News Top and Best Starting Hands in Poker

Alex Wright

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
May 7, 2021

Poker is an exciting and thrilling game that has been around for centuries, with different variations being played across the globe. It’s a game of strategy and skill, where the goal is to outsmart your opponents by making the best poker hand possible.

In this blog post, we'll cover all of the various types of powerful beginning hands in poker and how each one should be played. With our expert advice and some practice, you can become a master at recognizing that crucial difference between strong holding and weak draws quickly. Plus, discover more tips on what steps to take after assessing key pre-flop factors like position size and your opponents' playing styles associated with each hand. Read on for all the details on what makes specific poker cards so powerful; let's get started!

Poker Hands in Order

Royal Flush

A Royal Flush consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 all in the same suit. A Royal Flush is unbeatable and will take the pot every time. It’s the best possible hand you can get in any poker game.

Straight Flush

A Straight Flush is the second-highest hand in poker, just below a Royal Flush. It’s composed of five cards of consecutive rank, all in the same suit. For example, 4♣ 5♣ 6♣ 7♣ 8♣ would be a Straight Flush.

Four of a Kind


Four of a Kind (also known as Quads) is made up of four cards of the same rank and one unmatched card. A Four of a Kind with higher ranking cards will win over another Four of a Kind with lower ranking cards, for example: 9♦ 9♥ 9♠ 9♣ J♥ beats 3♦ 3♥ 3♠ 3♣ K♦.

Full House

A Full House consists of three cards of the same rank, plus two additional cards that match another rank. For example: 8♣ 8♥ 8♦ K♠ K♥ is a Full House. The highest ranking three-of-a-kind will win against another Full House with lower rankings.


A Flush is five non-consecutive cards all in the same suit. A Flush with higher-ranked cards will beat a Flush containing lower-ranked cards. For instance, 4♦ 6♦ 7♦ 9♦ J♦ would beat 3♣ 5♣ 8♣ Q♣ A♣ .


Consisting of five consecutive cards of any suit, a Straight with a higher-ranked card will take the pot over another Straight with lower-ranking cards. For example, 8♥ 9♠ 10♦ J♣ Q♥ beats 6♦ 7♠ 8♠ 9♥ 10♣ .

Three of a Kind

A Three of a Kind consists of three cards that match in rank and two unmatched cards. The highest ranking three-of-a-kind will win over another Three of a Kind with lower rankings, for example: 5♦ 5♠ 5♥ K♣ 8♥ beats 2♦ 2♣ 2♠ Q♦ A♥ .

Two Pair

Two Pair is made up of two pairs and one unmatched card. Higher-ranking pairs will beat lower-ranking pairs. For instance, 4♦ 4♣ K♠ K♥ J♠ beats 3♦ 3♣ Q♠ Q♥ A♦ .

One Pair

One Pair is composed of a single pair and three unmatched cards. The higher the rank of the pair, the better your hand is. For example: 7♥ 7♦ A♣ 5♣ 2♦ beats 5♦ 5♥ 8♠ 6♥ 2♦ .

High Card

The lowest hand you can make in poker is known as High Card or No Pair. This is when there are no matching cards on the board and your highest card determines who wins. For example, A♥ 9♠ 7 ♥ 6♦ 3♠ beats K♥ Q♦ 9 ♦ 4♣ 2♥ .

Best Starting Hands


When it comes to the best starting hands in poker, there are several that stand out from the rest as being particularly strong. These include pocket Aces (AA), pocket Kings (KK), pocket Queens (QQ), Ace-King offsuit (AKo), and Ace-Queen suited (AQs). All of these hands have a high potential for making a strong hand on future betting rounds and winning the pot.

Another strong starting hand is pocket Jacks (JJ). This is a powerful hand that can make two pairs, three of a kind, or even four of a kind in some cases. It’s also possible to win the pot with just one pair if you hit your kicker on the river. Pocket Jacks are considered to be among the top poker hands.

For those new to poker, it’s important to understand which hands are playable and which ones aren’t. Some hands, like Ace-Ten offsuit (ATo) may look good, but they don’t have many possibilities for improvement and should usually be folded preflop. For example, if you have ATo and raise preflop, it’s unlikely that you'll make a strong hand post-flop.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that poker is a game of skill and strategy. Knowing which are good poker hands to play, based on the situation at hand can help you maximize your chances for success. Becoming familiar with these concepts will help players increase their knowledge about this exciting game and become more successful at winning pots. Learning which hands are playable preflop is a great way to get ahead in any poker game. With that being said, it’s important to remember that no matter what your starting hand is, it always pays to stay aggressive and try to improve on future betting rounds.

Learn more by practicing at GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room.

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