What beats what in poker?

If you want to know what beats what in poker, you must first learn the poker hands rankings, from best to worst. So why not read our list of best hands to learn to help you take your game to the next level? 


Poker hands ranking 

You can also use the cheat sheet below that shows the order of poker rankings, from the strongest to the weakest: 

  1. Royal Flush (image)
  2. Straight Flush (image)
  3. Four-of-a-Kind (image)
  4. Full House (image)
  5. Flush Straight (image)
  6. Three-of-a-Kind (image)
  7. Two Pair (image)
  8. One Pair (image)
  9. High Card (image) 


What beats what cheat sheet

As you can see on the list of poker rankings, the Royal Flush is the strongest and rarest hand in poker that the chances of you getting this is one in 2,598,960 hands. In short, there’s a significantly higher chance of you getting struck by lightning than getting this hand twice. It’s that rare. 


So when you get a Royal Flush–FYI, many professional poker players haven’t been dealt a five-card Royal Flush even after years of playing–nothing can beat you. Meanwhile, the rest of the hand rankings work as follows: 

  • a pair is better than a high card;
  • a two pair beats a one pair;
  • a three-of-a-kind is better than a two pair; 
  • a straight is better than a three-of-a-kind;
  • a flush defeats a straight; 
  • a full house beats a flush;
  • a four-of-a-kind is better than a full house;
  • a straight flush defeats a four-of-a-kind;
  • And ultimate, a royal flush beats a straight flush 


Winning is not just about poker hands ranking 

Professional poker players memorize the poker hands ranking and the “what beats what” hierarchy so they can decide the best strategy to play their hands. However, unlike many casino games, you need to rely more on solid skills and strategy to win than luck and your lucky charm. 


In fact, if you want to succeed and win money at poker (or even make a living out of it), you have to develop mathematical skills and logical reasoning that are beyond an average person’s level. Some professionals even call it a sport since the long-term outcome largely depends on aptitude and skill rather than luck. 


Note that the rankings mentioned above apply to a wide variety of poker variants, from Omaha and Seven-Card Stud to Texas Hold ’em. This “hierarchy” was first developed in the early 19th Century when people started playing five-card draw first. 


The absolute and relative value of poker hands 

While it’s true that poker hand rankings never change, sometimes a poor hand becomes more valuable while a good hand turns into something less dominant because of the difference between absolute value and relative value. 


For example, a two pair’s absolute value is considered a good one. But if another player keeps betting into you and he has a stronger hand than yours, your hand is no longer considered strong. 


By contrast, if you have just one pair, but your opponent gives you free play at the pot, it might be a sign that you have a promising hand, and you should continue betting. 


Poker hands ranked – A final word

Wanna know the best way to hone your poker strategies, mathematical reasoning and probability assessment? The short answer is practice. 


And where can you practice and have fun at the same time? If this is what you have in mind, why not visit Sacramento’s number 1 poker venue Capitol Casino at 411 N 16th St. Sacramento, CA 95811. You can also reach us at 916.446.0700 or INFO@CAPITOL-CASINO.COM


Aside from exciting table games, Capitol Casino is also known for its top-notch amenities and facilities, friendly staff, and excellent food and drinks served by its bar and restaurant.