Although not quite the best possible hand in poker, a straight flush is among one of the best poker hands.
Sitting second from the top of the standard poker hand rankings, the straight flush isn’t a poker hand that will come by all too often, which is why every poker player out there must know how to exploit its great strength.
Join us as we explore the strength, probability and effectiveness of straight flush hands in the context of multiple poker variants, but especially Texas hold’em.
STRAIGHT FLUSH IN POKER HAND RANKINGS
The straight flush ranks second in the poker hand ranking list, with the first being the royal flush.
If you want to find out more about traditional poker hand rankings, feel free to check out our dedicated blog.
The hierarchy of poker rankings typically follows this order:
- Royal Flush: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, all in the same suit. For example, ace, K, Q, J and 10 would make a royal flush, the best hand that sits at the top of the hand rankings.
- Straight Flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit, but not the highest-ranking ones.
- Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank.
- Full House: Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank.
- Flush: Five cards of the same suit, not in consecutive order. An ace, 10, 6, 3 and 2 of spades make an ace-high flush, since the ace is the highest-ranking card in the hand. A king high flush would be K, Q, J, 8 and 3 of clubs, for example.
- Straight: Five consecutive cards of different suits. (3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 makes a seven high straight). Ace to five makes an ace high straight. 10 to ace straight makes a Broadway Straight.
- Three of a Kind: Three cards of the matching rank.
- Two Pair: Two sets of pairs.
- One Pair: Two cards of the same value. Two 10s make a one pair. Pair hands loses to all poker hands except high card hands. A one pair wins against lower ranked pairs, as well.
- High Card: The highest card in your hand when no other combinations are present.
As you can see, the straight flush rank is second, making it an extremely competitive hand in most poker games.
HOW IS STRAIGHT FLUSH STRUCTURED?
A straight flush in poker is a five-card hand consisting of five consecutive cards of the same suit. In essence, it’s a combination of a straight (five consecutive cards) and a flush (five cards of the same suit).
The key to recognising a straight flush is the continuity of the card values and the uniformity of their suits.
For example, a hand with 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of hearts would be a straight flush.
This structured hand ranks higher than most other poker hands, making it a formidable contender in any poker game.
STRAIGHT FLUSH IN POKER – THE CARDS SAME SUIT
Whichever one of the four suits (hearts, diamonds, clubs, or spades) doesn’t matter. As long as they are all identical, the hand qualifies as a straight flush.
However, the order of the cards is equally important as they cannot be simply random cards of all the same suit — that would make them an ordinary flush.
The cards must also form a consecutive sequence, such as 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of spades.
WHAT BEATS STRAIGHT FLUSH ON THE POKER TABLE?
In the hierarchy of poker hand rankings, there are few combinations that can outshine a straight flush.
The only hand that can top a straight flush is the royal flush, which is the absolute pinnacle of (online) poker hands.
A royal flush consists of the A, K, Q, J, and 10 suited cards, making it the highest-ranking hand in the game.
Therefore, when you have a straight flush, you’re in a commanding position, and the odds of someone else having a royal flush are extremely low.
Although having such hands in any game of poker is extremely rare, one must still know how to utilise them effectively to make sure to avoid missing out on value bets.
IS STRAIGHT FLUSH ALWAYS WORSE THAN ROYAL FLUSH?
Yes, even the best possible straight flush loses out to royal flush poker hands.
The straight flush marks the second-best hand in the game of poker.
Although it is probably the winning hand in most rounds, there is still the possibility that it ends up losing to either a royal flush or to a higher-ranking straight flush.
After all, the straight flush beats every poker hand except for royal flushes.
PROBABILITY OF HITTING STRAIGHT FLUSH IN POKER
Whether you’re playing online poker or land-based poker, the probability of landing a straight flush is quite low.
In this section, we’ll delve into the exact figures of hitting this rare hand.
In Texas hold’em, each player is dealt two hole cards while five community cards are shared by all players.
- Hole Cards: You need to be dealt two cards of identical suit, which is the first condition for a straight flush.
The probability of getting said cards of the identical suit: 0.0588 (5.88%).
- Community Cards: You need three of the comm. cards to be of identical suit as your cards to complete the straight flush.
The probability of the first community card matching your suit: 9/47 (19.15%). The probability of the second community card matching your suit: 8/46 (17.39%). The probability of the third community card matching your suit: 7/45 (15.56%).
In Omaha, the odds are slightly different because you are dealt four cards, and you must use exactly two of them in combination with three of the comm. cards.
Here’s how the odds work:
- Hole Cards: You need to be dealt four cards of identical suit, which is the first condition for a Straight Flush.
Probability of getting four cards of the identical suit: 0.0032 (0.32%)
- Community Cards: You need three of the comm. cards to be of the identical suit as your selected cards to complete the Straight Flush.
The probability of the first community card matching your suit: 9/47 (19.15%). The probability of the second community card matching your suit: 8/46 (17.39%) The probability of the third community card matching your suit: 7/45 (15.56%).
STRAIGHT FLUSH POKER EXAMPLES
If you’re about to start playing poker, it’s crucial to know what a straight flush looks like. Here is what a regular straight flush looks like:
- Jack high straight flush of hearts: 7h, 8h, 9h, 10h, Jh
- Queen high straight flush of clubs: 8c, 9c, 10c, Jc, Qc
These examples showcase the diversity of suits and the sequence of cards that can form a straight flush.
Keep in mind that this is a powerful hand that can be a game-changer when the cards fall in your favour.
HOW TO PLAY STRAIGHT FLUSH IN TEXAS HOLD’EM AND OMAHA POKER
The type of poker gambling game makes a difference when it comes to playing straight flushes.
Here are some considerations to think about when tackling a straight flush.
STRAIGHT FLUSH IN TEXAS HOLD’EM
In Texas Hold’em, the rules for playing a straight flush are fairly straightforward.
If you have a straight flush, your goal is to maximise your winnings without scaring your opponents away.
It’s a strong hand, but not invincible, so you want to extract as much value as possible from your opponents.
Here’s a simple strategy to follow:
- Bet and Raise: Make small bets or raises to keep your opponents in the game while building the pot and hoping for a possible straight flush. Once the comm. cards reveal your straight flush, bet more aggressively.
- Bluff with Caution: Bluffing is a crucial element in poker, but with a straight flush, it’s often unnecessary. However, you can occasionally mix in a bluff to keep your opponents guessing.
- Keep an Eye on the Board: Always be aware of the comm. cards on the board. If the board shows four cards of the same suit, be cautious, as someone may have a higher straight flush.
- Value Bet: When the opportunity arises, make value bets to extract more chips from your opponents. However, don’t overdo it, as aggressive betting can drive players away.
STRAIGHT FLUSH IN OMAHA
In Omaha poker, the rules for playing a straight flush are similar to those in Texas Hold’em.
However, the key difference is that in Omaha, you must use exactly two of your cards and three of the comm. cards to form your hand.
This means that you can’t use all four of your cards to create a straight flush.
When playing a straight flush in Omaha, consider the following:
- Use the Right Cards: Ensure that you select the two cards that are most compatible with the comm. cards. This will increase your chances of forming a straight flush.
- Be Cautious of High Straights: In Omaha, it’s not uncommon for players to have higher straights. Be cautious if the comm. cards suggest a high straight is possible, as you may not have the winning hand.
- Bet Aggressively: As in Texas Hold’em, when you have a straight flush, bet and raise to build the pot. However, be aware of the competition and adjust your strategy accordingly.
CONCLUSION – WITH STRAIGHT FLUSH YOU CAN FEEL CONFIDENT BUT BE CAREFUL
In the realm of poker, a straight flush is a remarkable hand that can boost your confidence and your chip stack.
While it may not be as rare as a royal flush, it’s still a sight to behold when it appears in your hand.
To make the most of this powerful combination, remember to play strategically, assess your opponents, and adapt your betting patterns accordingly.
With a straight flush, you’re in a position of strength, but it’s essential to remain vigilant and not overlook the possibility of even stronger hands in play.
✅ WHEN DOES STRAIGHT FLUSH WIN?
A straight flush wins when it ranks higher than the opponent’s hand. The royal flush beats the straight flush — in fact, it is the only poker hand that can beat it. So, if no royal flush is present, your straight flush will secure a victory.
✅ WHAT IF TWO PLAYERS IN THE SAME HAND HAVE A STRAIGHT FLUSH?
If two players in the same hand have straight flushes, the player with the highest-ranking straight flush wins.
For example, a straight flush from 10 to ace will beat a straight Flush from 5 to 9, which is why higher rank cards break ties.
In the rare event of a tie, the straight flush stands and the pot is split between the players.
✅ WHAT IS THE VALUE OF ACES IN STRAIGHT FLUSH?
Aces in a straight flush can have two values: high or low.
In many poker variants, including Texas Hold’em and Omaha, an ace can be used as a high card (in an ace to five straight flush, making it a five high straight flush) or a high card (ten to ace straight flush).