Welcome to the ultimate guide to poker card rankings! If you’re new to the game, understanding which cards are more valuable than others is an essential poker charts starting point. And if you’re an experienced player already, it never hurts to brush up on your knowledge of the rankings to stay ahead of the competition.
The Basics of Poker Card Rankings
To start, let’s go over the basics of poker card rankings. Poker is typically played with a standard deck of 52 cards. Each card has its rank, which is the number or face value of the card, as well as its suit, which is either hearts, diamonds, clubs, or spades. The suits are all equal, and no suit is worth more than any other suit.
The Ace is the highest-ranking card in poker, followed by the King, Queen, Jack, and 10 in descending order. After the face cards, the remaining cards are ranked numerically from 9 down to 2, with 2 being the lowest-ranking card. Here is the full ranking list, from highest to lowest:
Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
Understanding Poker Hands
Now that you know the basic card rankings, it’s time to learn how they come together to form poker hands. In poker, players make hands using five cards, regardless of how many cards are in their hands. The objective of the game is to make the best five-card hand possible.
The Royal Flush
The Royal Flush is the highest-ranking hand in poker. It consists of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10, all of the same suit. It is the rarest hand in the game, and therefore the most valuable.
The Straight Flush
The Straight Flush is the second-highest ranking hand in poker and is made up of five consecutive cards of the same suit. For example, a 6-7-8-9-10 of spades would be a straight flush. The value of the hand is determined by the highest card in the sequence. The higher the card, the more valuable the hand.
Four of a Kind
A Four of a Kind hand is made up of four cards of the same rank with any fifth card. If two players have four of a kind, the player with the higher rank wins.
A Full House is a combination of a Three of a Kind and a Pair. For example, a hand that has three 10s and two 2s is a full house. If two players have full houses, the player with the higher-ranking three-of-a-kind wins.
A Flush is a hand that contains five cards of the same suit but not in sequence. If two players have flushes, the highest-ranked card is used to determine the winner.
A Straight hand is made up of five cards of any suit in sequence. But the Ace can also be used as a 1 to make the lowest possible straight, which is A-2-3-4-5. If two players have straights, the highest-ranking card used in the straight is used to determine the winner.
Three of a Kind
A Three of a Kind hand is composed of three cards of the same rank and two unrelated cards. If two players have three of a kind, the player with the higher-ranking cards wins.
A Two Pair hand is made up of two sets of two cards of the same rank and one unrelated card. If two players have two pairs, the player with the highest-ranking pairs wins.
A One Pair hand is composed of two cards of the same rank and three unrelated cards. If two players have one pair, the player with the higher-ranking pair wins.