Ranking of Poker Hands: A Beginner's Guide

Poker has become a lot popular game these days. There are lots of people playing poker in clubs and through online casinos, and there are many who, rather than playing it themselves, watches it on TV. After all, World Series of Poker had been a hit.

In this article, we see the different poker hands, in a ranked order, and also the probability of occurrence associated with each. It would definitely come handy to those beginners who contemplate playing poker in the near future for fun or to make some quick bucks.

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Straight Flush: It comes at the top of the order, the best hand you can have in a poker game. It won't be wrong to call this the 'dream hand' of any player. A straight flush, technically, is the occurrence of five cards of same suit in a sequence. Further, the higher the top card, the more is the ranking of that hand. For example, a ten, jack, queen, king, ace, in that order, is considered a royal flush, the best hand to have in a poker game.

In terms of probability, the chances of occurrence of Straight Flush are 1/65.

Four of a Kind : In this hand, you have four cards of the same number/rank. Higher the rank of the card, more will be its value. In other words, a hand of four aces will have the highest value. The probability of this hand occurring in a game is 1/4165.

Full House : A full house is a hand that consists of three cards of one rank or number, and the next two of another rank/number. Here as well, the higher the rank of these two sets, the more the value. That is, three aces and two kings will have the highest rank of flush. More simplified, the hand with the highest ranking set of three cards will win.

The probability of Full House occurring is 1/694, but more than Straight Flush.

Flush : In this hand, there will be five cards in sequence, but in different suites. Further, a flush with an ace in it will have the highest value. But, then there is a possibility of more than one player having a flush hand with an ace in it. If that happens, the second card with the highest value will be considered to determine the winning hand.

The probability of a flush occurring in a game is 1/509.

Straight : A straight is the hand with the occurrence of five cards in sequence, but in different suites. In straights as well, it is the one with the highest card has the highest value. The probability of a straight occurring in a poker game is 1/255.

Three of a Kind : It is similar to the above mentioned 'four of a kind', but this time you have only three cards of the same number/rank. 1/47 is its probability of occurrence.

Two Pairs : Here, you have two cards of one rank, and another two of another rank. The remaining card will be a different one from the two pairs, but will have a role to play in some situations. Usually, in a poker game, if there are two players with two pairs, it is the player with the highest ranking pair who ultimately wins. If both players have the same highest ranking pairs, the player with the second highest ranking pair eventually triumphs. Last, but not the least, if both the players have the same set of two pairs, it is the value of the odd card that determines the winner. Probability 1/21.

Similarly there are One Pair , where the hand consists of a pair of same rank, and if more than one hand has the same pair, the value of the other three cards decide the winner (probability: 1/2.4), and High Card , in which case the player with the highest value card triumphs. Its probability of occurrence is .

You'll get to know more about 'hands' as you play the game of Poker more often.