long run.

Finally, understanding poker hand rankings can help you make better decisions regarding bluffing. If you have a weak hand but think that your opponent will fold if you bet high, then you can try bluffing. However, if you have a strong hand, you should bet accordingly to get value from your opponents.

Poker hand rankings are an essential part of the game and should be learned by all players who want to improve their game.

Poker Hand Strength: How to know if your poker hand is strong or weak

The first thing you need to do is learn the poker hand rankings. These are the standard rankings used in almost all poker variants. Once you know these, you can quickly work out the strength of your hand.

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The next thing to consider is the board. The board is the set of cards faced up in the middle of the table and shared by all players. By seeing the cards on the board, you can often work out what hands your opponents may have and how strong they are. For example, if there are two aces on the board and you have a pocket pair of aces, then it is very likely that your opponents do not have aces, and you have the best hand. However, if there are two aces on the board and you have a pair of twos, then it is likely that one or more of your opponents have aces, and your hand is not as strong.

Remembering what your opponents have been doing during the hand should be part of your considerations. They will likely have a strong hand if they have been betting heavily. Otherwise, they probably have a weak hand if they have been checking and calling.

Putting it all together, you can use the following tips to help you work out the strength of your hand:

  • Learn the poker hand rankings
  • Consider the board
  • Look at your opponents’ betting patterns

Using these simple tips, you can quickly and easily assess the strength of your hand and make better decisions at the table.

Hierarchy of poker hands 

The following is a list of poker hand in order from the weakest to the strongest:

High card

A high card is any card, not part of a pair, flush or straight. The highest high card wins.

One pair

A combination of two cards of the same rank, like two aces. The highest pair wins.

Two pairs

Refer to two sets of pairs of cardsโ€”for example, aces and sixes. The highest-ranking pair wins.

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Three of a kind

This hand means that there are  three cards of the same rank. For example, three kings. The highest-ranking three-of-a-kind wins.


A straight is five cards in a row of any suit. For example, 5-6-7-8-9. In the event two players produced a straight hand, the player with the strongest high card will be the winner. 


A flush is five cards of the same suitโ€”for example, all diamonds. The flush with the highest card wins.

Full house

A full house is three of a kind plus a pair. For example, 3 kings and 2 sixes. The highest-ranking full house wins.

Four of a kind

Refers to four cards of the same rank. For example, four aces. The highest-ranking four-of-a-kind wins.

Straight flush

A straight flush is five cards in a row of the same suit. For example, all diamonds from 5 to 9. The highest-ranking straight flush wins.

Royal flush

A royal flush is a straight flush that contains the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 of the same suit. It is the strongest hand in poker and can not be beaten.


Poker hand rankings determine who wins and who loses in a poker game. Knowing the poker hand hierarchy, you can efficiently work out which hands beat which and plan your strategy accordingly.GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room, offers a variety of games and stakes to suit all players. Master the hand rankings to take your games to the next level. Sign up on GGPoker now!

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