Home » Guides » What Are the Best Poker Winning Hands?

What Are the Best Poker Winning Hands?

Home » Guides » What Are the Best Poker Winning Hands?

What Are the Best Poker Winning Hands?

A full suit of Hearts playing cards,and red, white, blue, and green casino chips arranged on a poker table.

It’s a very common question: what are the best poker winning hands?

There are actually two very different answers. One pertains to hand rankings, which show the various hands that can win in poker. The other answer refers to the hands with which players most often win. Let’s explore both.

Poker Winning Hands by Rankings

The easiest way to classify poker hands is by the standard poker hand rankings. Starting with the best hand possible with which to win, the rankings are:

  • Royal flush (A-K-Q-J-T suited)
  • Straight flush (T-9-8-7-6 or any five connected cards suited)
  • Four of a kind (5-5-5-5 or any four of the same card)
  • Full house (T-T-T-4-4 or any set plus pair)
  • Flush (any five cards of the same suit)
  • Straight (any five cards in order)
  • Three of a kind (5-5-5 or any three of the same card)
  • Two pair (T-T-4-4 or any two pair)
  • One pair (5-5 or any two of the same card)
  • High card (higher card than any competitor in the absence of any of the above)

Any of these hands can be a winning one. 

The Holy Grail of Poker Winning Hands

A person holding an Ace of Diamonds, and an Ace of Clubs in one hand, and a blue poker chip in the other hand, with poker chips arranged on a poker table.

Any hand can win in poker. It’s all in the way the player plays it.

There are many factors that influence the chances of any given hand winning the pot in a cash game or poker tournament. Most of these things can be a part of the picture of a poker hand, but most often, a number of the factors work together to create a scenario that makes a particular hand a winning one.

As an example, let’s say “Jane Roar” is playing a cash game. Her two hole cards are kings. This can certainly be a winning hand, but other factors come into play as the action progresses.

  • Seven other players have hole cards. Another player may have aces, someone else may have tens, and yet another might look down at 7-8 and decide to play it.
  • Bet sizing influences how much money goes into the pot, how many players remain in the hand, and how each player determines the worth of their hand.
  • The flop, turn, and river cards influence the hand, as values change when any player uses some community cards to make a pair of aces or a flush, set, full house, straight, or two pair. As a result, betting after each street also influences the action.
  • Players use psychology to portray an image to other players, or they can give off natural or even manufactured tells.

In the end, Jane may win the pot with her kings. She can improve on the board to a better hand or simply bet enough to make her opponents give up their hands. Any of these factors can work against her as well, and she can lose the hand.

The same happens in a tournament for “Joe Roar” but it happens in one hand after another for hours, possibly even days. The end result of the tournament can be that he wins with kings, but he can win it with any hand.

Poker Is a Game of Skill

A person holding a Ten of Diamonds, a Ten of Spades, an Ace of Diamonds, an Ace of Clubs, and an Ace of Hearts.

Ultimately, poker is predominantly a game of skill because any hand can be a winning one. This is what sets poker apart from all other casino games. The skill component can be as influential as a player desires, based on how much time and effort he or she dedicates to learning and mastering those skills.

To learn more about how to play poker and put those skills to the test, register at BetMGM Poker online

Two very different meanings are possible when referring to poker winning hands.