Straight hands are very solid options in most poker games.
Although far from the best five-card hand in the game of poker, straight hands are far from the lowest ranking hands.
In this blog, we at LV BET have explored the strength, probability and effectiveness of the straight poker hand in the context of multiple poker variants, but especially Texas hold’em.
STRAIGHT IN POKER HAND RANKINGS
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 in Texas hold’em poker games:
- Royal Flush: Ace, king, queen, jack, 10, all in the same suit. For example, ace, K, Q, J and 10 of hearts is called a royal (straight) flush. This is the best hand that sits at the top of the hand rankings.
- Straight Flush: Straight flushes are made up of five consecutive cards of the same suit, but not the highest-ranking ones.
- Four of a Kind: Also called quads, this hand includes four cards ranked equally.
- Full House: Full houses comprise 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. A Broadway Straight refers to a 10 to A straight.
- Three of a Kind: Three cards of equal rank make a three of a kind. An example of a three of a kind is three aces.
- Two Pair: Two sets of pairs is called a two pair. Two pairs win against a pair and a high card.
- One Pair: Two cards of the same value make a one pair. For example, two 10s make a pair. Pair hands lose to all poker hands except high card hands. A pair wins against lower-ranked pairs, as well.
- High Card: The highest card in your hand when no other combinations are present.
HOW IS A STRAIGHT STRUCTURED?
The structure of a straight is relatively simple.
A straight consists of five cards in sequential order, with no regard to the suits, so different suit combinations are allowed.
For example, a hand with the cards 6 of clubs, 7 of hearts, 8 of diamonds, 9 of spades, and 10 of hearts is a straight, even though the suits differ.
STRAIGHT IN POKER – THE CARDS SAME SUIT
Unlike a flush and a royal flush, a straight doesn’t require all the cards to belong to the same suit.
As long as the cards form a numerical sequence, the hand qualifies as a straight.
If the straight is made of five sequential cards of the same suit, that would qualify it as a straight flush.
WHAT BEATS STRAIGHT ON THE POKER TABLE?
One glance at the poker hand rankings chart shows that certain poker hands beat the flush hand.
The poker hands are: royal flushes, straight flush, four of a kind, full house and flush.
This makes flushes a medium-tier poker hand on paper, however, it still can be used to win the pot most of the time.
IS STRAIGHT BETTER THAN STRAIGHT FLUSH?
A common misconception is that a straight is superior to a straight flush.
However, this is not the case.
To understand the differences and advantages of straight flushes, visit our dedicated article on the straight flush in poker.
PROBABILITY OF HITTING STRAIGHT IN POKER
Let’s delve into the probability of making a straight in various scenarios:
- Open-Ended Straight Draw: Open-ended straight draws, which will be explained better in the next section, means that you have four consecutive cards (for example, 7, 8, 9, 10) and need one of two possible cards (6 or Jack) to complete your straight. After the flop, you have 8 outs (4 sixes and 4 jacks), and using the “Rule of 2 and 4,” your probability of completing the straight by the river is approximately 32% (8 outs*4).
- Inside Straight Draw: This term means that you have four consecutive cards but require one specific card to complete your straight (for example, 7, 8, 10, jack, and you need a 9). After the flop, you have 4 outs (the 9s), and your probability is about 16% (4 outs*4).
- Two Overcards to the Flop: If you have two overcards (cards higher than the ones on the flop) and need a specific straight (for example, you have 7, 8, and the flop shows 9, 10, queen), you have 4 outs (the kings) to complete your straight. Your probability after the flop is approximately 16% (4 outs * 4).
- Three Consecutive Cards to the Flop: If you have three consecutive cards to the flop (for example, you have 6, 7, and the flop shows 8, 9, queen), you need any 5 or 10 to complete your straight. After the flop, you have 8 outs (4 fives and 4 tens), and your probability is about 32% (8 outs*4).
- Gutshot Straight Draw: A “gutshot straight draw” means you have a single gap in your sequence and need a specific card to complete your straight (for example, you have 7, 9, and the flop shows 8, 10, Queen). You need an 8. After the flop, you have 4 outs (the 8s), and your probability is approximately 16% (4 outs*4).
WHAT IS OPEN ENDED STRAIGHT DRAW IN POKER?
Open-ended straight draws refer to an “open-ended straight” situation where a player has four consecutive cards and requires just one of two possible cards to complete a straight.
For instance, with a hand like 6, 7, 8, and 9, you need either a 5 or a 10 to complete a straight.
This situation offers more outs and better odds of completing a straight than an “inside straight draw,” which has only one possible card to complete the sequence.
STRAIGHT IN POKER EXAMPLES
Let’s dive into some practical examples of straight hands in poker.
These examples will help you visualize what a straight looks like and how it can be formed.
- Example 1: A player has the 3 of clubs, 4 of hearts, 5 of diamonds, 6 of spades, and 7 of clubs. This hand constitutes a straight because it has five consecutive numerical cards, regardless of their suits.
- Example 2: In a game, a player is dealt the 6 of clubs, 7 of hearts, 8 of clubs, 9 of diamonds and 10 of diamonds. This hand is a ten-high straight, since the five cards leading up to the highest ranking card are in sequential order.
- Example 3: A 10 of diamonds, jack of hearts, queen of clubs, king of clubs and ace of spades makes an ace-high hand, specifically, an ace-high straight.
HOW TO PLAY STRAIGHT IN TEXAS HOLD’EM AND OMAHA POKER
Straights can be quite a strong hand in the game of poker, especially in popular variants like Texas Hold’em and Omaha.
Here’s how you can play straights effectively in these games.
STRAIGHT IN TEXAS HOLD’EM POKER
When playing poker of the Texas Hold’em variant, a straight can be a powerful hand, but it’s essential to be aware of the five community cards on the table and the potential for higher straights.
Here’s how to play a straight effectively:
- Be cautious with low straights: If you have a low straight (for example, 5 to 9), consider the possibility of a higher straight on the board. If there are four consecutive cards on the table, someone may have a better straight.
- Bet and raise strategically: If the board doesn’t show the potential for a flush or higher-ranked hands, betting and raising can help build the pot and maximise your winnings. Make sure that you don’t wager according to an obvious betting pattern.
STRAIGHT IN OMAHA
In Omaha, where you have four hole cards, the dynamics of playing a straight are different.
Consider the following:
- Nut straight: Having the “nut” straight means you have the highest possible straight on the board. Be aggressive with your betting in such cases to maximise your winnings.
- Draws: If you have a draw to a straight hand and there are multiple cards on the board that can complete your straight on account of your hole cards, you have a strong draw. Consider calling or raising to build the pot.
- Board texture: Pay attention to the community cards and their sequence. If the board is showing a potential straight, be cautious about opponents holding a better one. Remember that the highest straight wins in this poker game.
CONCLUSION – STRONG STRAIGHT POSITION ON THE POKER TABLE
A straight hand is a strong hand in poker, and understanding its structure, ranking, and how to play it effectively is crucial for success at the poker table.
While not the highest-ranking hand, a well-played straight can yield substantial winnings.
By comprehending the intricacies of straights in poker, you can enhance your poker skills and make more informed decisions during gameplay.
✅ WHEN DOES STRAIGHT IN POKER WIN?
The straight hand rank is fifth in the poker hands ranking.
A straight beats a three of a kind, two pair, a pair and a high card.
However, anything better than the hands above beats a straight hand.
✅ WHAT IF TWO PLAYERS IN THE SAME HAND HAVE A STRAIGHT?
If two straights clash, the player with the higher-ranking hand wins.
If the highest-ranking card is the same, the second-highest-ranking card is used to settle the tie. Whichever card ranks higher wins.
If the straight hand of each player is the same, the pot is divided equally.
✅ WHAT IS THE VALUE OF ACES IN STRAIGHT?
In a straight, the ace has a dual role.
It can serve as the highest card in a ten to ace straight (ace-high straight), as well as the lowest card in an ace to five straight (five-high straight).
This flexibility makes the ace a versatile card in such hands.