Poker hand strengths

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Most modern poker games use the same ranking of the final 5-card hand. See the table below.

Straight FlushA straight and a flush [1]
Four of a KindFour cards of the same rank
Full HouseBoth three of a kind and two of a kind
FlushFive cards in the same suit
StraightFive sequential cards. An ace can be played as a one.
Three of a KindThree cards of the same rank
Two PairSuch as Ten-Ten & 4-4
A PairTwo cards of the same rank, such as jack-jack
No PairNone of the above combinations

Within these general rankings, straights, flushes, and no pair hands are ordered by the rank of the individual cards in the hand. Other hands are ordered first by the rank making four of a kind (if any), then by the rank(s) making three of a kind (if any), then by the rank(s) making two of a kind (if any), and finally by the rank of the remaining card(s) in the hand.

As it turns out, the 2,598,960 unique five-card poker hands contain only 7,462 unique ranks [1]. These ranks can be collapsed even further for a typical game, since some ranks (e.g. three aces with KQ and three aces with TJ) cannot held in two hands at the same time.


The original game of 20-card poker had a deck consisting of ace through ten of each suit. Straights, flushes, and straight flushes were not recognized. Flushes were introduced around the time of the modern 52-card deck, above three of a kind and below the full house. Straights were introduced later, originally ranking between two pair and three of a kind, and the straight flush was introduced above the full house but below four of a kind.


  1. A straight flush from ten to ace is called a "royal flush". While it is sometimes listed as a separate hand rank it is really just the highest ranking straight flush.