Texas Hold'em Rules

Poker Hand Rankings & The Best Texas Hold’em Poker Hands

Below you will find a list of poker hands in order from highest to lowest to help you get started, as well as the top starting hands for Texas Hold'em.

Click the button on the right to get a cheat sheet that displays the traditional poker hand rankings, which are used in the most popular variants of poker (such as Texas Hold‘em). If you want to learn more about poker hands and rankings, read on.

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Below you will find a list of poker hands in order from highest to lowest to help you get started. Plus, the top starting hands for Texas Hold'em.

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View Top 20 Texas Hold'em Starting Hands

You can download a cheat sheet that displays the traditional poker hand rankings above, which are used in the most popular variants of poker (such as Texas Hold‘em).

If you want to learn more about poker hands and rankings, including how to break ties, read on.

Hand Rankings Cheat Sheet Chart

Poker Hand Rankings

RankNameExampleDescription
1Royal Flushroyal flushThe best hand possible, a royal flush consists of A, K, Q, J and 10, all of the same suit.
2Straight Flushstraight flushAlso very rare, a straight flush consists of any straight that is all the same suit.
3Four of a Kindfour of a kind or quadsFour of a kind, or 'quads', consists of four cards of equal value along with another card known as a side card.
4Full Housefull houseA full house consists of three cards of one value and two cards of another.
5FlushflushA flush is a hand which has all cards of the same suit.
6Straightstraight poker handsA straight has 5 cards of consecutive value that are not all the same suit.
7Three of a Kindtrips poker handsAlso known as 'trips', three of a kind is 3 cards of the same value and 2 side cards of different values.
8Two Pairtwo pair poker handsTwo pair consists of two cards of equal value, another two cards of equal value, and one extra card.
9PairpairOne pair consists of two cards of the same value, and three extra cards.
10High Cardhigh cardFive cards that do not interact with each other to make any of the above hands.

If you want to win at poker, you obviously need to know what hand you've been dealt and what hand wins. Take the first step to winning at poker and download these rankings here.

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Poker Hand Rankings Quiz

Put your knowledge of poker hands to the test with the quiz below. Good luck!

Note: Want some strategic tips to help you win at poker? Check out these 10 Quick Poker Tips!

Tie-breakers and Kickers 

When multiple players have the same poker hands, the extra cards come in to play. These extra cards are called 'kickers'. The player with the higher kicker will take the pot when this happens.

Texas Hold'em Example: 

  • Player A has K 9
  • Player B has A♠ K
  • The flop, turn and river are K♠-T♣-T-4♠-2♣

This means the players' final five card poker hands are:

  • Player A: K K♠ T♣ T 9 for Two Pair, Kings and Tens with a Nine kicker
  • Player B: K K♠ T♣ T A♠ for Two Pair, Kings and Tens with an Ace kicker

Both players have a pair of kings, but the winner of the pot is Player B because he has Player A 'out-kicked'.

In a high card or one pair hand tie-breaker, both players can sometimes have the same kicker. In this case the second kicker is used, and then the third, and so on. If both players’ best five card poker hands are identical, then they share the pot equally.

Now, let's talk about starting hands in Texas Hold'em.

Ranking The Top 20 No Limit Texas Hold’em Starting Hands

I wanted to include something a bit more exciting in this article, so here's the top 20 No Limit Hold'em starting hands in terms of raw all-in equity (or percentages).

Although the order of the best poker hands to start with is sometimes contested, this list will give you a rough idea of which hands are stronger than others:

#1. Pocket Aces (A♠ A).
The very best starting hand in Texas Hold'em.
Fun fact:
the hand with the highest odds of beating aces in a one-on-one match-up is 6-5 suited (22.51% vs 77.49%).

#2. Pocket Kings (K♠ K♣).
The second best starting hand. Kings are known as "ace magnets" by more pessimistically-minded players.

#3. Pocket Queens (Q♠ Q).
The ladies are the third best starting hand. This premium pair will be an overpair to the flop quite often. Starting to notice a trend?

#4. Pocket Jacks (J♠ J).
Also known as fishhooks, jacks are one of the most complained-about hands in poker. If you hate jacks, read 3 Tips to Stop Spewing with Pocket Jacks.

#5. Ace-King Suited (A♠ K♠).
The best non-pair is also known as big slick. Players often complain about missing flops with ace-king, so we wrote How to Play Ace-King When You Miss the Flop.

#6. Pocket Tens (T♠ T).
Back to pairs! Pocket tens are another premium pair with which you should often be willing to commit a lot of money. Make sure to proceed cautiously when facing a lot of action.

#7. Ace-King Offsuit (A♠ K).
A powerful hand that has at least a 45-50% chance to win versus almost any holding (with the exceptions being aces and kings).

#8. Ace-Queen Suited (A♠ Q♠).
Another premium hand with a lot of postflop playability. This hand hits many strong top pairs, and it's especially valuable on queen-high flops because you'll have top pair top kicker.

#9. Pocket Nines (9♠ 9).
A strong hand that is almost always worth playing preflop, whether it be by raising yourself, calling a raise, or 3-betting.

#10. Ace-Jack Suited (A J).
Like ace-queen suited, ace-jack suited has a lot of postflop playability and hits a lot of strong top pairs on the flop. Not to mention it's flush and straight potential.

#11. King-Queen Suited (K♠ Q♠).
This hand has a lot of playability because of how well it interacts with flops. It can easily hit strong top pairs, plus straights and flushes.

#12. Ace-Ten Suited (A T).
Like king-queen suited, this hand has a lot of playability with strong top pair, flush, and straight potential. However, the large gap between cards makes it slightly less preferable to king-queen suited.

#13. Ace-Queen Offsuit (A♠ Q).
Like its suited counterpart, ace-queen offsuit hits a lot of strong top pairs and is thus very valuable.

#14. Pocket Eights (8♣ 8).
The lowest pair that cracks the top 20 best No Limit Hold'em starting hands. Pocket eights are strong, but will often face tough spots when an overcard or two comes on the flop.

#15. King-Jack Suited (K J).
Yet another top starting hand that hits strong top pairs relatively often -- sound familiar?

#16. King-Ten Suited (K♠ T♠).
Like many of the other hands on this list, king-ten suited has the potential to hit strong pairs, straights and flushes.

#17. Queen-Jack Suited (Q J).
Can you guess what makes this hand strong? That's right: it can hit strong pairs, flushes, and straights.

#18. Ace-Jack Offsuit (A♣ J♠).
Another powerful, high-card-driven hand. Be somewhat wary with ace-jack on ace-high flops, especially versus tight players who may have ace-king and ace-queen.

#19. King-Queen Offsuit (K Q♠).
Like it's suited counterpart, king-queen offsuit is great at hitting strong pairs on the flop. Plus, that A-J-T flop is soooo dreamy.

#20. Queen-Ten Suited (Q♠ T♠).
This high-potential suited broadway hand rounds out the list.

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!

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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

Ready to learn more about the procedures of the game? Learn poker rules here.

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

poker hands rankings chart cheat sheet

Download the Hand Rankings

I hope you enjoyed this list of poker hands ranked!

Want to improve your overall poker strategy next? Read 10 Quick Poker Tips That Will Help Your Game.

If you prefer watching to reading, watch 5 Tips To Win A LOT More Money at Poker:

Home > Poker Hand Rankings & The Best Texas Hold’em Poker Hands
Home > Poker Hand Rankings & The Best Texas Hold’em Poker Hands
About the Author

Rory Corrigan

Rory is an online NLHE & PLO grinder and poker writer

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