What is a Straight Flush in Poker?
A Straight Flush represents the best and rarest combination of five cards. The hand consists of consecutive cards that share the same suit, with the very rare Royal Flush considered the best Straight Flush there is.
What Does a Straight Flush Look Like?
A Straight Flush is any hand where the cards have consecutive rankings and the same symbol (suit). Some examples include:
K, Q, J, 10, 9
9, 8, 7, 6, 5
Q, J, 10, 9, 8
5, 4, 3, 2, A
How Does a Straight Flush Rank?
A Straight Flush ranks as the top winning poker hand. In fact, a Straight Flush can only be beaten by another Straight Flush. The ranking is based on the highest card in the combination, so the best possible Straight Flush would be Ace-high (making it a Royal Flush).
What Beats a Straight Flush?
10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace all in the same suit.
Five cards in a row, all in the same suit.
The same card in each of the four suits.
A pair plus three of a kind in the same hand.
Five cards, all in one suit, but not in numerical order.
Five cards in numerical order, but not of the same suit.
Three of one card and two non-paired cards.
Two different pairings or sets of the same card in one hand.
One pairing of the same card.
No matching cards
Because Straight Flushes are ranked by the highest card in the combo, the hand 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (a 9-high Straight Flush) will lose to the hand 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack (a Jack-high Straight Flush).
The suit of the Straight Flush is irrelevant, unless used to break a tie (multiple Straight Flushes in different suits are only possible in non-flop games, in which case the ranking of suits, from best to worst, is spades, hearts, diamonds, then clubs).
The strongest hand in poker is called a Royal Straight Flush, or just a Royal Flush, and it is made out of 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of a matching suit.
How Should You Play a Straight Flush in Texas Hold’em?
A Straight Flush is the second strongest hand you can get in poker. If you make it, you can be almost certain you have the best chance of winning that hand.
However, if you have the 'low end' of a Straight Flush, for example if you hold the 6 on a board of 7, 8, 9, 10, there will exist the possibility that someone has the Jack for a higher Straight Flush. If you are using both of your hole cards to make your hand, you can usually be much more confident.
In a similar approach to playing a Royal Flush, make sure you don’t bet too high when attempting to lure opponents in to increase the pot. One thing you don’t want to do is scare them off.
Draw them in with value bets that keep building the pot but don’t frighten players away. The deeper you go into the hand, the bolder you can get with your betting to ensure you maximize the winnings on the hand.
Straight Flush Probabilities
By calculating the odds of making the hand, players can get an idea of how rare and valuable a Straight Flush is.
In this instance, we will focus on the odds of being dealt a Straight Flush on the flop, meaning a player will have five cards – their two hole cards and the three flop cards.
Number of ways to make the hand
(not including different suits)
Number of ways to make the hand
(including different suits)
Odds of getting a Straight
Probability of getting a Straight
1 / 72,192
The odds of being dealt the Straight Flush on the flop is only the tip of the iceberg. For more on odds, including the probability of winning any given hand on the flop, turn and/or river, have a play with our poker odds calculator.