Poker hands and how they differ from each other

Poker is a gambling game that requires strategy, tact, and, most importantly, precision. While you might think making “poker faces” is everything in poker, there’s more than meets the eyes here.

For some insight into the inner workings of this game, this article will shed light on the meaning of poker hands and major forms bound to appear during gameplay.

Without further ado, let’s head right in.

Poker hands defined

In simple terms, a poker hand is a five-card hand a player possesses during a game round. Basically, your poker hand dictates your winning chances at the table.

Poker hand rankings –strongest to weakest

Regardless of whether you’re playing at the best NJ online casino or you decide to visit the nearest land-based gambling venue, these poker hands will apply.

  • Royal Flush – The Royal Flush is the primus inter paresin the poker hand rankings. You’ve landed a Royal Flush if you get all these symbols in a single suit: 10, queen, king, jack, and ace. This hand ranks the highest and is unbeatable by any other combination of cards.
  • Straight Flush – This is five cards of the same suit in sequential order. For context, you have a Straight Flush when you get 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 in Diamonds. A Straight Flush is defeated only by a Royal Flush or a Straight Flush with cards of a higher ranking.
  • Four of a Kind – You land a Four of a Kind when four cards in a hand have the same value, regardless of their suit. So, if you get a hand of 8, 8, 8, 8, & Q, you’ve just gotten QUADS!
  • Full House – You have a Full House when you have a three of a kind with a pair that have the same value (different from your three of a kind). For example; 10, 10, 10, Q, & Q in a sequence.
  • ·         Flush – Flush deviates from the higher-ranking hands in the order of appearance. Here, the five cards have to be of the same suit but do not have to be in a sequence. An example is landing a J, 8, 5, 7 & A, all spades. If two players land Flushes, the hand with higher value cards wins.
  • ·         Straight – A Straight is made when you land cards in sequential order but with more than one suit. Getting 8, 7, 6, 5, and 4 in different suits is a typical example of a Straight. Straights will always trump three of a kind and pairs (single or double).
  • ·         Three of a Kind – Here, you need to get at least three cards of the same rank in your five-card hand. For instance; 8, 8, 8, 5 & 2 cards. While it might not be the greatest of poker hands, a Three of a Kind can defeat one pair, two pairs, and a high card.
  • ·         Two Pairs – As the naming suggests, Two Pairs means landing two pairs of different ranked cards. If your poker hand consists of a 5, 5, 8, 8 & 2, you have Two Pairs. Two heads (Pairs) are better than one. Thus, you can use this hand to defeat players with a single pair.
  • ·         One Pair – One pair means you’ve landed two similar cards. While it’s at the lower end of the spectrum, a good bluff could see you earn something decent from this hand.
  • High Card – Simply put, you have a High Card when your poker hand can’t replicate the variations mentioned above. If you have a High Card, all you need to do is hope that your opponent has the same. If not, you’ll lose that round.


While the game of poker might seem daunting at the start, understanding the poker hands is crucial to grasping the idea behind the gameplay. That said, adopt responsible gaming mediums when placing wagers at your favorite poker tables.