What Is a Flush in Poker?

A flush is a poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit, and it is named after the highest card in the combination. For example, a hand made of Ks Js 7s 5s 2s is a king-high flush in spades.

In terms of absolute strength, a flush is right in the middle of poker hand rankings, beating straight, three of a kind, two pairs, one pair, and high card, but losing to any full house or better.

Poker HandExplanationExample
#1. Royal FlushFive highest cards of the same suitAcKcQcJcTc
#2. Straight FlushAny five consecutive cards of the same suitJcTc9c8c7c
#3. Four of a KindFour cards of the same rank4c4s4d4hJc
#4. Full HouseThree cards of one rank + two cards of another rank3c3s3d7h7c
#5. FlushFive cards of the same suitKdJd7d5d3d
#6. StraightFive consecutive cards in different suits6s5s4d3d2h
#7. Three of a KindThree cards of the same rank7c7h7d2hJ2
#8. Two PairsTwo cards of one rank + two cards of another rankQcQs2c2hJs
#9. One PairTwo cards of the same rank8h8sAcKs5d
#10. High CardAny other handAcQdJs4h3c

Examples of a Flush Poker Hand

Any five cards of the same suit make up a flush. For example:

  • Ah Th 9h 7h 3h – an Ace-high flush in hearts
  • Ks Qs 9s 8s 6s – a King-high flush in spades
  • Td 9d 7d 5d 2d – a Ten-high flush in diamonds
  • 8c 6c 5c 3c 2c – an Eight-high flush in clubs

When there are two or more players with a flush at a showdown, the hand containing the highest card is the winner. For example, Ah 7h 6h 3h 2h beats Ks Js Ts 9s 8s.

If two players have the same top card, the second-highest card is used to determine the winner, so a hand like Jh Th 8h 7h 5h beats Jc Tc 8c 6c 5c because of the 7h.

It’s important to note that suits have no bearing at a showdown. All flushes are worth the same, so a flush in spades is not stronger than a flush in clubs (or vice versa). So, if two players have the exact same flush in two different suits (which is possible in some stud and draw poker variations), they’ll always split the pot, and suits will not be considered.

What Beats Flush in Poker?

As mentioned, a flush is a medium-strength poker hand, and it beats straight, three of a kind, two pairs, one pair, and a high card.

This is the fifth-best hand you can have in high poker variations like Texas Hold’em and PLO, so there are still four hands that a flush loses to. These are a full house, four-of-a-kind (quads), straight flush, and Royal Flush.

A flush can also lose to a higher flush, which is why Ace-high flushes are held in high regard. An Ace-high flush is the best flush you can have, so you don’t have to worry about losing to other flushes.

Flush Probabilities

A flush is a fairly common hand in Texas Hold’em. With four different suits and a deck of 52 cards, there are 5,148 ways to make a flush (1,278 ways for each suit).

The table below shows your odds of making a flush in Texas Hold’em when starting with two suited cards:

FlopCompleting Flush Draw by the TurnCompleting FD by the River

Here are a few more interesting statistics about a flush poker hand:

  • You have a 10.9% chance to flop a flush draw starting with two suited cards.
  • The odds of flopping a nut flush draw when holding an unsuited Ace are 1.12%
  • Your odds of flopping a backdoor (two-card) flush draw with any two cards is 2.58%.

How to Play Flush in Poker?

A flush is fairly strong hand that will win you the pot more often than not. However, there are certain pitfalls when it comes to playing a flush in poker that you should be aware of.

The biggest mistake beginners make is overvaluing their flush on a paired board. Whenever the board is paired, there is a possibility of a full house, and if your opponent raises you in this situation at any point, you should take a moment and consider all the possibilities. When playing with deep stacks, you should be ready to give up a flush on a paired board facing a lot of aggression.

Another important strategy tip is to be careful when playing with a non-nut flush. In this situation, it is always possible for someone to have a better flush, so be mindful of the situation and your opponent(s).


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