Hand Rankings - What Beats What

"Poker is a combination of luck and skill. People think mastering the skill part is hard, but they're wrong. The trick to poker is mastering the luck. "
- Jesse May, poker player/commentator

Poker hands are ranked mathematically based on the odds of making them. But don't let that discourage you from learning to play. Learn the basics now, then study the odds and mathematics related to making hands, winning the pot and opponent player's probability of making the hand they are convincing you they have.

The less likely it is to make the hand, the higher it ranks and beats hands below it that are easier to make. We already know that poker hands consist of five cards (yours alone or with community cards) and even if you have more than five to choose from, the goal is to choose the best five cards from those available to beat your opponent(s). Knowing you can be dealt two pair on average every 21 hands and a straight flush once every 75,000 hands gives you power in the game.

Standard Poker Hand Rankings High to Low

Remember that the Ace can be used high before the King or low after the 2 to make the hand, but not both. 3, 2, Ace, King, Queen is not a valid hand.

The next 10 pages have the standard hands with simple descriptions and sample photos. They are ranked in order from strong to weak. The Royal Flush beats all hands below it; High Card loses to all hands above it; and the rest in between beat all hands below them, but lose to all hands above them.