Poker Hand Rankings & The Best Texas Hold’em Hands

Texas Hold

Note: You may have noticed a lack of small pocket pairs and suited connectors on this list. Such hands are often worth playing, but because of their more speculative nature, they do not crack the top 20 best starting hands in No Limit Texas Hold’em.

Which Poker Starting Hands Should You Play?

If you want to know which hands to play before the flop in No Limit Hold’em, and when to play them, download the free preflop guide below.

No Limit Texas Hold’em Free Starting Hands Charts

The Upswing Poker preflop guide makes it easy to play like a pro before the flop. Enter your name and email below to get it for free now!

This guide will show you exactly which hands to raise from each position before the flop. It also includes the answers to some preflop questions that many new poker players ask about.

Poker Hand Rankings FAQ

How many poker hands are there?

There are 10 possible 5 card poker hands: royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, high card.

There are 1,326 possible 2 card starting hands in Texas Hold’em. The best starting hand is pocket aces, while the worst is seven-two offsuit.

Is three pair a poker hand?

No, three pair is not a poker hand. Poker hands consist of 5 cards, not 6.

For example, if you have 7-6 and the board runs out 7-6-A-A-2, you do not have three pair. You have two pair, aces and sevens with a six kicker.

What’s the best hand in poker?

Poker’s best hand is a royal flush, which consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suit.

Royal flushes are unbeatable and extremely rare.

What are the odds of getting a royal flush?

The odds of flopping a royal flush in Texas Hold’em in any given hand is 1 in 649,740 (before cards are dealt). That’s less than a 0.000002% chance!

If you have a suited hand with two high cards (like Q♠ J♠), you have a 1 in 19,600 chance of hitting a royal flush on the flop.

What is a straight flush?

A straight flush is five cards in a row of the same suit. For example, 9♠ 8♠ 7♠ 6♠ 5♠ is a straight flush.

What are the odds of getting a straight flush?

The odds of flopping a straight flush in any given hand is 1 in 72,193 (before cards are dealt). That comes out to 0.000013%.

If you get dealt a specific type of hand, those odds get a fair bit better. But it’s still quite a long shot!

Suited connectors with no gaps like 54s and JTs have a 1 in 4,900 chance of hitting a straight flush on the flop. Those sound like long odds, but they’ll seem a bit shorter when you read that suited connectors with gaps (like 84s) have just a 1 in 19,600 chance.

What are the odds of getting four-of-a-kind?

The odds of flopping four-of-a-kind in any given hand is 1 in 4,165 (before cards are dealt). That comes out to 0.02401%.

If you get dealt a pocket pair, those odds get a fair bit better.

Pocket pairs like A♠ A♣ have a 1 in 407 chance of hitting four-of-a-kind on the flop. 

What are the odds of getting a full house?

The odds of flopping a full house in any given hand is 1 in 694.1 (before cards are dealt). That comes out to 0.1441%.

What are the odds of getting a flush?

The odds of flopping a flush in any given hand is 1 in 508.8 (before cards are dealt). That comes out to 0.1965%.

If you get dealt two suited cards, those odds get a fair bit better. 

Suited cards like A♠ K♠ have a 1 in 118 chance of hitting a flush on the flop. 

What are the odds of getting a straight?

The odds of flopping a straight in any given hand is 1 in 254.8 (before cards are dealt). That comes out to 0.3925%.

If you get dealt two connected cards, those odds get a fair bit better.

Connected cards like 9♠ 8♣ have a 1 in 77.5 chance of hitting a straight on the flop. 

What are the odds of getting three-of-a-kind?

The odds of flopping three-of-a-kind in any given hand is 1 in 47.3 (before cards are dealt). That comes out to 2.1128%.

If you get dealt a pocket pair, those odds get a fair bit better.

Pocket pairs like K♣ K♠ have a 1 in 7.5 chance of hitting three-of-a-kind on the flop. 

What are the odds of getting two-pair?

The odds of flopping two pair in any given hand is 1 in 21 (before cards are dealt). That comes out to 4.7539%.

What are the odds of getting one-pair?

The odds of flopping a pair in any given hand is 1 in 2.37 (before cards are dealt). That comes out to 42.27%.

With an unpaired hand like J9, you have a 32.43% chance of hitting a one-pair hand on the flop.

What are the odds of getting no pair / high card?

The odds of flopping a no pair / high card in any given hand is 1 in 1.995 (before cards are dealt). That comes out to 50.1177%.

What beats what in poker?

The poker hand rankings are as follows. One pair beats no pair. Two pair beats one pair. Three of a kind beats two pair. A straight beats three of a kind. A flush beats a straight. A full house beats a flush. Four of a kind beats a full house. A straight flush beats four of a kind. A royal flush beats a straight flush.

What suit is the highest in poker?

No suit is “higher” or better than any other suit in most poker games, including Texas Hold’em.

That said, some other poker games do rank suits. The most common ranking of suits goes in the following order (from best to worst): spades ♠, hearts ♥, diamonds , clubs ♣.

What is a straight / flush / full house in poker?

A straight is five cards in a row. For example, 9♠ 8 7♣ 6 5♠ is a straight.

A flush is five cards of the same suit. For example, K♠ J♠ 8♠ 6♠ 4♠ is a flush.

A full house is when you hold both three-of-a-kind and a pair. For example, A♠ A♣ A 7 7♣ is a full house.

When it’s a flush vs straight, who wins?

A flush wins versus a straight.

Flushes consist of 5 cards of the same suit, such as A♠ J♠ 9♠ 7♠ 4♠. Straights consist of 5 cards in a row, such as 7 6♣ 5 4 3♠.

Why does a flush beat a straight? Because you have a lower probability of hitting a flush than a straight.

When it’s 3 of a kind vs a straight, who wins?

A straight wins versus 3 of a kind.

3 of a kind only beats two pair, one pair, and high card hands.

What if two people have two pair?

When multiple players have two pair, the player with the better high pair wins the pot. For example, aces and twos would beat kings and queens.

If multiple players have the same highest pair, the player with the better low pair wins the pot. For example, aces and sevens would beat aces and twos.

If multiple players have the exact same two pair, the player with the better kicker wins the pot.

Note: Want to learn more about the procedures of the game? Learn poker rules here.

Final Thoughts

Before you go, here’s that poker hand rankings cheat sheet one more time:

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