Poker Hand Rankings PDF

By David Huber
April 16, 2024

Poker Hand Rankings are extremely important when playing the game we all love. Without a firm understanding of card rankings, players are left wondering which combinations will result in the best poker hands and which cards are the weakest.

If you’re completely new to the game of poker, you may want to consult a poker hands chart that’s printable and easy to read. You may also want to look at a poker hand rankings PDF file if you’re online.

In this article, we’ll explain why poker hand rankings are important, how to print out your own chart, and explore other beginner tips for playing poker.

poker hand rankings chart

What is a PDF?

The PDF acronym stands for Printable Document File. It was created by Adobe and can be seamlessly used within that company’s portfolio of hardware/software products.

However, the “.pdf” file is extremely versatile; meaning that it can be inserted into almost any modern-day hardware or software product and read within a wide array of third party viewers.

While the file type itself was originally released by Adobe, it is now categorized as an Open Standard – maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Top 20 Texas Hold’em Starting Hands Ranked

Following is a ranked list of the Top 20 starting hands (hole cards) for Texas Hold’em games.

#1 AA     #2 KK      #3 QQ     #4 AKs     #5 JJ
#6 AQs     #7 KQs     #8 AJs     #9 KJs     #10 TT
#11 AKo     #12 ATs     #13 QJs     #14 KTs     #15 QTs
#16 JTs     #17 99     #18 AQo     #19 A9s     #20 KQo

  • “s” means suited; “o” means offsuit

While the above poker hands ranking printable chart is very simple and incomplete,  you’ll find options for obtaining a more robust version below.

Poker Hands Chart Printable

A poker hands chart that’s printable can save you a lot of time as a beginning poker player.

The most popular poker variant that is currently spread is Texas Hold’em. You’ll find this game at almost any card room or casino where competitive, Player versus Player (PvP) poker is offered.

Thanks to the wide range of spreadsheet programs that are freely available today via the internet, you can use software programs like Google Sheets to make your very own Poker Hands Chart that can be printed out.

The software is free to use for anyone who has a Google account, and signing-up for a Google account is also free. If you ever see an email address that ends with GMAIL dot com, then you know that it reflects the fact that the sender or recipient is using a Google account.

If you’d like a pre-made poker hands chart that ranks all Texas Hold’em hole cards (starting hands) in order, you can also find that via a quick Google search. Simply load the appropriate webpage, then save the file as a .pdf so you can easily print it out using any combination of commonly-used hardware and software.

You’ll notice that many of the Texas Hold’em starting hand charts that are used by poker training sites are square-shaped and diagonally color coded.

And while most training sites for poker are premium in nature, meaning they require a paid subscription to access, you may find that the services themselves will publish Texas Hold’em starting hand charts for free within their social media outreach on sites like Twitter/X, Facebook, Instagram, Discord, and others.

When to Use a Printable Poker Hand Rankings Chart

If you’re truly new to the game of poker and are playing low stakes poker games to start your card playing journey, you may be afforded an opportunity to consult a starting hands chart at any time while playing in a live setting.

Note that consulting any poker hand rankings chart while playing competitively and for real money will likely require permission from all competing players at a live table before doing so.

The best and most practical use of a poker hand rankings printable chart is when you’re away from the poker tables, for studying purposes. If you plan on playing poker routinely, then it is advisable that you memorize the starting poker hand rankings for Texas Hold’em as soon as possible.

Doing this will avoid uncomfortable scenarios in which opponents may request that you discard any printable chart before playing in a competitive game.

Poker Hand Rankings Charts for Non-Gambling Gameplay

If you and a group of friends would like to play in a casual home game without any gambling involved, there are a number of ways to do so. This will help all players become acquainted with poker hand rankings as they pertain to Texas Hold’em, or other variants like Omaha and Seven Card Stud.

If all players agree beforehand to NOT engage in any gambling (meaning that nothing of value will exchange hands as a result of actual poker gameplay), then all players can be presented with multiple learning opportunities in a legitimate “casual” environment.

You can even play your cards face-up to learn more about how poker works, the mechanics of betting rounds, and which hands outrank others at showdown.

Simply grab a rack of poker chips (or use one or more substitutes for poker chips) and deal a few hands. You can even assign values to chips or tokens in “play money” if you like.

Remember, as long as nothing of value is exchanging hands between poker players, no gambling is involved. But once a single penny (or anything else of value) is won or lost as a result of one or more poker hands, then you are technically gambling.

This is explained in more detail in our article — Poker in the Spotlight: Sport, Gambling, or Both?

Unethical Use of Poker Hand Rankings Charts

Due to the proliferation of high stakes poker games as well as the constant refinement nature of competitive poker strategy, some live venues have chosen to outright prohibit the use of poker hand rankings charts altogether.

In some cases, printed literature, including charts, may grant a player an unfair advantage over opponents — which can be exploited in both a live or online venue.

While this policy may seem a bit counter-intuitive at first (after all, basic starting hand information is something that a genuine “newbie” to poker may want to initially have access to), there is sound reasoning behind such a ban.

Experienced and/or highly skilled players may use charts — that are admittedly much more complicated than basic starting hand strength charts — to consult in real time in order to arrive at a more accurate decision at a competitive poker table.

And while use of these charts may not grant the real time benefit that state-of-the-art AI poker solvers do, they can still contain a relatively large amount of information within a small physical space.

One way to think of this is to consider how much information can be “penciled-in” on one’s own fingernails, and subsequently accessed with or without magnification for viewing purposes.

Basically, any surface or physical space that can be utilized for cheating purposes on a high school math test will be large enough to provide skilled poker players with — at the very least — a partial “cheat sheet” advantage over opponents when competing for real money.

There typically IS a limit to the mathematical advantage a skilled player might achieve when being able to unethically view a robust poker chart when competing. This is because the information (usually) cannot be modified, revised, updated, altered, added to, or computed in real time without another player at a live table noticing.

However, the continued improvement of, and speed at which, poker calculation programs can perform place competitive poker games in an exceptionally vulnerable position; perhaps more so online but also when playing in person.

For more information on this concept, check out the following article: Can AI Beat Humans at Poker?

Poker Hand Rankings for Fun

If you’re looking to have fun with poker math and are looking for tools that will enhance your offline learning process as a beginner, you might want to try out one or more Poker Hand Calculators.

These resources will generally display “win odds” to newcomers upon digitally inserting playing cards into player positions.

For example, a Poker Hand Calculator can reveal that the absolute worst starting hand to have in a multi-way Texas Hold’em pot is 7-2 offsuit while the outright worst hand in a heads-up scenario is 3-2 offsuit.

You can even print out results from these webpages for novelty purposes if you like. Poker hand rankings are fun to toy around with when you’re offline and not competing in a poker game. Online resources make it possible to insert or remove virtual cards at the click of a mouse or tap of your smart device.

Before long, you’ll be sharing poker terms with friends and identifying starting hands by their nicknames like a pro!

Are Poker Hand Rankings Required Learning Material?

In a word, yes.

Poker hand rankings are required learning material for any poker player who wishes to compete in any meaningful way.

If you don’t understand the ranking of each playing card relative to the other 51 cards in the deck, you won’t be able to progress.

Knowing the rank of each card will allow you to develop your beginner poker player’s knowledge to a point that culminates with using your cards to make the best (or, if you’re playing Razz, the worst) possible 5-card hand combination.

In most poker games that are popular today, poker cards are ranked as follows:

Ace (HIGH) – King – Queen – Jack – Ten – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – Ace (LOW)

Suits are typically ranked as equals, meaning there is no ranking difference between Spades, Diamonds, Hearts, or Clubs.

Note that some “novelty” style poker games, like Indian Poker, may have specific rules that include ranked card suits.

Which Training Site Has The Best Printable Poker Hand Rankings?

For beginning players, the answer to this question will depend on aesthetics instead of actual content.

Do you want a printable starting hand rankings chart that’s shaped in the form of a square, or would you rather use a simple list?

Do you want something that’s color-coded or presented in black-and-white?

Are you looking for a high-resolution image that can be printed, framed and then placed within a home gaming area as a notice poster, or a small image that will fit the height and width dimensions a business card?

Basic poker starting hand rankings can usually be found via popular training sites’ social media feeds without having to purchase a subscription.

However, if your poker knowledge has advanced past the point of recognizing basic hand rankings and the rules of the game, you might want to consider buying one or more premium poker courses to improve your strategy and win more at the tables.

Are There Poker Games That Do Not Use Traditional Poker Hand Rankings?

Yes, there are.

Games like Razz Poker will reward players who have the “worst” 5-card hand at showdowns.

Games like Stud 8 or Omaha Hi/Lo will likewise award pots to the “worst hands” — as long as the 5-card combination doesn’t include any card ranked higher than an eight.

Novelty games or Dealer’s Choice formats can assign one or more Wild Cards that will similarly disrupt traditional poker hand rankings.

In Double Draw Poker, two jokers are shuffled into every hand as wild cards: but they can only be used as Aces, Straights, or Flushes.

Consider poker hand rankings as fundamental learning material in any poker game you wish to compete in.

Have fun when playing in any poker game, and explore more advanced poker strategy concepts once you’re ready!



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David Huber poker author
Written By.

David Huber

David Huber has been involved in the poker industry for close to two decades: initially as a professional online poker player and later as an editor, consultant, writer, and forum manager. Known as “dhubermex” online, David’s poker-related work has been heavily published across numerous websites since 2004.

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