How to Know the Hand Rankings in Poker


The ranks of standard poker hands are determined by odds and when a pair of identical hands ties, the winnings are divided equally. The rank of suits has no bearing in poker. Wild cards, which can occur in a single hand, increase the value of a pair to the highest possible hand (five of a kind, which beats a straight flush). The highest unmatched card, or the highest secondary pair, breaks ties among identical poker hands.

Hand rankings

Knowing how to correctly rank the hands in poker is critical for winning the game. The higher the hand is, the more chips the player gets and the higher the odds of winning. However, not every hand is the best and there are some situations in which a weaker hand is the best option. Luckily, these situations are rare and understanding the hand rankings when playing poker is easy to learn. Here are some of the basic hand rankings you should know when playing poker.

Betting phases

There are four distinct betting phases in poker, and each has its own strategy. While some players will hold their cards until they have a good hand, others will make every bet on a few streets. Regardless of your strategy, understanding the different betting phases in poker will greatly improve your chances of winning. You must learn the phases before you begin playing, so that you can play in the right way to increase your chances of winning.

Limits of bets

Limits of bets in poker refer to the amount a player can open, raise, or call. These rules vary between games and are often set at one per player. Knowing your limits can help you maximize your winnings. Limits are not meant to discourage you from betting, but to help you avoid going overboard and ruining your chances of winning the game. Therefore, be sure to read the rules of your poker game carefully before placing a bet.


The phrase “backraising in poker” can be confusing if you’re not sure what it means. In general, it refers to an increase in a player’s current bet. Typically, the word “raise” means to increase a current bet by three or four chips, so “raising 3bb” means to raise a player’s current bet to 4bb. This type of action is generally reserved for players who are in the dealer position.

Limits of raises

In some kinds of poker, players have specific limits when it comes to raises. These are called raise caps. The limits vary, but they usually limit a player to raising a certain amount, usually three times the amount of money they have put into the pot. Other poker players may decide to set their own limits for raises. However, poker rules vary from one casino to another. To learn more about limits of raises in poker, keep reading.

Game theory

In recent years, game theory for poker has become a crucial component of tournament play. The mathematical complexity of poker rivals or even exceeds that of chess, and adds hidden data and randomness to the equation. Modern algorithms include minimization of regret, a concept in game theory pertaining to decision making in uncertain environments. For example, players who use game theory to play poker hire computer programmers to analyze game data and calculate the optimal plays for them.


If you’re a frequent poker player, you’ve probably wondered about the probability of winning. While winning is an essential part of poker, losing can quickly wear on your patience and motivation. To help you figure out the odds, here are some useful statistics you can use: