Which hands win in poker?

Poker is a popular game for a reason: it’s fun! However, before getting too involved, it’s important to learn about the different poker hands and how strong they might be during a game. Whether you’re looking for a simple introduction to poker or a definitive poker hands ranking, we’ve got you covered. Learn all about poker winning hands!

Basic poker rules

When learning how to play poker, the basic rules are simple. Players receive cards from the dealer, and the one with the best hand wins. The process might be a bit more complex than that, but not by much. 

There are two types of poker: draw poker and stud poker. The rules for each are generally the same at the start, so we’ll include them together. First, players are dealt five cards (sometimes seven in stud poker). They take a look at their cards, assess if they have the best hand, and make a bet. This is where the rules for stud and draw poker differ. 

In stud poker, the player who bets the most chips will win if no one is willing to match their bet. If someone does match the bet, the players show their hands, and the one with the best hand wins. In draw poker, players can try to put together poker winning hands by trading cards and drawing new ones from the deck. Players can trade up to three cards this way unless they have an ace. If they have an ace, they can trade up to four cards. 

Regardless of whether you’re playing stud poker or draw poker, the main steps are the same. Players will either raise, fold, call, or check on their turns. Raising means that players raise the wager that other players need to pay in order to keep playing. Each player left in the game at that point can either raise, call, or fold. Calling sees players matching the newly raised minimum bet. Players who don’t think that they have one of the best poker hands will fold (lay down their cards). You cannot win the game at that point, but you also don’t have to continue betting. 

Finally, players can check when their turn arrives. If the minimum wager has not been raised, players can check – or pass their opportunity to bet. 

How to win at poker

Winning at poker is generally done by building the best hand. All cards in the deck are ranked. The best card is the ace, followed by the king, queen and jack. After that, the cards are ranked in descending order from 10 to two. The goal is to have the best hand with the highest-ranking cards possible. We’ll go over the kinds of winning hands in poker below. 

There are other ways to win at poker. The most common of them is to bluff. Players who do not have an incredible hand often fold, but they don’t have to do so. Some players who are excellent at bluffing continue to bet even though their hand is subpar. This can lead to players with better hands folding, and if the bluffing player is really lucky, they might even win. 

Winning hands in poker  

Here are some of the best hands in the game, running from best to worst!

Royal flush

A royal flush is the best hand in the game. This consists of a flush (where all cards are the same suit) and a straight flush running up to the ace. The hand holds all of the ‘royal’ cards (king, queen, jack), in other words, making it unbeatable. 

Straight flush

A straight flush is a hand with all cards of the same suit running consecutively. 

Four of a kind

This hand contains all four of a specific card. A hand with four eights, for example, is a four of a kind.

Full house

A hand with a pair and three of a kind. 


A hand where all five cards are the same suit. 


A hand where the five cards are part of a running sequence. A hand with a 10, nine, eight, seven and six, for example, regardless of suit is a straight. 

Three of a kind

A hand with three of the same kind of card. 

Two pair

A hand with two pairs of the same card.

One pair

A hand with one pair of the same card. 

High card

Players with hands where none of the other combinations in this section can be made have a hand worth their highest card. This is the worst hand in the game. 

A custom image with a black background, blurred with playing cards on the right and text which says "Play poker at resorts and get a first deposit match of up to $500"

Practice free online poker 

Resorts Casino has a number of free online poker games to help you practice. Here are the five most popular games:

We offer the above poker games free of charge. 

Poker tips

We have just a few more tips to share with you as you start your poker journey. First, practice truly does make perfect! Putting into practice the knowledge we gave you above is the best way to improve your skills. Poker is a game that rewards time and dedication, and your skill can really improve your chances of winning. With that in mind, if you want to play poker seriously, even if only occasionally, do your homework. We have many poker guides on our website – don’t hesitate to read through them! 

Remember that strategy depends on your poker table position as well as what the other players do. Don’t be afraid to change your plan as your position at the table changes. In fact, you should always be willing to adjust your approach. Unlike many other casino games, poker requires a bit of skill and knowledge to master. This means that you should always be paying attention and ready to shift gears. 

Are you ready to start playing? Resorts Casino offers free poker games so that you can try out your knowledge risk-free. Take some time to practice before you jump into playing at real-money tables! We also offer demo play on the rest of our games, so you will always be able to find something to play. Once you’re ready for real-money poker games, we make it easy to join the best dealers on the market. Remember the best poker hands and start winning!

Author: Tanya Fields

Campaign Acquisition Manager Length with RC: 1 year, 9 months Favorite Casino Game: Starburst Background in iGaming: Opened the iGaming Department at Hard Rock Atlantic City in 2018 in both Customer Service, and then CRM, prior to moving over to RC in January 2021 Location: Based in NJ at the RC HQ Content: Occasionally, but only as it pertains to RC

Comments are closed.