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What is a Straight in Poker?

Straight
Straight

A Straight is one of the good poker hands that can be very valuable. It is made out of five cards of sequential ranking. The suits of the cards are not important when making a standard Straight.

What does a Straight look like?

Unlike other poker hands, a Straight is properly named and it can quickly get players thinking of numbers in a row. Five consecutive cards form a Straight. You can find examples right here:

  1. A♥, K♦, Q♠, J♦, 10♣
  2. Q♦, J♣, 10♥, 9♥, 8♠
  3. 7♥, 6♣, 5♥, 4♦, 3♣
  4. 5♠, 4♠, 3♥, 2♦, A♥

How does a Straight rank?

A Straight can be found in the middle of the poker hand rankings. It is weaker than a Flush and stronger than Three of a Kind. A Straight card hand is also ranked based on the value of the highest card in the combination. The Ace can be the highest one and the lowest value in a Straight, depending on its position.

What Beats Straight?
Rank
Hand Name
Example
Hand Description
1
10
suit-hearts
J
suit-hearts
Q
suit-hearts
K
suit-hearts
A
suit-hearts
10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace all in the same suit.
2
4
suit-clubs
5
suit-clubs
6
suit-clubs
7
suit-clubs
8
suit-clubs
Five cards in a row, all in the same suit.
3
10
suit-hearts
7
suit-diamonds
7
suit-clubs
7
suit-hearts
7
suit-spades
The same card in each of the four suits.
4
K
suit-diamonds
K
suit-hearts
K
suit-clubs
J
suit-hearts
J
suit-diamonds
A pair plus three of a kind in the same hand.
5
6
suit-hearts
8
suit-hearts
Q
suit-hearts
3
suit-hearts
10
suit-hearts
Five cards, all in one suit, but not in numerical order.
6
10
suit-diamonds
9
suit-spades
8
suit-hearts
7
suit-spades
6
suit-spades
Five cards in numerical order, but not of the same suit.
7
2
suit-clubs
J
suit-hearts
K
suit-clubs
K
suit-hearts
K
suit-diamonds
Three of one card and two non-paired cards.
8
Q
suit-diamonds
4
suit-hearts
4
suit-diamonds
A
suit-spades
A
suit-diamonds
Two different pairings or sets of the same card in one hand.
9
7
suit-clubs
8
suit-clubs
Q
suit-hearts
5
suit-clubs
5
suit-spades
One pairing of the same card.
10
2
suit-hearts
3
suit-clubs
7
suit-diamonds
Q
suit-diamonds
K
suit-hearts
No matching cards.

The top-ranking Straight is called a "Broadway" and it looks like A♠-K♣-Q♥-J♠-10♦. The lowest Straight is also known as a "Wheel". The suits of the cards dont matter, unless they are all the same, making the hand a much more valuable Straight Flush. Learn more about poker nicknames here.

How should you play a Straight in Hold’em?

Playing a Straight hand is a classic case of making sure you don’t come out of it looking like a fish (poker slang for a player who isn’t very good).

The best way to think about a Straight is that it can be considered the silent assassin of the poker table. It’s unlikely you’ll land a Straight on the flop so be prepared to do some chasing on the turn or river.

Your approach will depend on whether you have an open-ended Straight draw or a closed Straight draw.

If you have the open-ended straight draw, then you can afford to be a little bit more aggressive with your play knowing you have eight possible outs compared to the four outs of a closed Straight draw.

You will need to remember that you could be facing the threat of a superior hand so be mindful of how other players are betting to avoid being caught short.

Straight Probabilities

A Straight of five cards can be made in 10,200 ways when using the standard deck of 52 cards. For Texas Hold'em, with three community cards and two in the hole, the odds of getting a Straight are as follows:

Number of ways to draw the hand (not including different suits) Number of ways to draw the hand (including different suits) Odds of getting a Straight Probability of getting a Straight
10 10,200 1 / 253.8 0.3925%

The odds of being dealt a Straight on the flop is only the tip of the iceberg. To view a wider range of odds and probabilities of being dealt different hands then check out our very own poker odds calculator.

Back to Poker Hands

FAQS

What is a Straight in poker?

A Straight is a hand made out of five connected cards that have subsequent rankings. The Ace in this case can be the lowest card, in a 5-4-3-2-A straight, or the highest one, in A-K-Q-J-10. If the suits of the cards are identical, then this is called a Straight Flush.

What beats a Straight?

A Straight is weaker than a Flush. As a result, it is also beaten by the higher poker hands, which are Full House, Four of a Kind, Straight Flush, and Royal Flush. A Straight can be beaten by a higher Straight, determined by the ranks of the cards. You can learn all of the poker hands here.

What can a Straight beat?

Since it is one of the good poker hands in Texas Hold'em, a Straight can beat a nice range of hands. The one under it on the list is Three of a Kind. Of course, it can also beat Two Pairs or One Pair.

Can you win with a Straight?

Yes, you can certainly win with a Straight. The hands that can beat it are quite rare and so you will be in a good position if you make a Straight card hand in Texas Hold'em.

Which Straight is Strongest?

The strongest Straight hand that a player can possess is Ace high. This is followed by King high, then Queen high, and then Jack high, and so on.