What is a Straight Flush in Poker?

A straight flush is the second-strongest of all poker hands, losing only to a Royal Flush (which is, in fact, the best possible straight flush).

A straight flush consists of five cards of the same suit in consecutive order, and it is a very rare and equally as powerful poker hand.

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 Straight Flush Poker Hand

This hand Is a combination of two hands – a straight and a flush, all in one. Some examples of a straight flush are:

  • 5s 6s 7s 8s 9s – a Nine-high straight flush in spades
  • 7h 8h 9h Th Jh – a Ten-high straight flush in hearts
  • 4c 5c 6c 7c 8c – an Eight-high straight flush in clubs
  • 2d 3d 4d 5d 5d – a Six-high straight flush in diamonds

In rare instances where two or more players at the table end up showing down a straight flush, the winner is the player with the highest-ranking card in their combination. For example, 4d 5d 6d 7d 8d beats 3d 4d 5d 6d 7d.

In stud and draw poker variations, it is possible for two (or more) players to have the same flush but in a different suit. In this case, they’ll split the pot. Suits have no bearing on determining the winner; i.e., a straight flush in clubs is equally as strong as a straight flush in spades.

What Beats Straight Flush in Poker?

As mentioned, a straight flush is an extremely powerful hand. It beats almost all other hands you’ll come across, including high card, one pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, and four of a kind.

A straight flush is the second-strongest holding in poker hand rankings that loses only to a Royal Flush. A Royal Flush is, in fact, the highest possible straight flush (made up of an ace, king, queen, jack, and ten of the same suit), but as the strongest poker hand in existence, it has a special place in hand rankings.

Of course, a straight flush can beat another straight flush. When two players hold a straight flush, the one holding a combination with the highest-ranking card wins.

Straight Flush Probabilities

A straight flush is a very rare hand that you may not come across over numerous sessions. The odds of being dealt a straight flush from a deck of 52 cards are just 0.00139%.

In Texas Hold’em, these are your odds of making a straight flush on different streets when starting with two suited connectors:

From flop to the turn (with an open-ended draw)4.44%
From turn to the river (with an open-ended draw)4.54%

Here are a few more interesting facts about a straight flush poker hand:

  • The odds of flopping a straight flush with T8s specifically are 0.02%
  • With A2s, the odds of flopping a straight flush are 0.01%
  • The odds of improving your straight flush open-ended draw from flop to river are 8.42%

How to Play a Straight Flush in Poker?

A straight flush is an extremely strong hand that you almost never have to worry about or think much about strategy. When you hold this hand, your main line of thinking should be how to extract the maximum value from your opponent.

In many cases, a straight flush will be the absolute nuts, i.e., an unbeatable hand, allowing you to play it tricky and allow your opponents to catch up. By letting them improve their holdings, you’ll give them more rope and entice them to put more money into the pot.

The only time when you might want to be careful with a straight flush is when you make this hand using four community cards and you have the dummy end. For example, if the board reads 5d 6d 7d 8d, and you have a 4d. Although you have a straight flush here, it is still susceptible to someone holding an 8d, so it’s perfectly fine to exercise some caution in these spots.


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