What Is a Royal Flush in Poker?

A Royal Flush is the strongest possible hand in poker that can’t lose to any other hand. It is the highest possible straight flush you can get, consisting of Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit.

A Royal Flush is an extremely powerful and extremely rare hand that you might get only a few times over many years of playing poker.

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 Royal Flush Poker Hand

Unlike all other poker hands that you can make in many different ways, there are only four possible Royal Flushes. These are:

  • Ts Js Qs Ks As – a Royal Flush in spades
  • Th Jh Qh Kh Ah – a Royal Flush in hearts
  • Td Jd Qd Kd Ad – a Royal Flush in diamonds
  • Tc Jc Qc Kc Ac – a Royal Flush in Clubs

In poker variations with community cards, like Texas Hold’em, two or more players can’t have a Royal Flush. So, if you happen to make this rare hand, you are 100% guaranteed to win the pot on the showdown.

In some other poker variations, such as stud and draw games, it is possible for more players to have a Royal Flush in different suits. In this case, they’ll always split the pot.

There is a common misconception that suits are used to determine a winner when comparing one Royal Flush to another, but that’s not the case. The official poker rules disregard suits, so the Royal Flush in clubs is equally as strong as the Royal Flush in spades.

What Beats Royal Flush in Poker?

A Royal Flush is absolutely the best possible hand you can have in all high poker variations, so no combination beats a Royal Flush.

As already mentioned, when two players have a Royal Flush, which is possible in some poker games, they’ll always split the pot at the showdown and will beat any other tabled hand, from a high card to a straight flush.

Royal Flush Probabilities

There are only four ways to make a Royal Flush out of a standard deck of 52 cards, and since this hand requires five specific cards, the odds of this happening are very small. The odds of making a Royal Flush out of five random cards are 649,739:1.

When it comes to Texas Hold’em specifically, the table below shows a few interesting Royal Flush stats:

Starting HandOdds
Two suited cards between T and A0.005% chance of flopping a Royal Flush
Open-ended Royal Flush draw on the flop4.44% chance of completing the hand on the turn
Open-ended Royal Flush draw on the flop8.4% chance of getting a Royal Flush by the river

Here are a few more interesting stats about this most powerful of all poker hands:

  • When holding TJ suited specifically, your odds of flopping a Royal Flush are 0.0058%
  • The odds of flopping a Royal Flush draw with two suited cards between T and A are 0.72%
  • The odds of completing a gutshot Royal Flush draw by the river are 4.3%

How to Play a Royal Flush in Poker

A Royal Flush is the only hand that you can’t lose or chop with in Texas Hold’em (unless the Royal Flush is made up entirely of the five community cards, in which case all players getting to the showdown will split the pot).

So, there isn’t too much advice or poker tips needed on how to play this hand. Since there is no way for you to lose, this is one hand you can slow-play as much as you like to try and allow your opponents to improve and commit more chips to the pot.

One thing that’s worth mentioning is that when you have a Royal Flush draw on the flop, especially if it’s an open-ended draw, you can usually play it very aggressively. This is a scenario where you know that you always have at least two outs to give you the best hand, which allows you to put a lot of pressure on the opponents, especially when playing with deep stacks.


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