Overview of Poker Hand Rankings
What’s the most important card in poker? It might be that special “Poker Hand Rankings” card that’s included in many decks. If you’re just starting out, or even if you’ve played at Bovada Poker for a little while, this card could mean more to you than any of the 52 standard playing cards. It shows all the possible poker hands you can make, in order of strength, with examples included.
It’s not a perfect list, though. The rankings are designed to help you with the high hands you’ll be trying to make while playing the standard “flop” games available at Bovada: Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi/Lo. Here’s a look at the Texas Hold’em poker hand rankings and Omaha hand rankings.
Texas Hold’em Hands Ranking
Royal Flush (Ace through Ten, same suit)
If you play online poker long enough, you’ll be dealt at least one of these beauties. The odds of making a Royal Flush by the river in Hold’em are 30,939-to-1.
Straight Flush (five consecutive cards, same suit)
If you have this hand, you almost certainly have the nuts. Almost.
Four of a Kind (four cards of one rank)
Also known as quads. It’s very rare to lose with this hand, but it happens.
Full House (three cards of one rank, two cards of another)
Also known as a boat. Once again, you probably have the nuts, but watch out for bigger boats if the board is paired.
Flush (five cards of same suit)
A very powerful hand, but much better when you have the nut flush. Don’t overplay baby flushes.
Straight (five consecutive cards)
The nut straight (AKQJT) in Hold’em is called Broadway.
Three of a Kind (three cards of one rank)
Also known as a set, or trips if you have one of the three cards and the other two are on the board.
Two Pair (two cards of one rank, two cards of another)
This is the lowest of the “big hands” in Hold’em. It’s usually worth betting all three streets with.
Pair (two cards of one rank)
There’s almost a 44% chance in Hold’em that you’ll have a pair by the river.
High Card (everything else)
About one hand out of every six you play to the river will end up this way, but Ace-High and even King-High still have some value.
Omaha Hi-Lo Hand Rankings
This part of the game should be a cinch for newcomers. You get four hole cards to start with instead of two, but the rankings for the high hand remain the same as they do in Texas Hold’em. The best hand possible is the Royal Flush: Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten of the same suit. Then it’s the Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, a Pair, and Ace-High. You can use any two of your four hole cards to make the high hand in Omaha Hi/Lo – they don’t have to be the same cards you use for the low hand.
Omaha Low Hand Rankings
Now we get to the tricky part. You can’t simply take the high hand rankings and turn them upside-down; straights and flushes don’t count in Omaha Hi/Lo. Also, for the low to qualify, all five cards must have a value of Eight or lower. That’s why you’ll sometimes hear this game called Omaha-8 (or O8) for short. Since straights and flushes don’t count, the lowest possible low hand (the nut low) is the wheel: Five-Four-Three-Deuce-Ace. The second nut low is Six-Four-Three-Deuce-Ace, then Six-Five-Three-Deuce-Ace, all the way up to Eight-Seven-Six-Five-Four.
It’s a good idea when you’re reading your low to start with the biggest card first, so you don’t get confused over who’s got the winning hand. Just imagine all five card values are part of the same number, and whoever has the lowest number wins. For example, 65432 beats 7432A, even though the Ace is the lowest card in the deck. It’ll take some getting used to, but once you have these rankings sorted out, you’ll be well on your way to Omaha Hi/Lo glory.