poker rules cheat sheet + best hands best to worst

Poker Hand Rankings

If you are new to poker, it’s important to get to grips with poker hand rankings quickly so that you know which hands beat you, or are likely to be able to beat you in specific spots in games like Texas Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha and Short-Deck Hold’em.

Use our printable poker cheat sheet to learn the hand rankings for popular poker games like Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha

Poker Hands Ranked from Best to Worst

  1. Royal flush
    T J Q K A
    The best hand in poker – a Royal Flush is comprised of the top five ranked cards – in consecutive order and suited. The highest ranked cards in poker are “broadway cards” Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace – (which combine to make an ace high straight). If you have a royal flush (effectively suited broadway) you have a 100% unbeatable poker hand (“the nuts”). A lot of players don’t see a royal flush in a whole lifetime of playing poker.The probability of hitting a royal flush is small, due to the fact that there are only four hand combinations that make up a royal flush. The percentage chance of hitting one is 0.0001539077% or 649737 to 1.
  2. Straight Flush
    2 3 4 5 6
    The second best hand in poker – a straight flush consists of 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. Your hand must be all clubs, or all diamonds, or all spades, or all hearts.
  3. Quads / 4 of a Kind
    6 6 6 6 X x
    The third best hand in poker – quads is four cards of the same rank. This hand is tough to beat. Should more than one player showdown the same quads (E.g on a 66669 flop) – the pot will be won by whichever player still in the hand highest kicker card (a hole-card that isn’t used to make your 5 card showdown hand). If the additional card is shared between both players the pot will be split between the remaining players (e.g in the situation outlined above, If player A has 44 (pocket fours) and player B has 55 (pocket fives) – both players would play the board – with quad 6’s with a 9 kicker – resulting in a “chopped pot”.
  4. Full House
    9 9 9 3 3
    A full house is a five card hand comprised of a pair and 3 of a kind combined. The suits of the cards are irrelevant. Also known as a “full boat”.
  5. Flush
    8 A 9 T K
    In poker a flush is a combination of any five cards of the same suit. In this example, our hand an Ace High Flush – as the highest card making up our poker hand is the Ace of spades. The only flush that beats this hand is a straight flush.
  6. Straight
    4 5 6 7 8
    A straight is a run of five consecutive cards – which are not all of the same suit (otherwise, that would be a straight flush).
  7. 3 of a kind
    2 2 2 9 7
    As the name implies, three of a kind involves having three cards of the same rank, and any other non pair. Three of a kind is also known sometimes referred to “trips” if one card from your hole-cards is used to make a 3-of a kind in combination with 2 board-cards- but effectively there is no difference.
  8. Two Pair
    K K Q Q 3
    In this example the player has a pair of queens and a pair of kings – two pairs, and any other other (“kicker”) card
  9. Pair
    K K 4 9 3
    In this example the player has a pair of Kings- two cards of the same rank, and any other 3 non-paired cards.
  10. High Card
    A 7 8 9 6
    Sometimes in poker you won’t hit a pair on the flop, turn or river, and your opponent might not hit either. In this case you play your highest hole-card – in this case Ace high. If you opponent has a lesser hand at showdown (like King high, or a missed draw), or if they fold – you win chips in the pot.

Note: This poker chart is printable.


Poker Hand Nicknames

Part of the rich history of poker is in the quirky names assigned to some poker hands.

  • A A Pair of Aces – American Airlines, Pocket Rockets, Bullets
  • K x K x Pair of Kings- Cowboys, Butchers, Ace Magnets
  • Q x Q x Pair of Queens- Ladies
  • J x J x Pair of Jacks- Hooks
  • T T Pair of Tens- Dimes
  • 9 x 9 x Pair of Nines- Wayne Gretzky
  • A K Ace King- The Big Slick, Anna Kournikova
  • 9 5 Nine Five – Dolly Parton
  • A x Q x Ace Queen- Anthony and Cleopatra
  • 8 8 Pocket Eights- Snowmen
  • Q 4 Queen Four- The PokerBrat Hand
  • 3 3 Pair of Trays- Crabs
  • 2 2 Pair of Deuces – Ducks

Poker Hands Resources