What Is a Straight in Poker?

A straight in poker is a hand made up of five cards of consecutive rankings and different suits. For example, 5s 6d 7h 8s 9c is a poker straight.

Compared to all other possible poker hands, a straight is the middling hand in terms of strength. It can be very powerful on certain boards, but its relative strength depends a lot on the board structure.

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 Poker Hand

Any five cards of consecutive rankings constitute a straight. For example:

  • As 2d 3d 4h 5s – a Five-high straight (Wheel)
  • 4d 5d 6h 7h 8c – an Eight-high straight
  • 6h 7d 8c 9c Ts – a Ten-high straight
  • Ts Js Qh Kc Ad – an Ace-high straight (also referred to as the Broadway straight)

In a situation where two or more players have a straight, the winning player is the one holding the highest-ranking card in their combination.

For example, a 5s 6h 7h 8c 9c straight losses to 8h 9h Ts Js Qh because the top card in the second combination (the Qh) is higher than the highest card in the first combination (the 9c).

In the event two players hold the exact same straight, which does happen somewhat frequently in games like Texas Hold’em, they’ll always split the pot. Suits of individual cards in a poker straight do not influence determining the winner, and since this is a five-card hand, there are no kicker to consider.

What Beats Straight in Poker?

A straight is a decently strong hand that beats three of a kind (trips), two pairs, one pair, and a high card hand.

In absolute hand rankings, a straight is the sixth-best poker hand in games like Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. A straight loses to all flushes, full houses, quads (four of a kind), straight flushes, and Royal Flushes.

Of course, any made straight can also lose to a better straight, so although a Ten-high and a Queen-high straight are in the same strength category, a Queen-high straight wins on a showdown.

Straight Probabilities

A straight is one of the more common poker hands, and the odds of getting one when dealt five cards from a standard deck of cards is 0.39%.

When it comes to Texas Hold’em, the table below shows probabilities of flopping a straight with different starting hands:

Any starting hand0.39%
Connectors (i.e. 6s7c)1.29%
One-gapper (i.e. 8cTd)0.85%
Two-gapper (i.e. 6c9h)0.61%

Check out a few more interesting statistics about a straight in poker and learn certain odds that will come in handy at the tables.

  • The odds of completing an open-ended straight draw by the river are 31.5%
  • Your odds of completing a gutshot draw from flop to turn are just 8.5%
  • You have a 4.12% chance to flop a straight draw with any pocket pair
  • The odds of flopping the Broadway straight with AK are 0.39%

How to Play a Straight in Poker

A straight can be a powerful hand that can win you some big pots, but there are certain things to be mindful of when playing this hand.

First of all, whenever there is a flush or a full house possible, you should be careful about putting too much money into the pot and recosiddr your strategy. Beginners often fall into this trap, completely overlooking the fact that there are stronger hands possible.

You should also thread this hand lightly when playing a so-called dummy end of a straight. For example, if you have 4d5c on a board reading 6s7h8h, you have the bottom or the dummy end of the straight, which means there are other, higher straights possible that will beat your hand at the showdown.

Finally, don’t overvalue your straight draws, especially gutshots, as you’ll miss these draws very frequently, so passively putting chips into the pot with these hands will cost you a lot of money in the long run.


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