Poker Lesson 02 
The ranking of the poker hands 
It is time to list the accepted ranking order among the various possible hands, which applies to over 99% of all forms of poker; and also to list the existing tiebreaking rules.
Once again I remind you that a poker hand by definition consists of five cards, no more, no less. (OK, there are a few rare exceptions among odd forms of poker.) In some forms of poker you will start with fewer than five cards and you will at the end have more than five cards, but even so you must choose the five cards among these which will make up your poker hand – the other cards then play no part. Remember that all four suits rank equally in correct poker! Here is the ranking order, from bottom to top: 
Any five cards 
This "nothing" hand does not contain any pair, nor are the cards in numerical sequence or all of the same suit. An example would be J9742 in at least two different suits. This hand you would call "Jack high only". The individual ranking of the cards is the usual one, meaning Ace is the highest and 2 is the lowest. Such a hand is ranked according to its highest card. If another player also has a "nothing" hand with the same highest card as you, you compare the second highest cards, and so on down. A hand consisting of J9742 would thus beat a hand consisting of J9543. 
One pair 
A hand like QQ10A5 is called "a pair of Queens". Should two players both have a pair, the higher pair wins. If the two players have the same pair, the higher kicker (card in the hand besides the pair) wins. Thus, the hand JJQ32 beats JJ764. If the two players have equally high kickers, the next highest card decides, and so on. Thus, for example, the hand KKQ83 beats KKQ76.

Two pairs 
A hand like 101044K is called "two pair, tens high" or "two pair, tens and fours" or sometimes just "tens up". If two players have a twopair each, the higher pair wins; the hand KK442 thus beats QQJJ10. If the high pairs are the same, the higher of the lower pairs wins; and if both pairs are the same for the two players, the kicker decides. Thus, for example, the hand JJ99A beats JJ99K.

Trips (three of a kind) 
Three cards of the same rank. A hand like 888Q4 is called "trip Eights" or "three Eights". If two players both have trips, the higher one wins. If the two players have the same three of a kind (which is possible in for example Texas hold'em with the community cards), the player with the higher kicker wins, just like above.

Straight 
Five cards in numerical sequence. The hand QJ1098 is called "a straight, Queen high". If two players both have a straight, the higher one wins. The Queenhigh straight above thus beats for example J10987 but loses against KQJ109. In a straight, the Ace may count as the lowest card; the lowest possible straight thus is A2345 (called a wheel), while the highest possible straight is 10JQKA (called a Broadway). A roundthecornerstraight, for example QKA23, is however not allowed in ordinary poker! The Ace counts low or high, but not both.

Flush 
Five cards which are all in the same suit, for example KJ1063 in diamonds. This sample hand is called "a flush, King high". Note again that all for suits are equal in poker! If two players both have a flush, the one with the highest card wins. The flush A8652 thus beats the flush KQJ105, irregardless of suit. If the highest cards are equal in rank, the second highest cards are compared, and so on.

Full house 
Three of a kind, plus one pair. The hand 777KK is called "a full house with Sevens" or "Sevens over Kings". If two players have a full house each, the higher three of a kind wins; the hand 55522 thus beats AA444. If the two players have the same three of a kind (which is possible in Texas hold'em and some other forms of poker due to the community cards), the higher pair decides.

Four of a kind (quads) 
Four cards of the same rank. The hand 99995 for example is called "four Nines" or "quad Nines". If two players both have four of a kind, the higher of course wins.

Straight flush 
Five cards in numerical sequence AND in the same suit, for example 56789 in spades. Here too the Ace may count as the lowest card, below a Two; thus A2345 in the same suit is the lowest possible straight flush. If another player has a higher straight flush than you have, in the same deal, it is time to reach for your revolver – two such hands at the same time is an extremely rare occurence, but as always the higher straight flush beats the lower.

Royal straight flush (royal flush or sometimes just a royal) 
The unbeatable poker hand, 10JQKA in the same suit. Few poker players ever receive such a hand. The chance of getting one in Texas hold'em, where you have seven cards to choose from, is approximately 1 in 124.000 – just so you know it...
And what happens if two players at the end do have exactly equally high hands, for example KK99J? Then the pot is split equally between them. If the pot cannot be split equally, the extra chip goes to the player closest clockwise after the dealer button 
DAN GLIMNE 