A flush is a description for a specific type of hand (i.e. set of cards) in a poker card game. You have a flush if you have five cards of the same suit in your hand. So, for example, if you had five cards that were all hearts then you would have a flush. This is a fairly high ranking hand in itself in standard terms but variations of the hand rank higher than others.
The standard flush variations possible in a game of poker include:
- Standard Flush -- here you hold five cards that are of one suit (i.e. five hearts, diamonds, spades or clubs). A standard flush hand will not necessarily see the cards appear in sequence (i.e. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) but will generally include any five cards from a suit. This hand is more important than a straight (i.e. five cards in numerical order) but lower than a full house (i.e. one set of two of the same card ranks and three of another). If two players both present with a flush then the one with the highest ranked card in the flushes will normally win the hand.
- Straight Flush -- here you hold five cards of the same suit but they are all in numerical order. So, for example, you may hold a hearts flush with the 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of hearts cards. Again, if two players both hold a straight flush then the highest card ranking rule will be applied if it can to determine the winner.
- Royal Flush -- here you will, once again, hold five cards of the same suit in numerical order. But, to achieve a royal flush your cards must include the ‘royal cards’. So, for example, your hand will be composed of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten all of which will be of the same suit. This is the highest ranking hand in poker in most poker games.
Some non-standard poker games will use the word flush to denote other hands. So, for example, in some games four cards of the same suit may be referred to as a four flush or a bobtail flush. A flush house may also be used in certain types of poker game to describe a hand that is composed of three cards of one suit and two cards of another suit.