From best to worst, the five-card hands in Texas Hold 'Em and most other high-ball poker games are ranked below. All five cards in the hand are used to break ties, and it doesn't matter which cards from the hand and which cards from the board are used. If both hands are the same after five cards, the pot is split evenly between them.
- Straight Flush: Five cards of the same suit in consecutive numeric sequence. The highest card wins (with the Ace counting low in the 5-4-3-2-A straight flush), and the best straight flush is the A-K-Q-J-10 of a suit, known as a royal flush. E.g., A♥K♥Q♥J♥10♥ beats K♥Q♥J♥10♥9♥.
- Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same denomination. The higher kicker wins in the rare case where the board has four of a kind. E.g., K♠K♥K♦K♣Q♠ beats K♠K♥K♦K♣J♦.
- Full House: Three cards of one denomination and two of another. Compare the triplet first and then the pair. E.g., Q♥Q♦Q♣5♦5♣.
- Flush: Five cards of the same suit. Between flushes, the highest card wins, comparing each set of cards in turn. E.g., A♦Q♦5♦3♦2♦ beats A♦J♦5♦3♦2♦ (Queen beats Jack), and K♣J♣7♣4♣3♣ beats K♣J♣7♣4♣2♣ (Three beats Two).
- Straight: Five cards in consecutive numeric sequence. The highest card wins, with the Ace as part of the both the lowest straight (5-4-3-2-A) and the highest straight (A-K-Q-J-10, also called a Royal Straight). E.g., 10♥9♣8♦7♥6♣ beats 9♣8♦7♥6♣5♠.
- Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same denomination. Both kickers play if needed. E.g., 8♠8♥8♣A♥3♣ beats 8♠8♥8♦Q♦J♠.
- Two Pairs: Two cards of one denomination and two cards of another denomination. When multiple players have two pairs, the top pairs are compared first, then the bottom pairs, then the kicker if necessary. E.g., A♥A♣7♠7♣4♥ beats K♠K♣Q♦Q♣J♥ (higher first pair), A♠A♦6♠6♥K♣ (higher second pair), and A♠A♦7♥7♦2♦ (higher kicker). A♥A♣7♠7♣4♥ is read as "Aces over 7s", "Aces and 7s", or just "Aces up". [Note that "7s" is often written as "7's" to avoid confusion with the Seven of spades. THETA Poker Pro uses "7's" because VoiceOver mispronounces "7s" as "seven ess".]
- Pair: Two cards of the same denomination. All three kickers are compared if necessary. E.g., K♥K♣8♠5♦2♣.
- High Card: A card with no pair, three-of-a-kind, four-of-a-kind, straight, or flush. Between hands that have just a high card, the highest card wins, comparing each set of cards in turn. E.g., A♥K♣9♦8♦5♠ beats A♠Q♠9♦8♦5♠.
In most games, the cards speak, but you should know what your best hand is at all times. It's also helpful to figure out what the best possible hands are given the current board. In Hold 'Em, any paired board makes a four-of-a-kind and multiple full houses possible. Any board with three of one suit makes a flush possible. And any board with three cards within a sequence of five makes a straight possible (if they're the same suit, then a straight flush is also possible). Barring all of those, the best possible hand is three of kind of the highest card on the board.