Knowing your poker hands is crucial to playing a solid game at the table, and regardless of whether you’re playing Texas Hold’em, or Omaha, you’ll always want to know the value of your hand. When you have this knowledge at your disposal, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether to raise, check, call, or fold your hand when it matters most.
In this post, we’re going to look at the winning poker hands structure of two different games; Texas Hold’em, and Omaha – and we’ll begin by taking a look at a poker hands chart, followed by the best and worst starting hands. We’ll also show you a list of poker hands to help you make the right decisions in your game.
Texas Hold’em Winning Poker Hands Ranking
In this guide, you’ll see that there are a total of 10 hands in Texas Hold’em poker (or 9 if you don’t count ‘no pair’ as a hand), and we’ll detail these below. (The winning poker hands chart below shows a list of poker hands, ranked best, to worst).
Royal Flush: Ten, Jack, Queen, King, Ace, all of the same suit.
Straight Flush: Any 5 cards of the same suit, in consecutive order. (I.e. 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of spades).
4-of-a-kind: 4 cards of the same value (i.e. the 5 of spades, the 5 of hearts, the 5 of clubs, and the 5 of diamonds).
Full House: A full house consists of one 3-of-a-kind hand, and one pair, so for instance, a full house could be the 2 of spades, the 2 of diamonds, the 2 of clubs, and a pair of Aces.
Flush: Five cards of the same suit (i.e. 2, 3, 7, 8, and 9 of hearts).
Straight: Five cards in consecutive order (i.e. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, off-suit).
3-of-a-kind: Three cards of the same value (I.e. 3 of clubs, 3 or spades, and the 3 of hearts).
Two Pair: Two pairs in one hand – i.e. a pair of 2’s, and a pair of 3’s.
One Pair: One singular pair – i.e. a pair of Aces.
No Pair: A no pair hand is when you don’t have any of the above. In this instance, you have what is known as a ‘high card hard’.
Use the poker hands chart above to ensure you’re always in full control of your game!
Omaha Poker Hands Ranking
Omaha uses the exact same hand-ranking process as Texas Hold’em does, and while it may seem as though that’s a little ‘odd’ at first, remember that Omaha is almost identical, aside from the fact that players have four cards, and that betting is usually pot-limit.
This means that a Royal Flush is the best possible hand in a game of Omaha, and high-card (while incredibly unusual due to the 4 cards each player holds) is the lowest possible hand.
For a full guide on playing Omaha, be sure to check out our How to Play Omaha guide.
Best Starting Poker Hands
Knowing your winning poker hands is crucial if you want to play a solid game of poker – and below, we share how to determine whether or not you have a winner on your hand!
Texas Hold’em: The best starting hand is a pair of Aces. A pair of aces (also known as pocket rockets) are a favourite pre-flop over any other starting hand and is almost always one of the best winning poker hands. The second, and third best starting hands are a pair of Kings and Queens respectively, followed by Ace-King suited, pocket Jacks, pocket Tens, and then Ace-Queen suited. The 10th best starting hand is Ace-King Offsuit – which is actually still a very strong hand.
Omaha: Working out winning poker hands in Omaha is a little more complex than Texas Hold’em, when looking at the best starting hands, although mathematically, the best starting hands can be determined.
For example, the strongest hand is AAKK, followed by AAJT, AAQQ, and AAJJ. It’s worth noting however, that the best possible hand in Omaha holds little value against a full-ring of players, hence the need to play aggressively, pre-flop and post-flop; see our poker hands chart for more details.
Worst Poker Starting Hands
Determining the worst starting hands in poker is a little more challenging – largely due to the fact that most players simply have knowledge of the better starting hands – yet knowing what the worst starting hands are is just as important, as it allows you to know when to throw away your hands pre-flop. Below, we look at the worst starting hands for both Texas Hold’em and Omaha.
Texas Hold’em: 2-7 offsuit (this is well-known as the worst starting hand in poker, due to the fact that it’s often used as side-bets in games.) 7-2 offsuit is followed by 8-2 offsuit, 8-3 offsuit, 7-3 offsuit, 6-2 offsuit, 9-2, 9-3, and 9-4 offsuit.
Omaha: Unfortunately, with Omaha, there isn’t an ‘official’ list of worst poker hands – purely due to the fact that there would be too many to list. However, most professionals and poker experts agree that any starting hand that combines any of the worst starting hands in Texas Hold’em generally constitute a very poor starting hand in Omaha too – so it’s worth throwing these away most of the time, pre-flop. If in doubt, consult the list of winning poker hands ranking above.