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If you want to become a serious poker player online or offline, you need to know the poker, hand rankings or you not know if you have a good hand or a bad hand. Of course, if you are use to playing with friends at home, you are more than likely not playing by the rules that are seen at casinos. All casinos, poker rooms online, and offline play by the same rules.

The first thing you must know is that all 52 cards are used to play poker in most cases; however, the joker may or may not be used. The joker is often only seen in Draw Poker games and is not used in Texas Hold’em, other hold’em games, and stud poker.

Cards are ranked from highest to lowest with the Ace at the top. The King, Queen, and Jack come next in that order and then 10 all the way down to the 2 often referred to as the deuce. The Ace can be used at the top or the bottom as a one for straights or even for the lowest card.

In practically all poker games, only the five best cards are counted even if you are playing a seven-card game. Here is the breakdown so you will know if you have a good hand.

If a joker is in play, the best hand a person can have is a five of a kind with five Aces at the top of the list. If no joker is in play, the best hand is the straight flush. A straight flush is five cards of the same suit such as all spades, all hearts, all clubs, or all diamonds. Of course, the cards must be in order to be a straight such as five diamonds from 5 to 10. A Royal Flush is the best hand, which includes the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten.

Four of a kind comes next. All four cards must be the same card, such as all tens, kings, etc… with the higher the card ranking the better. The best of course would be four Aces.

Next is the Full House. A full house is three cards that have the same rank and then a pair. The higher the three cards the better such as 3 Kings and 2 5’s. Of course, the person with the higher three cards will beat other players.

The flush is next. A flush is cards of the same suit, but not in order. This means you can have five hearts of any rank. The person with the highest rank card will win if everyone has a flush. The straight is next with five cards in order from various suits. This means you can have 1 ace space, 1 diamond king, 1 heart queen, 1 club jack, and 1 spade 10. The suit does not matter.

Three of a kind means the same card such as all three kings. The next is a two pair of the same such as 2 Aces and 2 fives. The last one is one pair such as 2 tens.

Of course if no one has any of the above, the person with the highest card will win the hand.

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