Poker Hands & Sequences

What are poker hands?

Poker hands are a combination of five cards formed by each player. These sets of five include the cards dealt to a player (called the hole cards) and the cards shared by the table (called the community cards). There are ten combinations of poker hands, ranked in order from the highest (royal flush) to the lowest (high-card).

The objective of poker is for players to wager over who has the best hand. After the hole cards are dealt to each player, the community cards are revealed across separate rounds of betting. A player constructs their hand across these rounds, and makes different kinds of bets depending on how strong or weak their hand is.

What are poker sequences?

Poker sequences refer to the hierarchical ranking of hands. The ten poker hands are ranked from strongest to weakest, with the rare royal flush topping the list and lone high-card right at the bottom. The royal flush consists of a 10, J, Q, K, A of the same suit. Following this is the straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three-of-a-kind, two-pair, one-pair, and high card. Players aim to form the best possible hand to beat their opponents and claim the pot. A foolproof understanding of poker sequences is crucial if you want to become a successful poker player.

List of Poker Hands & Sequence Ranking

  1. Royal flush

    This is the strongest poker hand, comprising a 10, J, Q, K, A, all of the same suit. It's also extremely rare - the probability of drawing a royal flush in a standard 52-card deck is 0.000154%! It's a straight flush of the highest value, and outranks all other poker hands. If this is your draw, you're taking home the pot for sure.

  2. Straight flush

    A straight flush includes five cards of the same suit, in numerical order. 7♠ 8♠ 9♠ 10♠ J♠ is an instance of this hand. If more than one player makes a straight flush, the one with the highest card value wins - for instance, 7♠ 8♠ 9♠ 10♠ J♠ beats 4♠ 5♠ 6♠ 7♠ 8♠. The lowest ranked straight flush is A♠ 2♠ 3♠ 4♠ 5♠ (for any suit).

  3. Four of a kind

    This is the third-most powerful hand, comprising four cards of the same suit. Q♠ Q♣ Q♥ Q♦ 7♠ is an example of this hand. If there is a four-of-a-kind in the community cards, the tie-breaker goes in favour of the player with the highest hole-card. This high card, called the kicker, decides the winner of the round.

  4. Full House

    A full house is represented by a three-pair and a two-pair, that is three plus two cards of the same value - for instance 5♠ 5♣ 5♥ 9♠ 9♣. This is one of the strongest hands in poker. The highest ranked full house is three A's and two K's.

  5. Flush

    This is one of the best-known poker hands, synonymous with the game of poker. It refers to five cards of the same suit, in any order such as 7♠ 2♠ 9♠ 5♠ J♠. If two players draw a flush, the tie-breaker is decided by the player holding the highest card (the kicker). A sequence of cards of the same suit is called a straight flush, a combination of the two hands.

  6. Straight

    A straight refers to five cards in sequence, belonging to any suit. 7♠ 8♣ 9♣ 10♥ J♦ is an example of a straight. A straight hand formed from A, 2, 3, 4, 5 is the lowest-ranked, while one formed from 10, J, Q, K, A is the highest-ranked. A sequence of cards of the same suit is called a straight flush, a combination of the two hands.

  7. Three-of-a-kind

    This poker hand comprises three cards of the same value, of any suit - for instance, K♠ K♣ K♥ 7♠ 3♥. The three Kings form a three-of-a-kind, while the other two cards complete the hand and act as the kicker or tie-breaker. The highest ranking of this hand is A A A, while the lowest is 2 2 2.

  8. Two-pair

    A two-pair poker hand refers to two sets of two cards having the same value. Simply put, it's two sets of pairs. An instance of a two-pair is 8 8 J J of any suit, and completed by another card. The pairs of 8's and J's make up the two individual pairs

  9. Pair

    A pair is made up of two cards of the same value, and completely by any three other cards - for instance, Q♥ Q♠ 7♣ 10♠ J♥. It is the most common poker hand, and is beaten by pretty much any other hand save for a high card.

  10. High-card

    This is the lowest rank of poker hands, and refers to a single card of the highest value. In a hand of 4 6 7 J A, the Ace is the high card. In a game where no possible hand can be formed, the player with the highest card is the winner.

Poker Hand Rankings Chart (Strongest to Weakest)

The poker hand rankings, or poker sequence, determine the hierarchy of hands from the strongest to weakest. Remembering this order is crucial to your playing strategy, so have a look at the chart below for a summary.

Tips to Remember Poker Hands & Sequences

Knowing your poker hand rankings inside out is the first step to becoming a successful poker player. Your understanding and memory of the rankings dictates pretty much every decision you make at the poker table. Here's a mnemonic to help you remember the poker sequence of rankings:

  • Stay Fresh For A House Full Of Sharks 3 2 1
  • Stay Fresh - SF for Straight Flush
  • For A - Four-of-a-kind
  • House - Full House
  • Full - F for Flush
  • Sharks - S for Straight
  • 3 - Three-of-a-kind
  • 2 - Two-pair
  • 1 - One-pair

This covers eight poker hands. In addition, remember that the highest ranked hand is the royal flush, while the lowest is the high card.

Rules for forming poker hands

Poker hands are formed from a combination of five cards, consisting of a player's "hole cards" (dealt face down) and the "community cards" (dealt face up on the table). The objective is to create the highest-ranking hand according to a predetermined hierarchy. Topping the poker hand rankings is the royal flush, followed by the straight flush, four-of-a-kind, full house, flush, straight, three-of-a-kind, two pair, one pair, and high card. Players can bet, raise, or fold based on the strength of their hand and their strategy. The player with the highest-ranking hand at the end of the round wins the pot.

What are the best poker hands?

The best poker hands are those with the highest-ranking combinations, starting with the rarest and most powerful, the royal flush. This hand consists of a ten, jack, queen, king, and ace, all of the same suit. Following the royal flush is the straight flush, which comprises five consecutive cards of the same suit. Four of a kind comes next, featuring four cards of the same rank, followed by the full house, flush, and straight. Three of a kind, two pair, and one pair are next in descending order, with the high card being the weakest hand


In poker, a hand comprises five cards, including a player's "hole cards" and the "community cards" on the table. Poker hands are ranked from highest to lowest, with the top-ranking being a royal flush and the lowest being the high-card. There are ten possible hand combinations in total.

  1. Royal Flush (A♠ K♠ Q♠ J♠ 10♠)
  2. Straight Flush (4♠ 5♠ 6♠ 7♠ 8♠)
  3. Four-of-a-kind (9♥ 9♠ 9♣ 9♦)
  4. Full house (J♥ J♠ J♣ 8♦ 8♥)
  5. Flush (4♠ 5♠ 8♠ 10♠ K♠)
  6. Straight (8♣ 9♥ 10♦ J♠ Q♥)
  7. Three-of-a-kind (10♥ 10♣ 10♦ 4♣ K♠)
  8. Two-pair (K♣ K♥ 7♠ 10♣ 9♥)
  9. Pair (K♣ K♠ 7♣ 10♠ 9♥)
  10. High-card (K♥ 2♣ 5♠ 6♠ 7♥)

In general, the player with the strongest hand at the showdown wins. In case of a tie, where two players have the same hand, the one with the highest-ranked card (called the kicker) will be the winner. The second, third, fourth, and fifth ranked cards can also be used as tie-breakers. If there's still a tie, the pot is split.

In the event that the game doesn't reach the final showdown, where all but one player have folded, the pot will go to the last player standing.

Combinations refer to a player's hole cards, which are the cards dealt to each player before the first round of betting. Pairs of high-value cards such as Aces, Kings, Queens are considered to be the best poker combinations, because this means there's a better possibility of building a strong hand as the shared cards are revealed across later rounds. AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK are considered the strongest poker combinations.

Poker sequences refer to the hierarchical ranking of hands. The top-ranking poker sequence is the royal flush, followed by the straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, and high card. Players aim to form the highest-ranking sequence while following the poker game rules, allowing them to win the pot in each round of play.

In the 3-card variant, poker sequences are determined by the combination of three cards held by each player. The ranking hierarchy follows traditional poker hand sequences, with a few exceptions. In this variant, a straight outranks a flush, and the highest hand is a three-card straight flush. Next is three of a kind, followed by a straight, a flush, a pair, and a high card

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