There are many, many different forms of poker played across the world today, but inspite of this, someone who has a grasp of the basic values of poker hands and how to bet on them can get by in most versions of the card game. In the vast majority of the most popular versions of poker a poker hand consists of five cards. The various combinations of Poker hands rank from five of a kind (the highest) to no pair or nothing (the lowest):
Five of a Kind. This is the highest possible hand and can occur only in games where there are wild cards (at least one), such as a joker. Examples of five of a kind would be four cards of the same number (value) and a wild card or two cards of the same value and three wild cards.
Straight Flush. This is the highest possible hand when only the standard pack is used, and there are no wild cards, as is common in many forms of the game. A straight flush consists of five cards of the same suit in numbered sequence, such as 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 of hearts. The highest-ranking straight flush is the royal flush or a royal straight flush, where the cards are Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10 of the same suit.
Four of a Kind. This is the next highest hand, and it ranks just below a straight flush. An example is four kings or four 9s. The fifth card is unimportant, and in the highly unlikely event of two players both having four of a kind, the player with the cards of highest value would win.
Full House. This colorful hand is made up of three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, such as three 6s and two 4s, or three queens and two 3s. If two players get a full house in the same round (again, extremely unlikely), priority is given to the highest group of three cards i.e Three queens and two 5s would beat three 5s and two queens.
Flush. Five cards all of the same suit, but not all in sequence, is a flush. An example is King, 10, 8, 6, and 2, all of diamonds. If two or more players has a flush the pot is usually split or occasionally given to the players with the highest card in the flush suit, if one exists.
Straight. Five cards in sequence, but not all of the same suit is a straight. example is Jack of hearts, 10 of clubs, 9 of spades, 8 of clubs, 7 of diamonds. N.B. There does not have to be one of each suit in the hand. If there are two players, the highest straight wins.
Three of a Kind. This combination contains three cards of the same value or number, and two unrelated cards each of a different rank, such as three queens, an ace, and a two. The highest three of a kind wins when two players both have this hand.
Two Pairs. This hand contains a pair of one rank and another pair of a different rank, plus any fifth card of a different value, such as two Aces, Two 10s and a Jack. If two players have this same hand, the player with the highest pair wins (if both have the same, highest 2nd pair, then high card)
One Pair. This frequent combination contains just one pair with the other three cards being of different value. In the event of two players having the same value pair, the next highest card is usually used to determine the winner.
No Pair. This is technically the most common hand and contains "nothing." None of the five cards pair up, nor are all five cards of the same suit or in sequence. When more than one player has no pair, the hands are rated by the highest card each hand contains, so that an ace-high hand beats a king-high etc.