In poker, it does not get much better than forming a straight flush. This hand does not come around often, so you must always prepare yourself for a stroke of good fortune. The worst thing you can do is act too quickly and miss out on the opportunity to turn the round into a goldmine.
What is a Straight Flush in Poker?
A straight flush is a combination of a flush and a straight. A flush requires all 5 cards in your hand to be of the same suit. It does not matter whether they are Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs or Spades, as long as all 5 cards are of a matching suit. A straight is 5 cards that follow each other in a sequence, where 2 is the lowest ranking card and Ace is the highest. You cannot have a jump in a straight, such as 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9. Nor can you make a bridge between 2 and Ace, forming a hand like King, Ace, 2, 3 and 4.
What Beats a Straight Flush?
A royal flush is the strongest hand in the game, and it beats a straight flush. But a royal flush is essentially a straight flush, only it is made up of the highest cards in the game. Otherwise, the only way a player can beat your straight flush is with a better straight flush.
Straight flush hands are not determined by suits, as there is no ranking amongst the suits. Instead, the strength of a straight flush is determined by its highest card. For example, a 10-high straight flush will beat a 9-high straight flush.
Straight Flush Probability
There are only 9 straight flush combinations per suit, making for a total of 36 in the game. The possibility of forming such a hand is extremely small, with odds of 72,192 to 1. This converts into a percentage of just 0.00139%. Just consider that there are 36 ways of making a straight flush, out of a total of 2,598,960 different possible hands in poker.
How to Play a Straight Flush
When the possibility of a straight flush emerges, then there is a tiny chance that another player can also pick it out. It all depends on what cards they have in the hole. Here are some terms that you should know before continuing.
Draw to a Straight Flush
This basically means that there are multiple communal cards that could build up a straight flush. You do not have one yet, but you are only 1 or 2 cards away from reaching it.
Open Ended Draw
An open ended draw is when there are multiple communal cards and players can make a flush by adding their hole cards to either end. For example, there is a suited draw of 8,9 and 10 among the communal cards. It is open ended because it can extend to a straight flush with a suited Jack+Queen or with a suited 6+7.
An inside draw is when there is a gap between the communal cards, thus you can only make a straight if you have the “inside” cards. For example, a suited 8, 9, Queen and King can only be completed if you have a suited 10+Jack.
Connectors (Hole Cards)
Connectors are hole cards that are in a 2-card sequence. For example, 10+Jack or Queen+King are connectors. For a straight flush, they must be of the same suit.
Gappers (Hole Cards)
When there is a gap between the hole cards, which disrupts the sequence, they are called gappers. 8 and 10 are one-gappers whilst 8 and Jack are two-gappers.
Poker Round Stages
Usually, a poker pair is the best hand to have preflop, but suited connectors, especially when they are Jack-high or better, are invaluable for a straight flush. Having two of the 5 cards you need sets you up well for the flop, and it is not a bad strategy to start with sizable bets.
The flop is the make-or-break moment for a straight flush. The best scenario is when there are three suited communal cards that complete your hand. You already have a straight flush and there are still two cards to be drawn. The onus is on you to raise that pot as far as your opponents will go.
If you are only missing one card, then you either have an open ended or inside 4-card draw. The open ended draw is better, as there are two cards in the deck that you can use. For the inside draw, there is only 1 card in that deck that can finish your hand. There is no guarantee that it will appear, or that another player does not already have that card – in which case you cannot use it.
Should the turn complete your straight flush, then once again, it is your chance to shine. After the turn is dealt, you can increase the size of your raise. Do not worry about limpers leaving, as they will not bring you the big bucks. Instead, you are relying on the players who have something to play for. Whether they are onto a straight or a flush is irrelevant, as your straight flush beats both.
If you still only have a 4-card draw (open ended or inside), then all is not lost. Though the odds are racked against you, it is worth holding on to the river. In the precious chance that you do make the straight flush, it will bring ample rewards.
River and Showdown
A lot of players will take a straight or a flush to the death, so take advantage of your rare hand and take the pot as high as they will go. No one likes to fold after the river is drawn, but everyone has their own limits. But make sure that the pot is a good size before you give them a betting ultimatum.
Now, if you did not make the straight flush, it is not the end of the world. It is a big gamble, but there is still the possibility to bluff. After all, up until that point you bet with confidence. If you only missed out by one suit you still have a straight. Should one of the cards break the sequence, then you have a flush. These are not weak hands, but your opponent may have the same hand, or something stronger.
Best Case Scenario
The best hand is a Royal Flush, which is an Ace-high straight flush. Outside that, the best straight flush is King-high. If you have a suited King and Queen in the hole, then only a Royal Flush can beat this hand.
Worst Case Scenario
The weakest straight flush is a 5-high hand, which is called a Steel Wheel. The worst case scenario is for you to only have one hole card, a 2, in the hand. This is because another player only needs to have a suited 6 to complete a better straight flush.
It is worth taking the risk on a straight flush. You may have a 4 card draw at the flop or even the turn, and the odds are not in your favour. However, in the rare case that you get your desired fifth card and complete the straight flush, it is practically unbeatable. As this hand is so rare, it also brings a lot of bluffing to the table. No two players can have the same straight flush, unless that is, the straight flush is only made from communal cards.
A straight flush is a hand that contains five cards of sequential rank, all of the same suit, such as Q♥ J♥ 10♥ 9♥ 8♥ (a "queen-high straight flush"). It ranks below five of a kind and above four of a kind.How do you calculate a straight flush? ›
Since there are four different suits, this makes 4 x 9 = 36 total straight flushes. Therefore the probability of a straight flush is 36/2,598,960 = 0.0014%. This is approximately equivalent to 1/72193.Is 12345 a straight flush? ›
A-2-3-4-5 is considered a five-high straight, and it is called a wheel or bicycle; this is the only time an ace plays as a low card. An ace-high straight flush is called a royal flush and it cannot be beaten. The only time it ties is when all 5 cards to the royal flush, i.e. A♥ K♥ Q♥ J♥ 10♥, are on the community board.How rare is a straight flush in poker? ›
|Straight flush (excluding royal flush)||37,260||0.0279%|
|Four of a kind||224,848||0.168%|
|Flush (excluding royal flush and straight flush)||4,047,644||3.03%|
|Royal Flush||10 J Q K A||100 Points|
|Straight Flush||4 5 6 7 8||75 Points|
|A Straight Flush consists of a run of five cards all of the same suit. Aces count as high or low; therefore 10,J,Q,K,A and A,2,3,4,5 of the same suit are both valid straight flushes.|
|Four of a Kind||3 3 3 3||50 Points|
Straight. A straight is 5 cards in order, such as 4-5-6-7-8. An ace may either be high (A-K-Q-J-T) or low (5-4-3-2-1). However, a straight may not 'wraparound'.What is the most common winning hand in poker? ›
The more poker you play, the more you will realize that although royal flushes are the best hand to win a game of poker, they are not the most common. Most often, two pairs or a simple pair will win the game. 31% of the time, two pairs will win a game of poker, and 27% of the time, a pair will win a game.What are the combinations for a straight? ›
The deck yields 10 distinct ways to draw a straight. The suits don't factor into that calculation, as for example 7♥6♦5♣4♥3♠ and 7♠6♥5♦4♣3♥ are both the same distinct straight. Factoring in different combinations of suits, you have 10,200 total ways to draw a straight from a 52-card deck.Do all 5 cards count in a flush? ›
Flush – FAQ
In poker, a flush is made when holding 5 cards all of the same suit. If the cards are also in consecutive rank order, this is referred to instead as a “straight flush”. Question 2: Which flush wins in poker?
a full house beats a flush; a four-of-a-kind beats a full house; a straight flush beats a four-of-a-kind; a Royal Flush beats a straight flush.
The same rule applies to full houses, where the player with the best three-of-a-kind combination will always win the pot. In straight and flush scenarios, the winner is determined by comparing the highest card in the combination. For example: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 beats 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.How do you calculate poker in math? ›
In poker, pot odds are expressed as a percentage. Pot odds are calculated based on the percentage of the total pot that a player would invest if they were to call. For instance, if a player calls $50 after the opponent bet $50 into a $100 pot, the pot odds would be 25% of the total pot ($50/200).What is the 50% rule in poker? ›
A player who raises 50% or more of the largest prior bet but less than a minimum raise must make a full minimum raise. If less than 50% it is a call unless “raise” is first declared or the player is all-in (Rule 45-B). Declaring an amount or pushing out the same amount of chips is treated the same (Rule 40-C).What is the difference between a straight and a straight flush? ›
A flush always beats a straight in poker. Flush is five cards of a kind or the same suit, while a straight is five cards in a numeric sequence. A straight flush, which is five cards of the same suit in consecutive order, beats both hands. Royal Flush is an ace-high straight flush, which is the best possible poker hand.Who wins a flush or straight? ›
In Texas Holdem a flush (five cards of the same suit) always beats a straight (five cards in a numeric sequence). A straight-flush, which is five cards of the same suit in consecutive order, beats both hands.How is a flush better than a straight? ›
Therefore, with a standard deck and a five-card poker hand, there are 10,200 ways to make a straight (for a probability of 0.003925) and 5,108 ways to make a flush (for a probability of 0.001965.) Thus, you can see why flushes are ranked higher than straights.