Read our poker hands ranking rules and tips. Visit Capitol Casino if you’re looking for a poker venue that offers various exciting table games and tournaments.

Poker Hands Ranking Rules and Tips

The basic poker hands ranking rules 

In situations where players have a similar holding, the winner of a particular poker hand is the one holding the higher pair. However, in a very rare instance when they have the same pair, the kicker card comes into play.


The kicker card is an extra card that’s used to compare rankings in a variety of poker games such as Holdem, Omaha, 5-and-7 Card Stud, etc., and applies to the first highest card outside of the combination. 


Take for example these hands: QQK92 vs. QQJ62. In this scenario, the first one takes down the second combination because of its higher kicker (K>J).


However, should the top non-pair card be the same–for example, KKJ93 vs. KKJ83–you need to compare the second high card, the third, and so on. The same thing applies if two pair hands are identical; in this scenario, the winning combination is the one with the highest kicker card. 


Meanwhile, the pot is split if all five cards end up having the same combination. 




What’s the best hand in poker? 

It’s the royal flush, which consists of Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suit. 


Fun fact: Did you know that your chance of getting a specific royal flush is 1 in 2,598,960? In short, you’re five times more likely to be struck by lightning than get the same hand twice. 


How many different poker hands can you have?

In poker hands ranking, there are 10 different options, which are listed below in order: 


  • Royal flush
  • Straight flush 
  • Four of a kind
  • Full house
  • Full
  • Straight 
  • Three of a kind
  • Two pair 
  • One pair 
  • High card


Note: Texas Holdem has 1,326 starting poker hands, while Pot Limit Ohama has a whopping 270,725 variations. Nevertheless, only 10 poker hand rankings determine the winning hand. 


What beats what based on poker hand rankings?

  • A pair beats a high card, no exception for this one. 
  • Two pair beats one pair hand.
  • Three of a kind defeats two pairs. 
  • A straight is higher than three of a kind. 
  • A flush always defeats a straight regardless of its ranking. 
  • A full house is better than a flush. 
  •  Quads or four of a kind beats a full house. 
  • A straight flush defeats four of a kind. 
  • A royal flush defeats a straight flush and the rest of the poker hand. 


Capitol Casino 

If you’re looking for a fun poker casino in Sacramento, visit Capitol Casino at 411 N 16th Street or call us at 916-446-0700. Aside from our exciting table games that include Texas Hold’em, Black Jack, Dai Baci, Omaha Hi-Lo, EZ Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, and 3-Card Poker, we also hold poker tournaments daily, every weekend and on the 1st and 2nd Saturday of the month.