In a one-deck Poker game with 52 cards, there are 40 possible straight flush hand combinations.
Straight flushes are one of the highest-ranking hands in poker, and knowing how to use them effectively can transform your playing experience entirely.
We will here take you through everything you need to know about straight flushes in poker – from what they are and how they’re formed to tips on using them strategically at the table.
Shuffle up and deal because it’s time to learn about straight flushes in poker!
Straight Flush Explained
A straight flush is a poker hand that consists of five cards of sequential rank, all of the same suit. A straight flush is the second-best possible hand in most variants of poker.
The highest-ranking straight flush, ace-high, is known as a royal flush and is particularly rare: only four such hands exist in a standard deck of 52 cards. The probability of being dealt a royal flush is approximately 1 in 650,000 hands dealt. This is the best possible hand to hold in poker, and thus a royal flush is an unbeatable hand.
The second-best possible hand is still any other straight flush, which consists of five cards of sequential rank, all of the same suit. The probability of being dealt a straight flush is approximately 1 in 72,000 hands dealt.
Straight flushes are ranked according to the highest card in them.
If more than one player has a straight flush, the player with the highest-ranking card in their hand is the winner. As an example: if two players both have an ace-high straight flush (the strongest possible hand), the one with the higher second-highest card is the winner. For example, if Player 1 has, A♣ K♣ Q♣ J♣ 10♣ and Player 2 has K♦ Q♦ J♦ 10 ♦ 9♦, then Player 1 would win because their Ace is higher than Player 2’s King.
How to Play a Straight Flush Hand
Now you know that a straight flush is higher than four of a kind, a flush, and a straight, but lower than a royal flush. The Ace may be high or low in a straight flush, but it cannot “wrap around.” Aces are always high in poker.
If you are dealt a straight flush, you can consider betting higher, as the hand is rare, and the possibility that another player holds a higher-ranking straight flush is considerably low. After all, with odds of 1 in 72,000 (or 0.00139%), it is a very uncommon hand.
If someone else bets before you do, you can still bet aggressively to try to win the pot. Unfortunately, a very common mistake many players make is playing too passively (known as slow-rolling) with a straight flush or other high-ranking hands. This can cause them to miss potential wins or even lose the hand altogether.
Remember: the key to being a clever player in poker is to bet when you have good cards and to fold when you don’t.