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Types of Hands

There are many games of poker that differ in number of draws and betting complexities. However, all poker games use the same basic hand rankings to determine the winner of any given hand. Hands are ranked by using the suit of the cards combined with the number on the cards. Cards are ranked in numerical order with Ace being the highest and King, Queen, Jack, ten, nine, eight, and so on, following. There are four suits that are used in poker. These suits are called hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds. A 52-card deck is the standard for almost all poker games with a player using only five of the 52 cards to make up their individual hand.



Hand Rankings

The best hand in Poker is called a Royal Flush. A Royal Flush is made up of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and a 10 that all belong to the same suit. Second to a Royal Flush is a Straight Flush. A Straight Flush is made up of five consecutively numbered cards of the same suit. For example, a hand consisting of a five, six, seven, eight, and nine is considered a straight flush if all of the cards have the same suit, such as spades or hearts.

Next is Four-of-a-Kind. Four-of-a-Kind consists of four cards of the same rank such as four Aces or four Jacks. A Full House is the next best possible hand. A Full House is made by having three cards of the same rank and two other cards of the same rank. For example a player having three Aces and two Kings has a Full House.

After a Full House comes the Flush. A Flush is made up of five cards that have various ranks, but have the same suit. For example, a player having the cards Queen, three, two, four, and Jack with all the cards being of the same suit is said to have a Flush.

The next best hand is a Straight. A Straight consists of five cards that are of any suit and are ranked in numerical order. For example, a hand that is made up of cards numbered two, three, four, five, and six is deemed a Straight, regardless of their individual suit.

Three of a Kind is the next most powerful hand after a Straight and consists of three cards of the same rank, such as three Queens or three fives.

Two Pair is ranked after Three of a Kind and consists of two pairs of cards of the same rank. Thus, two Jacks and two threes would make two pair.

One Pair is the most common pair in poker. When a player has a pair of cards that are of the same rank, such as two Jacks and nothing else they have One Pair. When a player has no matches of any kind, their highest card determines the winner. An Ace is the highest kicker that can be possessed by a player should a hand winner be determined by one card alone.

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