In Texas Hold'em, nowadays by far the most popular poker game, the dealer will first deal players two cards face down. These two cards are called the player's Hole Cards or Hold Cards. Then players are given the option to fold, raise, or check. Once all players have checked, and at least two players are still involved in the hand, the dealer will then lay out 3 cards face up on the table. Thi sis called the 'flop'. Again once all players have checked and again at least two players are still in the hand the 4th card on the table will be dealt face up. This is called 'the turn' or sometimes '4th Street'. The same situation also arises before the 5th card is dealt face up or 'the river'.
Once the pot is square the players make their best 5 card hand with a combination of their hole cards and the community face up cards.
Here are the hands of poker from the highest rank to the lowest.
1. If no jokers or wild cards are used, the highest possible hand is a straight flush. A straight flush is a 5 card straight sequentially all in the same suit. A 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of hearts would be a 6 high heart flush. If the set of cards is a straight combination of 10, Jack, Queen, King, and an Ace all of the same suit it is called a Royal Flush.
2. Four of a kind are cards that all have the same rank. I.e. four kings or four two's. Always remember that if both players have four of a kind, the one with the higher rank wins. In the example above the four kings naturally win.
3. Full house is next on the list, this set of cards is three cards of the same rank together with a pair. If both players have full houses the player with the higher rank of three hands wins. I.e. JJJ22 defeats 999QQ.
4. Next up is the flush. A flush is five cards of the same suit. I.e. the Ace, 9, 5, 2, and Q of hearts. If two players both have flushes, the winner is the hand with the highest card. I.e. your opponent also has a flush of K, 8, 6, 10 and 5. Your flush beats this because you have an Ace.
If both flushes have the same ranks of cards up to the 4th card, the winner is usually decided by the rank of the final card. I.e. Q, 7,5,6,2 flush loses to Q, 7,5,6,4 flush. If the two are identical like Q, 7, 5, 6, 2 hearts against Q, 7, 5, 6, 2 diamonds, the pot is split.
5. Straight is next highest. A straight is five sequential cards of any suits. If your opponent also has a straight, the player with the highest sequence of 5 cards wins. I.e. A straight of 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 loses to a 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 straight.
6. Three of a kind or "set" is next highest. Three of kinds are a five card hand where three cards are of the same rank and the other two cards are unpaired. The higher rank cards of three of a kind wins. If both players have the same three of a kind it is determined by the kicker. I.e. KKK92 defeats KKK73.
7. Two Pairs. Cards that have two pairs, I.e. KK55. If both players have identical two pairs, the kicker will determine the winner.
8. One pair is just two cards of the same rank. The higher pair wins.
9. High card. A hand that does not have any of the following mentioned above. The winner is determined by whoever has the higher value of the single card.