As in all gambling games, the hands in poker are ranked and the person with the best hand wins. The rarer the hand the better it is. The ranking of poker hands will be listed in a rising order, from the feeble to the effective. The thing about rankings is that the cards hold sway so a pair of Queens beats a pair of fours. This is done to differentiate hands if they have the same level of hand.
Nothing at all - Here a player has five cards which amount to nothing. The highest card will act as what his hand is. In example hand including 10, 5, 7, Jack and King, the hand will be ranked King High.
One pair - Hand that contains one pair of cards with the same value. For example two Jacks.
Two pairs - Same as one pair but two of them. This hand consists of one pair, another pair and an extra unrelated card. Is more common than what it may seem.
Three of a kind - Exactly as it's named, three cards of the same value.
Straight - Five cards from any suit in an unbroken order of value, for example 8, 9, 10, J, and Q. An ace can be both the high card and the low card but he can't be both simultaneously, meaning you can't have a hand of Q, K, A, 2, 3. The highest card of the staight determines who wins if more than one person has a straight.
Flush - Five cards from the same suit in any order. Again the highest of the five cards determines the winner if there is more than one flush. Got down the line until you have a difference if more than one card is common.
Full House - Three of a kind plus one pair.
Four of a Kind - A very rare hand in a game played without wildcards. Basically four cards of the same value plus a fifth card.
Straight Flush -Simply a combination of the straight and flush, straight flush is the strongest hand in poker, consisting of an uninterrupted order of cards from the same suit.
Royal Flush - The best hand there is in poker – a straight flush from the 10 all the way up to the ace.
Giorgio Fishenzon, Editor in chief. 09.08.2005