Five sequenced cards, not of the same suit, make a straight. If there's more than one straight, the high cards in each sequence determine the winning hand. A nine-high straight beats a six-high straight.

Example QJ1098. When comparing two sequences, the one with the higher ranking top card is better. Ace can count high or low in a straight, but not both at once, so A-K-Q-J-10 and 5-4-3-2-A are valid straights, but 2-A-K-Q-J is not. 5-4-3-2-A is the lowest kind of straight, the top card being the five.

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They Play Good Cards
Something happens to certain hold'em players once they start to get good. Having learned how to read their foes, and how to turn those reads into profitable plays, they forget (for a while at least) the foundation upon which their successful hold'em game is built. They forget (for a while at least) Mike Caro's immortal observation that "hold'em is a game of high cards." They forget (for a while at least) that most of their muscular moves require at least a little bit of actual factual muscle. Awed by the strength of their image, their reads, and their handsome, chiseled features, they get reckless and careless and sloppy, and their bottom line suffers accordingly.

Case in point: A fairly good hold'em player has just graduated to the middle limits. Much to his surprise, he finds that the quality of play there is not much higher than what he left behind at the so-called "upper low limits" ($5-$10, $6-$12, $9-$18). More to the point, he discovers that he can move players off their hands with turn bets or raises. He comes to believe that he can "outplay them on later streets." What he doesn't realize is that he tightened up when he moved up, so that he was generally making those turn bets or raises with superior hands-and his foes accurately read him for the hands he had. He didn't outplay them so much as outgun them. Nevertheless, he comes to see himself as a master of post-flop play. His own high opinion of himself carries him away completely. Now instead of raising preflop with quality big cards and big pairs, he's banging away with hands like T-9 suited, rationalizing his rash action with the soothing belief that he'll beat 'em on the flop or the turn or the river.
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