What is a Straight in Poker | Poker hands Ranking?

The thrill of the flop, the tension of the turn, the river reveals its secrets… What is a Straight in Poker?

In the heart of every poker game lies the pursuit of powerful hands. Among them, the straight stands out as a reliable force. But how well do you truly know this dynamic hand? Dive into this guide and unveil the secrets of straights!

This comprehensive resource equips you with everything you need to master the straight in poker. We’ll explore its ranking, how to identify it, and most importantly, how to leverage it for strategic play. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a curious beginner, this guide will transform you into a straight-spotting champion!


What is a Straight in Poker: Poker Hand Ranking

The straight, powerful hand in Texas Hold’em and other poker variants require five cards in a sequential run, but not necessarily of the same suit. This guide dives deep into the world of straights, from ranking and recognition to playing strategies and winning probabilities.

How Does a Straight Hand Match Up?

A straight sits comfortably in the middle of the poker hand hierarchy, outranking three-of-a-kind, two-pair, and one-pair. However, it bows down to the might of flushes, full houses, four-of-a-kind, and the coveted straight flush.

The Straight Hand Explained

Imagine a staircase – that’s essentially what a straight one looks like. It’s five consecutive cards, like 7♣ 6♠ 5♥ 4♦ 3♣, where the suit (♣, ♠, ♥, ♦) doesn’t matter. The key is the sequence – unbroken and climbing (or descending) in rank.

Uniquely, aces can play a double role:

  • High End: A-K-Q-J-10 (the mighty “Broadway” straight)
  • Low End: 5-4-3-2-A (often called the “wheel” or “bicycle”)

How does a straight hand rank?

The ranking of a straight is determined by its highest card. For example, J-10-9-8-7 trumps 10-9-8-7-6. It’s a simple hierarchy based on card value.

What Beats a Straight in Poker?

Here’s a quick breakdown:

Loses To:

  • Flush (five cards of the same suit)
  • Full House (three of a kind + a pair)
  • Four of a Kind
  • Straight Flush (a straight where all cards are the same suit – the ultimate straight)


  • Three-of-a-Kind
  • Two Pair
  • One Pair
  • High Card (any five unpaired cards)

Can you win with a Straight?

Absolutely! While not the strongest hand, a straight can secure you the pot, especially if played strategically during betting rounds.

Which Straight is Strongest?

The “Broadway” straight (A-K-Q-J-10) reigns supreme, followed by straights with progressively lower high cards. The “wheel” (A-2-3-4-5) is the weakest straight you can form.

Straight Hands vs Other Hands

Understanding how straights fare against other hands is crucial for strategic play. This guide has covered those matchups but refer back to the “What Beats a Straight” section for a quick refresher.

Probabilities of Forming a Straight in Texas Hold’em & Pot Limit Omaha

The odds of forming a straight depends on the variant you’re playing and the number of community cards revealed. This section will delve into the specific probabilities for Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha (PLO), providing valuable insights for players.

Texas Holdem Poker Probabilities: Here, we’ll explore the chances of forming a straight on the flop (first three community cards), turn (fourth community card), and river (fifth and final community card).

Pot Limit Omaha Poker (PLO) Probabilities: PLO introduces more complexity with four-hole cards per player. We’ll analyze the impact on straight probabilities compared to Texas Hold’em.

Straight Poker Probability

While Texas Hold’em and PLO dominate the poker landscape, a section dedicated to straight probabilities in traditional five-card draw poker would be a nice touch for players interested in the classic game.

Texas Hold’em Poker

This section can delve deeper into playing strategies for straights in Texas Hold’em. Here are some potential areas to cover:

  • Recognizing potential straights on the flop
  • Deciding whether to chase a straight
  • Calculating pot odds and implied odds
  • Bluffing with a potential straight draw

How do straights work in poker?

Straights are formed by five consecutive cards of any suit. The order matters, but the suits don’t.

For example, 7♣ 6♠ 5♥ 4♦ 3♣ is straight, while 7♦ 6♣ 5♠ 4♥ 3♣ is not (different suit order).

The straight hand explained

Imagine a ladder – that’s essentially straight. It has five cards in a sequence, like 8♦ 7♣ 6♥ 5♠ 4♣. Aces can be high (A-K-Q-J-10) or low (5-4-3-2-A).

How does a straight hand rank?

The highest card in the straight determines its rank. J-10-9-8-7 beats 10-9-8-7-6. A Straight Flush (all cards same suit) beats a regular straight.

What beats a straight in poker?

  • Flush (five of the same suit)
  • Full House (three of a kind + a pair)
  • Four of a Kind
  • Straight Flush

What can a straight hand beat?

  • Three-of-a-Kind
  • Two Pair
  • One Pair
  • High Card (any five unpaired cards)

Poker Suit Order

There’s no hierarchy among suits (clubs, spades, hearts, diamonds). In a straight, the suit doesn’t matter.

How to play straight in Texas hold ‘em

This section will cover strategies like:

  • Recognizing potential straights on the flop (first three community cards)
  • Calculating pot odds and implied odds to decide if chasing a straight is worthwhile
  • Bluffing with a potential straight draw

The probability of a straight-hand

A dedicated section would explore the odds of forming a straight-in:

  • Texas Hold’em: Chances on flop, turn, and river.
  • Pot Limit Omaha (PLO): How four-hole cards affect straight probabilities.
  • Five-Card Draw: Straight probabilities in the classic game.

Examples of straight hands

  • Strong Straight: A-K-Q-J-10 (“Broadway”)
  • Weak Straight: 5-4-3-2-A (“Wheel”)
  • Another Example: J-10-9-8-7

10 Poker Hand Rankings

The thrill of poker lies in the strategic mind games and the potential for big wins. But a crucial element to success is understanding how hands rank against each other. Here’s a breakdown of the 10 poker hand rankings, acting as your guide to making informed decisions at the table:

  1. Royal Flush: The undisputed champion, this hand features five consecutive cards of the same suit, starting with a ten and ending with an ace (A♠ K♠ Q♠ J♠ 10♠). It’s incredibly rare, making it a truly exceptional hand.
  2. Straight Flush: Similar to a royal flush, but with any combination of five consecutive cards in the same suit (e.g., 7♣ 6♣ 5♣ 4♣ 3♣).
  3. Four of a Kind: This powerhouse combines four cards of the same rank with any kicker (e.g., 4♦ 4♣ 4♠ 4♥ K♥).
  4. Full House: A formidable hand consisting of a three-of-a-kind and a pair (e.g., 3♦ 3♣ 3♠ 8♥ 8♠).
  5. Flush: Five cards of the same suit, not necessarily consecutive (e.g., A♥ K♥ 7♥ 5♥ 2♥).
  6. Straight: As explained earlier, five consecutive cards of any suit (e.g., J♣ 10♠ 9♦ 8♥ 7♣).
  7. Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank with two kickers (e.g., Q♠ Q♦ Q♣ 5♥ 2♣).
  8. Two Pair: Two sets of two cards with the same rank and a kicker (e.g., A♦ A♣ 7♥ 7♠ 5♣).
  9. One Pair: Two cards of the same rank with three kickers (e.g., K♠ K♥ J♦ 8♣ 5♣).
  10. High Card: Any five unpaired cards. The hand ranks based on the highest card (e.g., A♠ K♣ Q♦ J♥ 10♣).

Decision-Making Made Easy

By memorizing these rankings, you can quickly assess your hand’s strength and make strategic choices. Here’s how:

  • Fold: If your hand falls below a pair, it’s usually best to fold unless you see a strong possibility of improvement on the community cards.
  • Call: If you have a decent hand like a pair or two pair, but the pot isn’t too high, calling might be a good option.
  • Raise: With strong hands like a straight or better, raising can help build the pot and potentially scare away weaker opponents.


So, there you have it! The world of straights is no longer a mystery. With this newfound knowledge, you can approach the poker table with confidence, ready to identify straights, assess their power, and strategize your gameplay accordingly.

Also read: Free Casino Slot Games for Fun ( No Signup or Download)

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