What Beats a Flush?

By Harry Havemeyer
A royal flush, the strongest hand, poker, a variation
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A flush is one of the highest ranking hands in poker. It is comprised of five cards of the same suit, though the cards do not have to be in sequential order. A flush, like the other hands in poker, is the same in both standard games and Texas hold 'em-style poker. The difference between the two styles of poker is in the way the cards are administered to the players.

Full House

A full house beats a flush and is the next highest ranking hand in poker. A full house is three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. A player with three jacks and two 5s has a full house. If two players have a full house, the player with the higher ranking set of three cards wins. In the event both players have the same set of three cards in Texas Hold 'em, the player with the higher pair wins the hand.

Four of a Kind

A player with four cards of the same rank, such as four queens, has four of a kind. Four of a kind beats both a full house and a standard flush. In the event two players have four of a kind, the player with the higher set of four cards wins the hand.

Straight Flush

A straight flush is a variation of the standard flush. This hand not only beats the flush, but also a full house and four of a kind. A straight flush is five cards of the same suit in sequential order. In the event two players have straight flushes, then the flush with the highest value card wins. If both hands have kings as the top card, they tie -- or "push" -- since no value is assigned to suits.

Royal Flush

The royal flush is a variation of the straight flush and is the highest ranking hand in poker. A royal flush is an ace-high straight flush, with the rest of the cards being king, queen, jack and 10. All of these cards must be of the same suit. In the rare event two players both have a royal flush, then it is a push since suits have no assigned value in poker.

About the Author

Harry Havemeyer began writing in 2000. He has written articles for the "San Antonio Express-News" and the "Tulane Hullabaloo." Havemeyer holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy from Tulane University.