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The Straight Hand in Poker

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The Straight is fifth on the poker hand rankings list and is made up of five sequential or consecutive cards.

The word Straight should immediately have you thinking that it consists of five cards in a row - and that makes it a very easy hand to identify.

The highest possible Straight is A-K-Q-J-10 (also called “Broadway”). Straight combinations go all the way down to A-2-3-4-5, which is known as the “Wheel” or “Bicycle”, in poker lingo.

A♠KQ♣J10♠ aka BROADWAY

A2♣3♠45 aka the WHEEL or BICYCLE

When it comes to Straights, the suits aren’t important. However, not every straight is ranked equally.

When rating one straight over the next, it’s the hand rank or denomination that’s important.

How Does a Straight Hand Rank?

In a 52-card deck, there are 10,200 possible Straight hand combinations and 10 distinct ranks of Straights. Each Straight is ranked by its highest card, then by the rank of its second-highest card and so forth.

Here are some examples of Straights:

K♠Q♣J10♠9

QJ10♣9♠8

J♣109♣8♠7♣

109♠876

The best Straights are determined by the highest straight card – not the suit. For example, a Queen-high Straight beats a Jack-high Straight – regardless of suits, and so forth.

How Does a Straight Hand Match Up?

The Straight is the fifth best possible hand in the poker hand ranking system. The Flush ranks directly above it, with the best flush being ace-high. Its fifth-place ranking still makes it a formidable hand to beat on the river in Hold’em.

There are a few hands that rank beneath a Straight. The hand that ranks directly under a Straight is called Three-of-a-Kind. The best 3-of-a-Kind hand is three Aces also known as a set of Aces or trip Aces.

Straight Poker Probabilities

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

Hold'em Probabilities    
Pre-flop: 0.39% (based on 5 cards randomly drawn from a full 52-card deck) (excl. royal and straight flushes)
Flop: 1.30% (when holding 2 connected cards J-10 through 5-4)
Turn: 16.90% (with an open-ended-straight-draw on flop)
River: 17.20% (from an open-ended-straight-draw)
Pot Limit Omaha Probabilities    
Pre-flop: 0.39% (based on 5 cards randomly drawn from a full 52-card deck) (excl. royal and straight flushes)
Flop: 4.90% (when holding 4 consecutive ranks from 4-5-6-7 to 8-9-T-J)
Turn: 17.78% (Open Ended Straight Draw - 8 Outs - Example: 4-5-Q-Q on flop of 6-7-K)
  20% (Inside Broadway Draw - 9 Outs - Example: 5-10-J-K on flop of 7-Q-A)
  26.67% (12 Out Straight Draw - 12 Outs - Example: 7-9-J-Q on flop of 2-8-10)
  28.89% (13 Card Wrap Draw - 13 Outs - Example: 5-6-8-9 on flop of 4-7-K)
  37.78% (17 Card Wrap Draw - 17 Outs - Example: 10-9-6-2 on flop of 8-7-A)
  44.44% (20 Card Wrap Draw - 20 Outs - Example: 10-9-6-5 on flop of 8-7-2)
River: 18.18% (Open Ended Straight Draw - 8 Outs - Example: 4-5-Q-Q on flop of 6-7-K)
  20.45% (Inside Broadway Draw - 9 Outs - Example: 5-10-J-K on flop of 7-Q-A)
  27.27% (12 Out Straight Draw - 12 Outs - Example: 7-9-J-Q on flop of 2-8-10)
  29.55% (13 Card Wrap Draw - 13 Outs - Example: 5-6-8-9 on flop of 4-7-K)
  38.63% (17 Card Wrap Draw - 17 Outs - Example: 10-9-6-2 on flop of 8-7-A)
  45.45% (20 Card Wrap Draw - 20 Outs - Example: 10-9-6-5 on flop of 8-7-2)

Visit our Straight Poker Odds article for more information

Straight – FAQ

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

In poker, a straight is made when we hold 5 cards all of consecutive rank, for example, 56789. Aces can be both high and low for the purposes of creating a straight, but the Ace must either appear at the beginning or end of the hand’s structure.


Question 2: Which straight wins in poker?

The strength of a straight is determined by the rank of the card at the top of the run. The strongest straight is hence the ‘broadway’ straight (TJQKA) while the weakest straight is the ‘wheel’ (A2345). These are referred to as Ace-high and Five-high straights respectively.


Question 3: Is a straight a strong hand in Hold’em?

Straights are usually quite strong in Hold’em, but their strength can vary a lot based on the board texture. Straights are always strongest when there is no pair on the board and there is no flush or higher straight possible.  


Question 4: Does a straight beat a flush?

It’s very common for beginners to forget whether a straight is better than a flush in poker. The flush is the better hand and will win against the straight.


Question 5: What is a ‘wrap around’ straight?

A ‘wrap around’ straight is a straight where the Ace appears somewhere in the middle of the structure, for example, QKA23. Wrap around straights are not legal holdings in the vast majority of poker variants, but there are exceptions.


Now that you’ve got the Straight all sorted, we’ll move on to the next hand on the list. It’s called Flush.

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