What is a Flush in Poker?

A Flush is a poker hand made out of five cards, all of which have the same suit. They are one of the mid-range poker hands as far as strength goes, but can still win a nice pot.

Flush

Flush

What Does a Flush Look Like?

All five cards in a Flush poker hand have the same suit. A few examples would be:

  1. Aicon-suit-diamond, Qicon-suit-diamond, 10icon-suit-diamond, 7icon-suit-diamond, 4icon-suit-diamond

  2. Jicon-suit-spade, 9icon-suit-spade, 8icon-suit-spade, 4icon-suit-spade, 3icon-suit-spade

  3. 10icon-suit-heart, 7icon-suit-heart, 4icon-suit-heart, 3icon-suit-heart, 2icon-suit-heart

  4. 8icon-suit-club, 7icon-suit-club, 5icon-suit-club, 4icon-suit-club, 3icon-suit-club

How Does a Flush Rank?

As far as poker hand values go, a Flush is in the middle of the list. It beats a fair amount of hands but loses to hands like Four of a Kind and a Full House.

What Beats a Flush?

Rank

Hand Names

Example

Hand Description

1

Royal Flush

Royal Flush hand eg

10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace all in the same suit.

2

Straight Flush

straight flush hand eg

Five cards in a row, all in the same suit.

3

Four of a Kind

four of a kind hand eg

The same card in each of the four suits.

4

Full House

full house hand eg

A pair plus three of a kind in the same hand.

5

Flush

flush hand eg

Five cards, all in one suit, but not in numerical order.

6

Straight

straight hand eg

Five cards in numerical order, but not of the same suit.

7

Three of a Kind

three of a kind hand eg

Three of one card and two non-paired cards.

8

Two Pair

two pair hand eg

Two different pairings or sets of the same card in one hand.

9

One Pair

one pair hand eg

One pairing of the same card.

10

High Card

high card hand eg

No matching cards.

The rank of a Flush is determined by the highest card in the hand, with an Ace-high Flush the strongest. As an example, Kicon-suit-heart, 8icon-suit-heart, 5icon-suit-heart, 3icon-suit-heart, 2icon-suit-heart (a King-high Flush) is better than Qicon-suit-heart, Jicon-suit-heart, 5icon-suit-heart, 3icon-suit-heart, 2icon-suit-heart (a Queen-high Flush). If two or more players have the same high card, the tie is broken by the second highest card rank, and so on.

How Should You Play a Flush in Hold’em?

In Hold'em it's important to remember that a Flush is not possible without there being three community cards of the same suit available.

If the board shows two suited cards and you have two more for a Flush draw, you should only stay in the hand if you are offered the right odds to call any bets (see our Odds for Dummies page to learn more), and if you are confident that your Flush will be the strongest hand if it hits.

While it's true that a Flush is not the strongest poker hand, it beats many other common hands, plus it has the advantage that most of the better hands you'll be up against - such as a Full house or Four of a Kind - require a pair present on the board.

That means that most of the time if you hit a Flush, and the board is not paired, your only concerns will be losing to a higher Flush - or in certain specific scenarios, a Straight Flush. The nut flush on an unpaired board is therefore almost always something to be bet with confidence.

Of course, if the board pairs unexpectedly on the river you may find an opponent has hit a Full House, in which case it would be wise to slow down and proceed with caution.

Flush Probabilities

In Texas Hold'em, where players have a total of seven cards available for making the strongest hands of five cards, a Flush can occur pretty frequently. There are more than 5,000 ways to get a Flush from deck of 52 cards.

In this instance, we’ll look at the odds of being dealt a Flush on the flop. Meaning a player will have five cards – consisting of 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 Flush

Probability of getting a Flush

1,277

5,108

1 / 508.8

0.1965%

The odds of being dealt a 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.

FAQs