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The Flush Hand in Poker

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A Flush is made up of 5 cards all in the same suit. It comes in fourth place in the poker hand rankings - below a full house. For example, A♥J♥7♥5♥2♥  is an ace-high flush in hearts.

Although the word flush doesn’t immediately have you thinking that it consists of five cards all in the same suit, it’s still an easy hand to recognise. A flush is a relatively strong hand in Texas Hold’em with the highest possible flush being ace-high with all 5 cards in the same suit.

The best Flush possible is the ace-high Flush:

A♠J♠10♠3♠2♠

When it comes to flushes, the suits don’t matter. However, not every ace-high flush is ranked equally. When it comes to rating one ace-high flush over the next, it’s the hand rank or denomination that’s important.

*Note that a straight to the Ace in any suit, counts as a Royal Flush and neither ranks better than the other in the hand ranking system.

How Does a Flush Hand Rank?

In a 52-card deck, there are 5,108 possible Flush hand combinations and 1,277 distinct ranks of Flushes. Each flush is ranked by its highest card, then by the rank of its second-highest card and so on.

Here are some examples of a few flushes:

A♠J♠10♠3♠2♠

K10752

A♣K♣Q♣8♣2♣

QJ1093

Can you tell which Flush ranks the best?

Keep in mind that the ranking of a Flush is determined by the highest straight card – not the suit. If more than one player has a Flush, then the winner is determined by the player with the highest straight. So, for example, a King-high Flush – in any suit - beats a Queen-high Flush – in any suit, and so forth.

Also, a K-J-10-5-3 flush would beat a K-J-9-8-3 flush. Notice that in the first hand the third card 10 is higher than the 9 in the second hand. That’s what makes it rank higher.

How Does a Flush Hand Match Up?

A Flush is the fourth best possible hand in the poker hand ranking system. A Full House ranks directly above it. Although 4th on the list, it is still a very strong hand in Hold’em and is rarely beat on the river.

That said, there are still quite a few hands that rank under it. The next best hand down on the list is called a Straight.

The best Straight is the ace-high straight – also known as “Broadway”.

Flush Poker Probabilities

Now, we’ll look at the pre-flop, flop, turn and river probabilities of making a Flush in both Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha.

Hold'em Probabilities      
Pre-flop: 0.1965%   (based on 5 cards randomly drawn from a full 52-card deck). (excl. royal and straight flushes)
Flop: 0.84%   (when holding 2 suited cards)
Turn: 19.15%   (from a flop with 2 suited cards)
River: 19.56%   (on a board with 2 suited cards)
Pot Limit Omaha Probabilities      
Pre-flop: 0.1965%   (based on 5 cards randomly drawn from a full 52-card deck)
Flop: 1.90%   (when double-suited)
Turn: 20%   (from a flop with 2 suited cards)
River: 20.40%   (on a board with 2 suited cards)

Visit our Flush Poker Odds article for more information.

Flush – FAQ

Question 1: What is a “flush” in poker?

In poker, a flush is made when holding 5 cards all of the same suit. If the cards are also in consecutive rank order, this is referred to instead as a “straight flush”.


Question 2: Which flush wins in poker?

Assuming two players both have a flush, the winner is determined by the player with the highest ranked flush card (Aces are high). Assuming both players share the same high card, the second highest card is consulted and so on.


Question 3: Is a flush a strong hand in poker?

The strength of a flush often depends on the poker variant in question. For example, flushes are typically very strong holdings in Hold’em, but less so in Omaha since players start with additional hole-cards. Flushes with big cards are also naturally a lot stronger than flushes made with small cards.


Question 4: Does a flush beat a straight?

In the vast majority of poker variants (including Hold’em, Omaha and Stud), the answer is yes, a flush always beats a straight.


Question 5: Does a flush beat a full house?

In the vast majority of poker variants (including Hold’em, Omaha and Stud), the answer is no, a flush always loses against a full house.


Now that you’ve got the Flush down pat, we’ll move on to the next hand on the list. It’s called the Full House.

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