Poker is becoming increasingly popular with more and more people not only playing the game but also watching television programs like the world series of poker. In this article, I describe the order in which poker hands are ranked, starting with the highest and also the probability that players have of being dealt that particular hand.

A straight flush

This is the best hand you can obtain and is the dream cards for any poker player. That is not to say that you always win a lot of chips with this hand and most players will tend to slow play this type of hand in an attempt to trap their opponent.

A straight flush is five cards of the same suit in a sequence. The higher the top card, the higher the ranking of that hand. Therefore ten, jack, queen, king, ace, which is often known as a royal flush is the best hand in poker.

The probability of this hand is around one in sixty five thousand.

Four of a kind

This is where you have four cards of the same rank or number which are the same. As with the above the higher the rank of the four cards, the higher the value. Therefore four aces are the highest rank of all of the possible four of a kinds.

The probability of this hand is around one in four thousand, one hundred and sixty five.

Full house

A full house is where you have three cards of one rank or number and two cards of another rank. As with the above, the higher the rank of these two sets, the higher the value. Therefore if you have three aces and two kings you will have the highest rank of flush. To explain it in even more simpler terms, the one with the highest ranking set of three cards, wins.

The probability of this hand is around one in six hundred and ninety four.

Flush

This is where you have five cards of the same suit but not in a sequence. A flush which includes an ace has the highest value. If there are two hands on the table which both have a flush with an ace, it then goes to the second highest card to see who wins etc.

The probability of this hand is around one in five hundred and nine.

Straight

This is where you have five cards in sequence which are in different suites. The highest straight is again the one which has the highest card at the top.

The probability of this hand is around one in two hundred and fifty five.

Three of a kind

This is the same as the four of the kind explanation apart from the fact that this is where you have three cards of the same rank or number.

The probability of this hand is around one in forty seven.

Two pairs

This is where you have two cards of one rank and two cards of another. There is also an odd card which can sometimes come into play.

If there are two players on the table with two pairs the highest ranking pair wins. If both players have the same highest ranking pair, the highest second ranking pair wins. If both players have the same set of two pairs, it is the one with the highest odd card that wins.

The probability of this hand is around one in 21.

One pair

This is where you only have two cards of the same rank. When two players on the table have the same pair, the other three cards come into play, with the highest card winning etc.

The probability of this hand is around one in 2.4.

High card

This is where you basically have nothing but a high card. When two players on the same table have just a high card, the one with the highest card wins etc.

The probability of this hand is around one in two.

I hope this has explained the rankings of the different poker hands to you and made it a bit more easier to understand.

Poker is a great game to play, be careful however only to bet what you can afford to lose.

I personally prefer to play on the internet rather than in the casino. I basically play for fun, and merely hope to make some extra money for myself.

I am quite a patient player who is willing to wait for a good hand to come. I think this is an important skill to have in poker and it has helped me to do quite well over the last twelve months.

One small tip is to avoid playing poker when you are drunk. Maybe it is just me but I always seem to play with a lot more aggression and less patience, when I am quite drunk. This may work for some people but always seems to end up with me losing quite a lot of money.

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