In Texas Hold’em, each player is dealt two cards and then five community cards are dealt to the center of the table. Each player uses the two cards he/she was dealt (the hole cards) and three of the five community cards to make a hand. The player with the highest ranking hand wins the pot. Here’s a list of the hand ranks from greatest value to least value.
Five cards of the same suit in sequential rank with Ace being the highest (an Ace-high straight with all cards of the same suit). The first example shows a Spade Royal Flush and the second shows a Heart Royal Flush.
Five cards of sequential rank in the same suit. If two players get a Straight Flush, the player with the highest ranking card wins the hand. The first example shows a Clubs Straight Flush and the second shows a Diamond Straight Flush.
Four of a Kind (aka Quads)
Four cards with the same rank (and, consequently, of different suits). The fifth card is ignored. The first example shows Quad Deuces and the second shows Quad Eights.
Full House (aka Boat)
Three of a Kind with a pair. Below are: “Nines full of Queens” and “Kings full of Tens” (aka “Nines over Queens” and “Kings over Tens”)
Five cards of the same suit. Below is a “Diamond Flush” and a “Club Flush”.
Straight (aka Run)
Five cards of mixed suits in consecutive order. Below are a “6 to 10” straight and an “Ace to 5” straight. An Ace to 5 straight is known as a “wheel”. (In hold’em, Aces can be high or low.)
Three of a Kind (aka Trips, a Set)
Three cards of the same rank. The other two cards are ignored.
Two cards of the same rank and another two cards of the same rank. The fifth card is ignored. In the first hand below, you have a Pair of Sevens and a Pair of Tens. In the second, you have a Pair of Kings and a Pair of Queens.
Two cards of the same rank. The other three cards are ignored. The first hand below shows a Pair of Fives. The second shows a Pair of Sevens.
Sometimes, when you combine your hole cards with three of the community cards, you do not have a hand like the ones described above. In that case, you describe your hand in terms of the highest “hole” card you were dealt.
In the first example below, you were dealt the Six of Diamonds and the Four of Clubs. You combine those with the 3 highest community cards (Ace of Spades, Jack of Spades, and Eight of Diamonds) to make none of the hands above. You have “6 high”.
The second example is your opponent’s hand. His/Her hole cards are the Five of Hearts and Four of Hearts. He/She did not make any of the hands described above either. When combined with the three highest community cards, he/she has “5 high”. You win the hand with a 6 high!