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When you're first learning how to play poker, it's very important to know the rank of the hands. If you're sitting there with two pair and you think the opponent has a flush and you're flinging chips in the middle as fast as you can, you're going to be in for a sore surprise when you learn the bad news. But at the same time, you can't really ask. So what should you do about it?
When I play with new players, I write down the list: high card, one pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush. Then they can figure out how good their hand is without the awkward, “So, um, hypothetically, if I had two pair and Susie over here had a flush, would that be good or bad for me?”