The key to winning in a showdown is to have the best possible hand. There are 10 rankings for the set of five cards that you have. This is a breakdown of these 10 different possibilities. The list is ordered from best to worst.
- Royal Flush
- The royal flush consists of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10. The Ace through 10 make up the Royal, and all cards of the same suit make up the Flush. Hence, a Royal Flush.
- Straight Flush
- A straight flush is five consecutive numbers of the same suit. 9,8,7,6 and 5 make up the Straight, and the Flush makes up the same suit. The cards can be any set of five-consecutive numbers.
- 4-of-a-Kind is four of the same card. It could be four aces or four twos. The suit of each card does not matter.
- Full House
- A Full House is made up of three cards that are the value, and two that are the same value. It is a combination of 3-of-a-Kind and Two Pair.
- A Flush is simply five cards that are all the same suit. The face value of the card does not matter. The only thing that matters is that all five cards are hearts, diamonds, spades, or clubs.
- A straight is five cards in a numerical row, and the suit does not matter. This could be an A, K, Q, J, and 10 or a 2,3,4,5, and 6.
- 3-of-a-Kind is three cards that all have the same face value, and the suit does not matter.
- Two Pair
- This is two sets of two cards with the same values. For example, K, K,5,5, and 7. The two Kings and two 5s make two pair.
- One Pair
- This is one set of two cards with the same values. A hand showing 5,5,6,9, and 4 has one pair of fives.
- High Card
- High Card is only when you do not have any of the other nine options. This is not likely going to happen very often, but it can occur to anyone. You use the card in your hand with the highest value to count as your score.
It is important to note a few things. First, if multiple players both have a high hand then the hand with the highest face value wins. For example, player one has a straight that is 10,9,8,7 and 6. Player 2 has a straight that is 6,5,4,3, and 2. Player one wins the pot because the high card (10) is higher than the other player’s high card (6).
In most poker games, especially with the professional players, a worthless hand will get thrown folded on very quickly. Remember that there is betting with each round of cards, so a poor hand should be discarded quickly unless you are trying to pull off an amazing bluff.